I run, I craft, I write, and I make your favorite clothes.

I have written books about sewing for children and adults and I'm the indie designer’s patternmaking secret weapon. I've taught video and in-person classes to anyone who would listen since 2008. I believe that sewing clothes is a radical act of self-love that increases your sense of self-worth. I'm basically your sewing fairy godmother.

How to Turn a Crisp Corner

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CollarPinItIf you don’t know already, I basically learned to sew by watching “Sewing with Nancy” on PBS.  It was my favorite show as a kid.  She always had the greatest tips I could file away for when I actually made clothes for myself (and not just Halloween costumes, which was where most of my sewing efforts ended up in my elementary to middle school years; costumes and Barbie clothes.)

One of my most-used techniques is the “wrapped corner” she demonstrated one day long ago. It’s a great technique for getting a nice point on a collar, and the sailor collar on the Goodship Dress is no exception!  Follow along to make a perfectly crisp corner:

1. Stitch your outside collar seam – that’s the one that does not eventually get attached to the neckline.  On the Goodship it’s the long, straight edge.

2. Press your seam allowances to the under collar side of your collar – that’s the part that doesn’t show unless you flip up the collar in quintessential 80’s style.   On the Goodship, it’s likely a contrast color.

3. Stitch those seam allowances down to the under collar.  I like to use an even zigzag stitch (see below) at about a presser foot’s width away from the seam.  You don’t have to trim this on the Goodship  collar.

GSDCollarStep (2)

4. Fold the collar right sides together, then sew your collar side seams – the short sides on a regular collar that do not form the neckline.  Goodship collar has two curved side seams.GSDCollarStep (3)

5.  Clip the curviest part of the side seams up to, but not through, the seam you just sewed. This might seem strange,  but do not clip the corners.GSDCollarStep (4)

6. Fold the side seam allowances over the understitched seam allowance at the corner. This is not a right angle on the Goodship collar,  but you don’t need a 90 degree corner to have a crisp corner.GSDCollarStep (6)

6. Place your fingers inside the collar and pinch this stack together while you turn the collar right sides out.  Repeat for the other corner. (If you have a tiny corner on a tiny blouse, you can use a tool like a hemostat to hold the corner for you.)GSDCollarStep (7)

7. Press your collar wrong sides together, smoothing out those curves side seams (As you can see, I didn’t make it to that step yet), then admire your beautiful collar point.  It will stay lovely once you press it, because that nice fold is holding everything in place.GSDCollarStep (1)

I hope you get a lot of use from this quick tip.  I know I use it every single time I sew anything with a corner!

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  • Jane on Whidbey August 24, 2015, 3:00 pm

    I love Nancy, too. I’ve spent many happy hours watching. I didn’t catch this one, though, so thanks for sharing it. I don’t make collars any more, because I find them uncomfortable and unflattering, but I’ll be doing other sewing that would benefit from this.

  • Santie February 24, 2020, 5:00 am

    Hi, please sign me up for the newsletter. Thanks!


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