It’s been a while since I raved about a collar.

by Erin on July 6, 2006

Simplicity 4002
I bought this the other day from VintageCassandra on eBay. I'm sure you can see why. Who could resist that collar? It practically reaches out and grabs you by YOUR collar. (Which of course you are wearing. A day without a flamboyant collar is like a day without chocolate.)

I feel, however, much like the dog who chased the car and caught it. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out what to do with this now that I've got it — and by "what to do with," I mean: what fabric should I make this in? When I clicked on "BuyItNOW" I had a dozen ideas of what would work for this, all from my stash; now I have nary a one that doesn't involve a trip to the fabric store for wide black and white stripes, and that is Right Out, seeing as how I'm going to be at Liberty (that is, at liberty AT Liberty) in London in just a hair over two weeks, and every fabric penny must be saved for that momentous occasion. I suppose I could wait until after my trip to sew this up, but of course I want to sew it NOW.

I think Saturday morning will see me spreading yardages all over the ironing board, trying to make a good match. I have some bright seersucker stripe which would be cute–maybe too cute for a matron like myself; I have some blazing scarlet with large white polka dots which would be tremendously overbearing; I have a kicky abstract floral that might be just a little too busy (hah — like anything's too busy for my taste!). I'll line 'em all up and see what comes to mind. I'm sure I have something perfect that I've forgotten about, and, if not, I will put this in the box with the other patterns that are waiting for the arrival of Fabric Charming.

What would you make this in? (Don't say "a nice solid," please, it's too, too dispiriting.)

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous July 6, 2006 at 7:26 am

how about a nice pinstripe?? Gray with a fine red or black or white or offwhite??

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Laura/PFG July 6, 2006 at 7:40 am

can’t be of help, but HAH! Fabric Charming! ;P

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the_lazymilliner July 6, 2006 at 8:01 am

Erin, you’re hardly a matron! You certainly don’t act like one. (I almost said you do act like a matron. Gotta check my work before I hit publish.) As for this dress, I see it in a cheery charmeuse silk shantung, which incidentally just *might* go on sale this weekend at Vogue Fabrics. Go late Saturday afternoon to get first dibs, or at least see if the silk shantung is on sale….

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john July 6, 2006 at 8:06 am

a nice solid with a contrast facing making the collar even more of a stand out

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Valerie July 6, 2006 at 8:21 am

definitely a stripe – I love the chevron effect. although I also like John’s (above) idea of a contrasting collar. maybe a black & white stripe with a white collar. Or men’s shirting in a deep blue with skinny white stripes and a white collar. bam!

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Anonymous July 6, 2006 at 8:28 am

I like the stripe but I also envision this in a nice paisley–about one inch motifs–background dark green, paisley dots navy, burgndy, gold—mmmm, gotta love paisley. With a slight sheen to the surface. Rich.

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Katie July 6, 2006 at 8:40 am

We know it wasn’t just the collar that drew you in; check out the sleeve construction! Great pattern. I like the pinstripe idea or how about a bordered fabric? You could use the border at the hem of the skirt and for the collar (inspired by the broiderie anglaise post a week or two ago).

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Anonymous July 6, 2006 at 8:47 am

katie said border–i agree! you could have it either running down the top of the sleeves (i assume there’s a seam there), onto the collar, or maybe even down the center seam. then again, i love border prints, (maybe too much!). -robin

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Kate July 6, 2006 at 9:06 am

Then there’s the idea of a parti-colored dress. Left side bodice in one color or small print, right side in another and the reverse on the skirt. Too wild? Maybe but worth a thought or two.Kate Q:-)

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melissa joy July 6, 2006 at 9:57 am
Anonymous July 6, 2006 at 11:01 am

I really like the chevron effect on view 2 using a stripe. Buuuuut, if you wanted to go with view 2 (the one with the wowie-zowie 3/4 dolman sleeves–there is a tiny polka-dot on brown out now that would be perfect. Can you tell I was very influenced by the package pic?

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Anonymous July 6, 2006 at 11:10 am

I see the short sleeve version in a print organdy with the front edge and collar finished with binding and then a separate white organdy collar attached for a double layer effect.I see the 3/4 sleeve version in a rustling embroidered silk, either in midnight blue or fresh green.Amy

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Melissa July 6, 2006 at 11:37 am

I’m seeing something like this – http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/reprodepot_1901_70357077with a blue collar.Or something like this – http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/reprodepot_1904_127996139 in the chevron? Too much?What about bottle caps? http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/reprodepot_1901_12309616 Everyone loves bottle caps! With a bright pink collar?Oooo some Urns would be nice, too. http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/reprodepot_1904_148011999 Maybe with a black collar with small white (or red) polka-dots.

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arabellaesmerelda July 6, 2006 at 12:08 pm

Yes, the chevrons depicted in illustration #2 are indeed wonderful. I appreciate how they direct the eye so as to create a slimming look at the waist, where that wide belt cinches things, while pointing outward at the hem, sleeves and of course the collar. Shantung would be nice; perhaps in 3/4″ or 1″ stripes of ochre, dusty rose, chartreuse, blue-violet, gold & turquoise…can you tell I have a specific fabric in mind?How terrific that you can go to Liberty of London! Why just this morning on eBay I saw this!

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oliviacw July 6, 2006 at 12:29 pm

View two looks like she’s in the middle of a hot summer, so I’d go with a cabbage-rose floral print, pink roses over a blue stripe background, perhaps.

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Miss O'Hara July 6, 2006 at 1:25 pm

Ohhhhh, that’s LOVELY! Love it!Hm…A stripe would be nice. What about some of the cute new home decor prints? I saw some (and bought one…) really nice ones by Waverly, including a luscious, springy-coloured floral print with a sort of Moroccan/Indian twist. Maybe a mod print, like those scrounds? (Rounded square) That would make it totally funky! All of that in mind, though – I love the chevrons. They’re gorgeous and sooo flattering.

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jen July 6, 2006 at 1:26 pm

I like John’s idea…play up the collar and a menswear look with blue shirting for the dress and a crisp white for the collar. I’s probably add matching white cuffs on the short-sleeved version.BTW, I’ve only been with you for about 3 weeks, but I’m totally addicted. Almost at the point of pulling my aged sewing machine out of the closet and playing a little.

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Dulcinea July 6, 2006 at 2:40 pm

Maybe it’s because I saw this and found it so cute that I nearly convinced myself that sundresses are more comfortable when worn a couple of sizes too big (http://cgi.ebay.com/vintage-1950s-SUNDRESS-DRESS-MUSIC-HEARTS-NEW-SZ-12-14_W0QQitemZ270004268663QQihZ017QQcategoryZ48868QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem), but I can see the short-sleeved one with the score to some fun summery pop song dancing every which way…no, maybe that’s too busy as well. Hmmmm…

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Becky O. July 6, 2006 at 2:47 pm

Garden gnomes by Munki Munki for the dress, matching red collar!http://www.sewzannesfabrics.com/munkimunki.html

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Esther.A July 6, 2006 at 3:01 pm

I used to work very near Liberty. It’s a lovely old Tudor-looking building, and I remember one Christmas they decorated it by putting one huge red ribbon and bow around the outside of the building, making it look like a gift. Which of course it is. Enjoy your visit.Also, just wanted to say that the London evening paper, the Evening Standard, have two examples of dresses very much like Rowena’s dress of yesterday’s ADAD. Unfortunately, my scanner isn’t working, otherwise I’d send the pics to you, but one is being worn by Jemima Khan and in a black, zig-zag kind of pattern (nice), the other is by Sinha-Stanic,in a sort of raspberry-condom pink, costs 280, and isn’t half as nice as Rowena’s.

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Emily July 6, 2006 at 3:22 pm

I would make this in (don’t hate me) a solid greyish dark blue (Think Abercrombie blue) with a layer of the same color chiffon over it. Would that be weird?

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jenny July 6, 2006 at 4:45 pm

Okay: what about a big, picnic-size gingham check, with a fat grosgrain obi-style belt? It’d be like something out of the “Pajama Game” [I'm thinking of the movie versoion] company picnic scene…

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fox drink water July 6, 2006 at 6:07 pm

There is absolutely nothing wrong with an overbearing polkadot! Embrace the polkadot, I say (while wearing my red sundress with huge white polkadots). Just add a red grosgrain riboon and you’re ready to whirl!

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Minya, Warrior Seamstress July 6, 2006 at 6:14 pm

Lately I’ve been playing with the idea of making a dress look like a blouse & skirt. Solid skirt, print bodice, and a white collar…maybe with an applique echoing the bodice print on the collar (especially if the print is cherries!). My visions tend to be monochromatic: dark blue/blue gingham/rickrack on collar, bright red/cherry print, dark cocoa brown/leaf print/maybe a beige collar on this one. Pattern Review’s One Pattern/Three Looks contest is partially to blame for this, as is my love of piecing and my need to use up odd stash lengths.

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Katana Barnett July 6, 2006 at 6:25 pm

I say, I would wear it in SOLID BLACK! hahaha, kidding. Black, with a teal and blue chevron. I know everyone wants the stripes, and I can’t help but agree. Barring that, I’d like cream,with a delicate violet and pink (so subtle you think it’s a solid cream from a few feet away) pattern (something like scrollwork or lace). with a black collar and bow, i think it would be SO cute. maybe too cute, who am I kidding.

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Katana Barnett July 6, 2006 at 6:26 pm

oh, by bow, I meant the waistband/sash, not an actual little girls’ bow. My subconcious is TRYING to be too cute.

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enc July 6, 2006 at 6:54 pm

Oh b.s., use the seersucker, it can’t be too cute for you! I love the idea of all those converging stripes making chevrons all over the place, especially on the collar. I can’t wait to see shots of the fabrics you buy at Liberty. You ARE going to shoot swatches and post them for us, aren’t you? Aren’t you? (Pretty please)

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Absinthe July 6, 2006 at 8:22 pm

I love the green chevron stripes on the pattern picture. And I also happen to love this dress, too! Show us a picture of it when you make it, pretty please?

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Cookie July 6, 2006 at 9:45 pm

Stripes–so you can play with the diagonal lines. Black and white in polished cotton, medium denim blue and white (or cream) in cotton or linen, red w/smaller white stripes or white w/tiny white stripes in something silk-like.

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Cookie July 6, 2006 at 9:49 pm

uh…that would be “white with tiny red stripes” spaced fairly wide apart

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Anonymous July 6, 2006 at 9:50 pm

I’m seeing a really elaborate sari fabric, done in a chevron effect of course/

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Jilli July 6, 2006 at 10:13 pm

I think the seersucker stripe would be darling.Oh, and w here would you go to buy that wide black & white stripe you mentioned? I’ve been searching for some FOREVER.

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Anonymous July 6, 2006 at 10:14 pm

This is just crying out for the obi-style belt, isn’t it.Lucky for us there is one in the newest Threads magazine.

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rowena___. July 7, 2006 at 6:38 am

knowing how much some people hate matching stripes, i’d suggest a solid color and then PAINT the stripes on. bwahahahahahaha. then you could make wavy stripes AND they’d match. dang, i think i’m going to have to try this.

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Erin July 7, 2006 at 8:23 am

jilli, I found one that I think is meant for patio cushions — a nice heavy duck:http://www.housefabric.com/ProductDetail.asp?ProductID=3230

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La BellaDonna July 7, 2006 at 10:09 am

Dear darling Erin, remember what I wrote you a while ago: that I had read that Liberty is phasing out carrying fabrics (at least at the Liberty stores around the world, if not in London itself), so remember, when you go there, buy lots and lots of fabric.* It’s cheaper than paying postage on Ebay for a yard and a half of something that needs two yards, or two and a half. It’s cheaper than flying back to London for that extra yard, too.I have a Cheatin’ Stripe Solution for matching stripes which I will post back at the striped dress. Or maybe I’ll post it here, everyone seems stripecentric at the moment. I’d already posted a nice lengthy explanation when my post inexplicably got eaten, arrrrghh.*And if you can, get to the V and A, too. Leave noseprints for me on all the display cases.

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Kate in England July 7, 2006 at 10:31 am

I don’t believe Liberty will phase out its prints… not in the home store at least. And if you ever need extra yardage, I’d be happy to act as a go-between, even though I always accidentally spend a ridiculous amount of money in there. Can I come and watch while you shop ;-pAs it happens, I’m making up a kimono right now in a rather fetching Liberty print silk crepe. It would help if I had a picture of the fabric, but I don’t. Anyway, that dress in a Liberty floral print cotton lawn would look lovely.

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Erin July 7, 2006 at 12:23 pm

I am bringing AN EXTRA BAG to carry home all my Liberty in, so never fear. My dream someday is to only wear crazy Liberty prints I’ve sewn myself, every day. Think I can manage it?And don’t worry, the V&A shall see me too! They may have to toss me out at closing, unless I can pull a Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler on them.

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Anonymous July 7, 2006 at 3:01 pm

I LOVE that book!!!! Constantly had it checked out of the library when I was a kid.Oh, the indignity of having to take your bratty little brother when you run away to the museum–just cause he has all the cashola!

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jenny July 7, 2006 at 11:02 pm

I was TICKED the last time I was in London, because the clothing exhibit was closed for refurbishing or whatever, and that was about 90% of the reason I went there!D’you know, Kyra Sedgwick wore a jacket with this same collar on this last week’s episode of “The Closer.” I spent the whole show staring at that collar and trying to figure out how I could get one.You can see it at the very tail end of the And come to think of it, this jacket was made of a solid with thin, widely-spaced stripes. It must be fate…

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jenny July 7, 2006 at 11:11 pm

Oops. Messed that one up. Here’s the corrected version:I was TICKED the last time I was in London, because the clothing exhibit was closed for refurbishing or whatever, and that was about 90% of the reason I went to the V&A.D’you know, Kyra Sedgwick wore a jacket with this same collar on this last week’s episode of “The Closer.” I spent the whole show staring at that collar and trying to figure out how I could get one.You can see it at the very tail end of the video clip of Episode 4: “Aftertaste” under “Episode Guide.”And come to think of it, her collar was made out of a solid with widely-spaced thin stripes, too. It must be fate…

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Floridaprincess July 8, 2006 at 5:55 am

Erin, your such a hoot!!! Fabric charming la la hmmm hmmm la la. Someday my fabric will come haha.Also, when you spend enough money at Liberty. ( I know you will:+) You can get your vat back. This is also nice. I so envy you. London envy, London envy. The only thing I have received from London lately is a $96 phone bill. Yes, thank gawd cox cable made a mistake!!! Dear huband caught it today after a month and straightened the mess out. Cable company gave us credit.

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Marie-Christine July 11, 2006 at 3:02 am

It’s GOT to be a stripe! That collar wouldn’t look the same without it. I like the pinstripe suggestion. You could be allowed a strongly textured solid like a very slubbed duppioni. But this won’t be the same without the directional idea… I’m not at all opposed to overbearing polka dots by the way, by all means use them for something else!

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