Right now there is another UFO blouse on the machine. I’m going to be seeing my sister in a week or two so want to finish up at least one more blouse to give to her. The blouse is cut out of the purple fabric shown on the right:
I like to get the collar unit out of the way first, then it is front bands, shoulder seams, sleeves, side seams, collar and hem. Then buttons and buttonholes. I’ve never been very good at sewing around small curves, and when I try to do a curved collar or collar stand without any help, one side looks very different from the other, probably because you sew from the bottom up on one side and from the top down on the other. Anyway, after I made a botch of one collar and saved the day by crocheting two lace motifs to hide the mismatched collar curves, I looked for some kind of template to make the sewing easier.
This is the freezer paper I use
Freezer paper is a great tool for things like this because you can iron it onto the fabric and it will stick. Quilters use it for a lot of things like applique which is where I first heard of it. I used to use it for stencils when I was into painting t-shirts for my little girls, and baby bibs. I traced the collar pattern and removed the seam allowances, then I realized that I didn’t really need the whole collar, just the end sections.
Freezer paper ironed to collar piece
Hand basting the seam allowance on the under collar
All you have to do for nice even curves is to sew along the edge of the template. For this kind of collar which is really a collar and stand combined into one pattern piece, it is helpful to reduce the stitch length in the ‘V-shaped’ section where the curve of the stand meets the bottom of the collar.