Author Topic: Detachable collars: construction  (Read 577 times)

SlipInTime

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Detachable collars: construction
« on: May 20, 2020, 07:46:29 AM »
Yo all.

Does anyone have advice or resources on constructing a detachable collar correctly?

I can sort of intuit some of the steps, but I'd love some "official" tuition.

I've tried using four layers (for better starching) + stretched seams (for a nice curve), but this makes it extremely easy to pull the collar out of shape, and it doesn't look "right". I tried temporarily-padstitching the pieces together, then sewing the curved seams without stretching them, and this didn't work at all: the inner band is all ripply. I'm using the iron and a tailor's ham to iron them into shape, but still

DPC doesn't give any special advice in his Shirtmaking, and in the Shirtmaking Workbook it suggests that (many? some? all?) detachable collars are in fact single-layer for a crisper fit.

Still, I'm looking at the images on Darcy Clothing, and nothing I've created so far looks that crisp and delightful. I'm specifically making these formal wing collars and Victorian-style stand up collars.

(additionally, how big are standard collar studs? I'm ready to hand-sew the holes, but not sure what size to make them.)

  • Does anyone have a good written guide they can link me to?
  • Does anyone have experience with detachable collars & can offer some advice?

Thank you all

peterle

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Re: Detachable collars: construction
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2020, 08:27:50 PM »
Two vintage collars:
A single layer, edges coverd witha narrow ribbon and then bent and sewn to the back, firm fabric;
A double layer with a crispier probably linnen sewn in interfacing.

All six buttonholes have a 12mm slash.



SlipInTime

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Re: Detachable collars: construction
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2020, 11:18:14 PM »
Brilliant, thank you - useful to study more closely.

Petruchio

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Re: Detachable collars: construction
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2020, 12:08:38 AM »
I found this blogpost on the topic, which might be of interest:

https://www.rjwshirts.net/post/what-s-inside-a-starched-collar

Dunc

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Re: Detachable collars: construction
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2020, 01:15:35 AM »
Well, I certainly can't claim any particular expertise, much less any "official" status, and I've never had the change to examine a true period collar of this type. Those caveats aside, I've tried a couple of things...

Firstly, use the heaviest interfacing you can find - Acorn's Sabden is a good, easily available non-fusible option. Fusibles are obviously not period correct, but if you're not worried about that, then DHJ 160 Fusetop is a good option - for maximum stiffness, you can use two layers.

The real trick, as you've already discovered, is getting the ease between the various layers right, particularly for the stand. The best technique I've been able to come up with is to work from the centre back a few inches at a time, dropping the needle and then forming the piece into approximately the correct curve, then pinch the layers together as hard as you can both in front of and behind the needle, and try to hold them in the same relative position as you bring the work down flat onto the machine and stitch.

I suspect that the old collar makers probably used specialist cylinder arm machines.

pfaff260

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Re: Detachable collars: construction
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2020, 02:45:13 PM »
I made a few starched collars and used the interfacing bought from Acorn. Marvelous stuff, but not for starched collars. As rjw shirts states, you simply need a coarser material inside to soke up the starch. The Acorn interface doesn't need this and won't take up the starch. It won't give you the desired look. Most work, i discovered, lies in the starching. Wich is a complex process.
This lady starches a piece of typical dutch traditional clothing, but it aplies also for collars.
This is a nice one about it's history.

pfaff260

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Re: Detachable collars: construction
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2020, 03:06:45 PM »
Found this wonderfull old film about a specialised laundry.

Petruchio

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Re: Detachable collars: construction
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2020, 06:01:20 PM »
Just out of interest: Since Darcy clothing and rjw offer also washable stiff collars and shirts, what might they use for that. They do look slightly less stiff and have a different feel, but are holding up quite impressive.

Also, how would one construct a really stiff shirt front for evening wear - meaning a similar stiffness than the collars. Would you just sew in a thick linen interlining?

TTailor

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Re: Detachable collars: construction
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2020, 09:23:49 PM »
Quote
Just out of interest: Since Darcy clothing and rjw offer also washable stiff collars and shirts, what might they use for that. They do look slightly less stiff and have a different feel, but are holding up quite impressive.

Yes they do stand up well.
We were searching for that stiff shirt front type of fabric,  and we inquired at Darcy to see if they would share information but their response was that not even they know the source as their contractor in India will not share it with them.

pfaff260

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Re: Detachable collars: construction
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2020, 05:25:49 AM »
I have an almost hundred year old shirt with a stif front. Althought when it is washed it's soft like these washed collars in the film. The front is made from marcella and it is lined or interfaced , what ever you like to call it, with a coarser fabric. Also cotton, like what RJW shows us in the deconstucted collar. This for soaking up the starch.  The trick is to let dry the shirt and then make a thick paste as the dutch lady does in the yellow bowl in the youtube film and aply this with a brush on the inside of the parts you want stiffened. Front and cuffs.  I do this 2 or 3 times with an hour interval. Then you let this dry again. Now make a lighter solution of starch and wet the shirt with this and then iron with an old fashioned iron. A teflon coated one won't do the job. The whole process takes about 2 days. This way you will get a nice crisp starched front.
I made a new one for my self using the Acorn interfacing behind the marcella (bought from Acorn aswell) But it won't give you the disired result.

Greger

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Re: Detachable collars: construction
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2020, 02:51:30 PM »
How many tailors never used a machine to sew? Hand sewing allows for better manipulation than machines. There are machine methods and some people are really good at them. Easing a longer layer on a shorter layer by hand is stitch by stitch control. Basting and shrinking and then machine sewing is another. You can get some shape doing it these ways. But if you hand it to a laundromat what are they going to do with it? Press it flat?

Schneiderfrei

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Re: Detachable collars: construction
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2020, 03:27:13 PM »
Terri tailor,

How cloak and dagger!

Understandable, of course.

G

SlipInTime

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Re: Detachable collars: construction
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2020, 12:14:06 AM »
Fusibles are obviously not period correct, but if you're not worried about that, then DHJ 160 Fusetop is a good option - for maximum stiffness, you can use two layers.

See, I've been wondering about that. The (online) research I've done has revealed some collars were made out of paper, rubber, or a paper backed onto linen called linene. Obviously, getting "real" linene won't be possible nowadays, but I feel like linen + fusible interfacing is, to my intuition at least, a fairly close replica of what linene would be like. Some kind of fabric+ some kind of papery substance, bonded together.

 
 


SlipInTime

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Re: Detachable collars: construction
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2020, 12:25:26 AM »
How many tailors never used a machine to sew? Hand sewing allows for better manipulation than machines. There are machine methods and some people are really good at them. Easing a longer layer on a shorter layer by hand is stitch by stitch control. Basting and shrinking and then machine sewing is another. You can get some shape doing it these ways. But if you hand it to a laundromat what are they going to do with it? Press it flat?

According to David Page Coffin's Shirtmaking, if you make a collar which has curve in it, then you need to send the shirt to a specialist laundry who will know how to handle it correctly. Not sure how, exactly, you find a specialist laundry, but they exist to solve this problem, it seems!


(Thanks everyone for some great discussion btw, I'm digging into your links now.

Sharing what I've discovered:

A V&A historic collar with some information about construction during the period.

Some terrifying collar history including ways your collar could kill you. Nothing says fashion like your entire neck bursting into flames *thumbs up*
)

Edit: to get my URL code correctly formatted

SlipInTime

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Re: Detachable collars: construction
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2020, 12:33:18 AM »
How many tailors never used a machine to sew? Hand sewing allows for better manipulation than machines. There are machine methods and some people are really good at them. Easing a longer layer on a shorter layer by hand is stitch by stitch control. Basting and shrinking and then machine sewing is another. You can get some shape doing it these ways. But if you hand it to a laundromat what are they going to do with it? Press it flat?

So here's the problem with machine methods:

DPC shows how to do a stretched seam for cuffs, basically you grab & tug one layer of the cuff as you sew, stretching it which results in an inner and outer cylinder which don't ripple. I don't rate his method, I find you need to change the order of steps to get a neat finish, but I do credit him with learning the technique.

But collars are like...cut on the vertical and horizontal of the fabric. Whereas collars usually have some lines and curves which cross the bias. So if you try and use machine stretched seams as he advises, you actually stretch the whole point in all sorts of ways which won't lie flat again - not just stretch on the seam, but the whole collar comes out of shape. At least, that's what happens when I do it.

I tried pad-stitch-basting the collar layers together and then machine stitching, but this didn't work - in other words, the stretch/curve/whatever needs to be placed *exactly* on the line of sewing. So my next variant is going to try that. 

In one sense, it's good to be learning through experimentation, but it's frustrating too sometimes *sigh*