I’ve had a bit of a yen for a detachable collar and found one in the local COS store that really appealed, so set about replicating it.
I wanted to use some small table napkins I have, obviously morning or afternoon tea versions. I have a large number of these, as I suspect they are too useless to use. I have a serious stash as I’ve been collecting them for years.
I, most unusually, decided to toile this as I wasn’t sure how the pieces would fit together in the way I wanted, and I also needed to sort out the construction method. For the toile I chose a piece of vintage minty green cotton which came from a friend’s mother’s stash.
I am really pleased with how this turned out. I’ve now cut out a dress from the same fabric and then I’ll dye them all, so they coordinate
Now I was ready to try the pattern on some nice linen. I went through the box and found six small napkins with a bit of Battenberg lace in the corners. I needed four napkins plus another, larger piece of linen for the band that ties the two collars together.
I had to scour all these napkins as they were quite discoloured, but they came up nicely white and stain free.
I sewed the four separate collars together first, trying to get the points right. I’m still not very good at this, but am working on it. The two collars with the lace on were partially sewn with the lace left unattached to the collar lining.
The four collars were then sewn to either side of the centre band. I sewed the ends of the band together, leaving the section where the collars are attached unsewn.
Pressing is very important and I used the pressing block made for me by Archie.
I then did a very squeezy burrito to sew the band together, thus sandwiching the collars between it. I had to do one side at a time so I had a gap to pull the collars out through.
I won’t lie, it was a full on wrestle to get the two collars out of that little tube.
I appliquéd the lace to the under collar and then trimmed the excess under collar fabric away so that the lace was a single layer.
The last thing to do was to stitch up the gap between the collars where I pulled them through. I also had to repair a little tear where the vintage linen was a bit weak.
My only other challenge was to find things to wear this collar with. It’s quite high necked and I have discovered that I have very few clothes with a high round neck. New things will have to be made!
In the meantime, I found my lovely Pattern Union Cora Blouse made from a thrifted wool jumper was the perfect foil.
This collar was made as part of a Sewover50 challenge on Instagram. The challenge is called So50SustainableSewing and is about using remnants, old garments, or found fabric. As I’m repurposing some old table linen, I think this project fits the theme well.