Sewing a collar – sewing instructions and tips & tricks for a collar with bling

Today is December 21st, so it’s Door 21 time!

This adorable advent calendar is called It’s Time to Sparkle, so I added some extra sparkle to my sewing project. I’m not really a bling bling myself myself, but with some little silver sequins here and there I made a really nice hoop with some bling.

The extra embroidered floral tulle and silver sequins give me a real Christmas angel feeling. Look, you can see a photo below with my inspiration, a photo from Italian Vogue, and the fabrics and trimmings I used to make this special “Time to Shine” Christmas garland.

Collar stitching – material

  • Style: Harriet Collars Bundle (link not coming, style release Dec 15th)
  • embroidered tulle
  • Extra embroidered flowers
  • plain tulle for lining
  • matching thread
  • Microtex needle 60 or 70
  • buttons
  • Tearaway Stabilizer
  • sequins

The embroidered tulle I used is something I left from Minerva, I bought the embroidered floral ribbon long ago in Lace Lindsey on Etsy, I bought the tulle lining and buttons at Handmade Ansje, you can find the rest of the materials on the market.

You can find embroidered tulle at many exclusive fabric stores. It’s often a little more expensive, but you don’t need a lot of fabric for a collar. I bought embroidered ribbon on Etsy, but you can also find this type of ribbon in many trimming stores and in the market.

work with tulle

Harriet’s collar pattern was written for woven fabrics such as cotton or viscose. You can strengthen these fabrics with binding, but this is not an option with tulle. It is also difficult to cut the tulle at the bias, because there is some stretching on all sides.

The advantage of tulle is that it does not spoil and you can cut very narrow seams. I recommend cutting the seams so they are tight anyway, because all the seams are visible due to the sheer nature of the tulle.

In this blog I will provide tips and journeys for working with tulle through the different steps. I’ve chosen to line the collar and chest with beautifully soft, handcrafted Ansje cotton tulle. This way you don’t need to finish the collar with bias tape, but you are sewing the collar between two layers.

Collar stitching – preparations

The Harriet style runs with a front at the buttonhole, but I’ll be lining the bodice, so I don’t need a faceoff. So I folded the face away towards the back at the front line.

advice: Don’t forget to add 1 cm to the folded facing line!

Next I cut the front panel twice in a mirrored embroidered tulle, and twice in a plain tulle mirrored.

I cut the back panel once at the fold of the embroidered tulle and once at the fold of the plain tulle.

Sewing machine settings with tulle

I always like to sew with a Microtex 60 or 70 needle. I make the settings the following way on my BERNINA 570 QE:

  • I am using Reverse Pattern Foot #1D, and choose a stitch length of 2.2 cm.
  • Set the pressure fairly low at 40 and the upper tension at 3.
Reverse style foot image #1.

Introduced Reverse Pattern #1

Reverse Pattern Foot #1 is the perfect press-stitch for front and back stitching, and decorative stitches.

learn more

This will be different for each machine, so always try a few seams on a piece of fabric to see if your machine is stitching the tulle well.

Sewing with tulle

The shoulder seams are sewn to Harriet’s collars with a diameter of 1.5 cm, because English seams are used. So cut the seam to about 0.3 cm. Do the same with the regular tulle parts!

After the shoulder seams are sewn, it’s time for the collar. I chose a ruffle. Since it is difficult to level the hill, it is smart to clamp the ledge that needs to be held together firmly.

I set up the machine as below to assemble the tulle ruffle.

advice: Do not use a stitch length that is too large here, because the tulle gathers easily and if you use a stitch length that is too large, the ruffles will be too large.

advice: When sewing the two gathering threads, hold the tulle on the back side and pull very gently. Otherwise, it wrinkles while stitching and you can’t make two pretty pooling stitches next to each other.

Now you can gather the ruffles nicely and pin them to the good side of the outer collar according to the instructions.

advice: Use a lot of pins.

When sewing the ruffles on the outside edge, I press the ruffles in place at each pin I come to, so it doesn’t roll or sew flat.

advice: For this purpose, use the function on your sewing machine where your needle stays in the fabric and the foot rises slightly when you stop sewing. Perfect for this!

With tulle, you can’t pin the bottom of the collar with an adhesive front, as the pattern instructions state. First of all you will melt the tulle with an iron and secondly it will not look nice because the tulle is transparent. That’s why I chose not to install the trim. Since it is sometimes difficult to chalk sewing marks, I often use staples to indicate sewing marks, such as the middle of the front and the middle of the back.

Also use plenty of pins when sewing the inner collar to the outer collar.

Turn the seams very carefully at about 0.3 cm.

advice: Do this carefully as your layers are visible due to the sheer character of the tulle.

collar decoration

To make the collar more beautiful and festive, I added extra flowers and sequins.

I cut the flowers from a pretty embroidered ribbon that I’d put around it. I bought the ribbon from Lace Lindsey on Etsy. The tape I used is sold out, but you can also find pretty things like it on Etsy and at the market or at your favorite hardware store.

I attached the flowers to the collar for machine stitching.

For this I used Patchwork foot #97. And again, I used the machine setup that lifts the foot while leaving the needle in your work when you stop sewing, as I described earlier. This way you can round the corners while the needle stays in place. I also set the stitch length to 2mm.

Patchwork foot image #97.

Foot Patchwork #97

The patchwork base is ideal for patchwork and other delicate work.

learn more

Next I sewed the silver sequins by hand with silver thread.

Collar stitching on the chest

Now sew the collar to the chest as shown in the instructions for the Harriet collar package. Use a lot of pins again.

When you have finished sewing the collar, place the lining with the wrong side down over the collar and front panel. Pin the neck seam and front seam together and stitch with a 1 cm seam allowance.

Now cut the seam allowance again to 0.3 cm.

Fold the panels back to the good side and stitch the neckline close to the edge on the good side of the fabric.

button hole stitching

With tulle, you cannot secure the button hole with an adhesive front, as the pattern instructions state. First of all you will melt the tulle with an iron and secondly it will not look nice because the tulle is transparent. So I chose to work with tear communication. This is a solid interface that does not have an adhesive layer and you can tear it off easily. You can buy it at the market or at hardware and fabric stores.

Cut a rectangular piece of tear away from the front, slightly larger than the button hole

Draw a line at a distance of 3 cm from the edge. This is your top sewing line for the button cap as shown in the pattern instructions.

Carefully install the interface at the back of the button hole. As you can see in the picture, the printed line is showing through the tulle. You can follow this line up the button hole stitch.

Leave the extension on the back when you sew the line. I forgot to take a picture of the front panel mounted above…sorry 😉

Buttonhole sewing

With the joint still on the back, mark the points where the buttonholes come in and sew the holes on the buttonhole very slowly.

I used the following settings on my sewing machine.

If all goes well, your buttonholes will now look like this:

The back looks like this:

You can now pull the connection very carefully. Be very careful when doing this, or else you will pull the stitches and that will be a shame.

I also put the buttons before removing the interface. I did it by hand.

More Christmas decorations

Since I was already in the Christmas spirit, I added more ornaments to the headboard. You don’t really see this because you only wear this collar under the jacket, but I did it mainly for myself 🙂

collar stitching – finishing

According to the pattern instructions, finish the chest with bias tape. Since the tulle does stretch a bit on its own, I didn’t do that but just cut a 4cm wide strip and then finished the bodice as instructed.

Ta da!!! Gorgeous angel collar for Christmas!

Hope you enjoy this advent calendar!

Merry Christmas!

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