Grainline Archer Sew-Along: Attaching the Collar + Stand

 Dun dun duh! Wrestling the collar stand onto a shirt is always the most stressful part of shirtmaking for me. I can’t promise to make this part stress-free, but luckily I do have a few tricks that can help.

Grainline Archer Sew-along: Collar + Collar Stand

One of the first things you need to realize, and that seems backwards, is the inside of the collar stand is the right side. Yeah, the side against your neck is the right side. Weird, huh? But it does make sense if you remember that the collar actually covers the majority of the other side of the stand that is on the RS of the rest of the shirt! Keep this in mind; it means the interfaced collar stand gets attached to the WS of the shirt, and the topstitching should be stitched with the inside (RS) of the stand face up.

OK, now let’s get to the actual steps of attaching the collar + stand. I will be showing you how to use the “burrito method” of attaching the stand, because I think it produces the most consistently nice-looking collar stands. All you have to do to understand this method is stand on your head for a bit. 😉

Grainline Archer Sew-along: Collar + Collar Stand

1. Place the RS of the interfaced collar stand against the WS of the shirt neck, and pin in place. Be sure to extend the ends of the collar stand by whatever seam allowance used on the standwhich is 1/2 inch if you did not alter the Archer pattern. Stitch the interfaced collar stand to the shirt.

Grainline Archer Sew-along: Collar + Collar Stand

2. Place the RS completed collar on the RS of the interfaced collar stand, matching notches.

Grainline Archer Sew-along: Collar + Collar Stand

3. Place the non-interfaced collar stand (left side of image) on top of the collar, also matching notches and front edges, and pin in place around the upper edge only of the stand.

ArcherCollarStand-1-4 Grainline Archer Sew-along: Collar + Collar Stand

Grainline Archer Sew-along: Collar + Collar Stand

4. Now here is the tricky part. You need to fold a bit of the front plackets up inside the 2 collar stands. And you need to do it in a way that you don’t catch the front edge of the placket when you stitch around the front curve of the stand, and also keep the placket out of the way when you stitch a couple of inches along the neck edge of the stand. Sheesh. Oh, and the collar needs to be pushed out of the way of the stitching, too.  And of course you only have the final width of the stand (about 1 1/4 inches!) to cram the front plackets + collar into!! See why this step always makes me break out into a slight sweat? My best advice is for you to fold about 1 inch  of the front placket straight up into the stand, and then fold again at a 45 degree angle, keeping all the front placket edges out of the way of the neck edge stitching line. Just push the collar toward the center back.

Grainline Archer Sew-along: Collar + Collar Stand

5. Stitch around the collar stand, with the interfacing side up so you can see where the neckline stitching is placed. It is a good idea to stitch directionally for this part; meaning start in the middle and stitch to each end. Thee are no issues when you are stitching along the top edge of the stand; just be careful going around the curve so that your stitching is smooth, and do your best to not catch the front placket. You can poke your finger in and push the placket back a bit if you like. When you pivot at the front edge corner, plan on only stitching an inch or 2. I like to stitch just beyond the point where the collar covers the stand, and that is far enough! When you get the neck edge side, keep your needle just a smidge towards the top of the stand; you don’t want your final stitching closer to the neck edge because then the original neck edge stitching will show from the right side.

6. Before you trim the seam allowances, pull on the front placket to turn the stand RS out. this is where you check to see if you caught any part of the placket in the stand stitching. If you did, just unpick and redo it. I probably catch a bit of the placket about 50% of the time, so trust me, the unpicking is not that big a deal.

Grainline Archer Sew-along: Collar + Collar Stand

7. Once your stitching around the stand is as you want it, trim the seam allowances very aggressively. The less bulk the better, especially on the curve and the corner.

Grainlien Archer Sew-along: Collar + Collar Stand

Grainline Archer Sew-Along: Collar + Collar Stand

8. Press well, including pressing the lower seam allowance on the un-interfaced stand under. Now, there are loads of ways to baste this edge to your collar stand neckline stitching, but I prefer hand-basting using the awesome Japanese basting thread from my Etsy store. The fact that it is cotton (i.e. not slippery like poly thread) and thicker means it holds the fabric in place better. Alternatively, you can glue baste or pin, but I have less success with either of those methods.


Grainline Archer Sew Along: Collar + Collar Stand

9. Topstitch on the interfaced collar stand. The first image above is the inside, or RS of the stand, and the second is the view from the RS of the shirt (WS of the stand).

Woot! Have an adult beverage (or two!) and celebrate! All the hard stuff on your Archer is done!

Happy sewing!


6 Responses to Grainline Archer Sew-Along: Attaching the Collar + Stand

  1. Nice! I love to see alternative methods, especially those that put a new twist on existing tips like the “burrito” technique you use for nailing those stand ends. Very similar to what I do, but with the last un-finished seam along the stand/neckline rather than on the inside of the collar/stand as I’m used to. Will have to try this:) Thanks, Maris!

    • Glad you like it, David! You can even extend it a bit after the initial sewing if you want to – it is not that fussy to do because you don’t have all the hoo-haw bunched up inside.

    • Really? My machine makes perfect buttonholes, so that part is easy-peasy to me. IMHO that is one of the real advantages to the very modern electronic machines. Well, OK, to be honest, it is an advantage of my super-expensive Bernina 710. 😉

  2. Thank you for this – the pictures were very helpful. This was my 4th attempt at a shirt and the result using this technique was much neater than my first three attempts to follow the pattern instructions…. still need to put in the button holes, and I have made a mess there too in some of the previous versions (particularly with the one on the collar stand where there is less space to maneuver). Fingers crossed….

    • You are very welcome, Karen. You will definitely get better at making shirts with practice. You should see the first shirt I made my husband! AWFUL! Just hang in there nad keep working at it, and you will see tremendous progress. Best of luck!!

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