Thoughts on the Hawthorn Collar & BonusTutorial: Finishing The Facing Edge

My Hawthorn dress is coming along nicely.  Tonight I spent some time working on the collar and facing.  I ran across an issue with the collar, that I know other people have had to.  If you sew it according to the pattern instructions, it comes up short.

Here’s what I mean.  If you sew it up as directed, the ends of the collar don’t quite reach the dots.  (I double checked that I had marked my bodice pieces correctly, and cut out the right pattern pieces.)
Ideally, the end of the collar should align with the corner of the bodice, as indicated by the pencil.  Look closely at the samples on Colette’s website, particularly the close up of the white dress, and you see where it should end.

So how to fix this?  It’s simple.  When you sew the interfaced and un-interfaced pieces of the collar together, sew the short sides with a 1/4″ seam allowance, instead of a 5/8″ seam allowance.  If you do, everything matches up!


Specifically, sew the short sides (in orange) with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Sew the long side (in yellow) with a 5/8″ seam allowance. Then trim the long edge down to 1/4″ and follow the rest of the instructions.
Hawthorn collar

Oh and a quick tip I learned in tailoring class — when sewing the two collar pieces together, sew with the interfaced piece facing up towards you.  The stretchier fabric (the un-interfaced piece) should be on the bottom touching the feed dogs.  I don’t fully understand the mechanics of this, but it does seem to work and the two pieces stay together better.  🙂

Now on to the tutorial….

You need to finish the outside edge of the facing unit.  I thought about serging mine, but I like pretty insides.  So, I did a Hong Kong finish instead.  If you want to try this too, do it  before you sew the facing onto the dress! [EDIT: You might want to wait to finish the facing until after you sew it to the dress and the skirt to the bodice are sewn together.  See my comments in Part Two of this Tutorial.]

What you will need:  Your completed facing unit and a 1″ wide bias strip that is long enough to go around the outside edge of the facing.

I made my own bias tape out of some light weight cotton lawn.  I suppose you could use store bought bias tape, but that stuff is thick and stiff, so I don’t recommend it.

Pin the bias tape to the facing, right sides together.

Stitch with a 1/8″ seam allowance.

This is how it will look after stitching.

Next fold the bias tape up and over and press it flat.

It should look like this after pressing.

Now fold the bias tape around and under the edge.  Press.

This is what it should look like from the front side.

Next stitch in the ditch all the way around the facing.  This will keep the bias tape in place.

Finally, trim the excess off the back.  (You don’t need to worry about the raw edge of the bias tape, it won’t ravel because it’s cut on the bias!  Pretty nifty, eh?)

And voila!  You have a nicely finished facing.


11 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Hawthorn Collar & BonusTutorial: Finishing The Facing Edge

  1. Great tutorial. It didn’t look like your bias tape was folded/pressed before attaching… is this another tip or just an example of where pressing isn’t necessary? I’m curious!

  2. Thanks so much for the tips!! That totally makes sense about the collar. 🙂 Thank you for pointing that out!! And I love the finish on your facing!! I can’t wait to try it out soon. xo

  3. It is looking so nice!!!! I like Hong Kong finishes also. They make me smile when I go to put on the garment. It looks all neat and tidy 🙂 Thank you for sharing that tip about the collar, sometimes I have to do this also with other garments that do not match up. :0) m.

  4. Pingback: Hawthorn Facing Tutorial Part 2 | Purls and Pleats

  5. Pingback: Completed: More PJs | Purls and Pleats

  6. Pingback: Completed: Hawthorn Dress | Purls and Pleats

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