How to Sew the Matcha Top Collar
Since we launched the 2017 Fall/Winter Collection it's clear that the Matcha Top is a crowd favorite. This boxy design by Sew Liberated has a flattering gathered neckline with a mandarin-inspired collar.
The collar is designed to lay flat against the neckline and really highlights your collar bone and frames your face. It's a lovely detail we haven't seen in other designs. And because the collar is the focal point of this top, we wanted to offer a step-by-step photo tutorial of the process to ensure you have success sewing your own Matcha Top.
This process is straightforward and will follow the pattern's instructions (except for one detail that is based on my own personal preference). If you're not someone who needs much visual guidance, you will likely have no problems sewing the collar reading the instructions from the pattern.
For those, like me, who might need a few color photos of the process, follow along below. The instructions below will start at step 6 of the pattern's instructions. For this tutorial, I sewed my Matcha Top in our Watermelon Ribbed Tencel Twill.
1. Baste the neckline to prepare for gathering.
Change your stitch settings to the longest straight stitch length on your sewing machine.
Sew two lines of basting stitches around the back neckline, from shoulder detail to shoulder detail at 3/8" and 3/4". Leave long thread tails at each end of the stitch.
Sew two lines of basting around the front neckline, from shoulder detail to the center front topstitching also at 3/8" and 3/4". Leave long thread tails at each end of the stitch.
2. Prepare collar to be sewn onto neckline.
If you haven't yet, interface the wrong side of one collar. Press the raw edge of the inner collar (I prefer use the non-interfaced collar as the inner collar) up by 5/8" around the entire bottom curve of the collar.
Pin the inner and outer collar, right sides together. Change your stitch settings back to a normal stitch length. Sew the collars together along the two short edges (I sew right over the fold of the inner collar - see next photo) and the long curved edge.
Trim the seam allowance of the long curved edge (I use a rotary pinking blade) and the corners of the collar as pictured below. Turn the collar right side out, using a point turner to make sharp corners. Press the collar well.
3. Attach the collar to the neckline.
Now, pin the collar to the neckline matching the center back notches, the shoulder notches, and aligning the center front of the collar with the center front neckline.
Pull the bobbin threads of the basting stitches so that the collar fits onto the neckline. Be sure to concentrate at least 1/3 of the front gathers close to the center front. You may feel like the fabric needs to be gathered a lot for the collar to fit onto the neckline. This is normal.
Sew the collar to the neckline with a 5/8" seam allowance. Make sure to keep the inner collar away from your sewing machine needle, so that you're only sewing the outer collar onto the neckline.
Here is where I deviate from the pattern a bit. I don't trim the seam allowance of the outer collar after sewing. In fact, I like to have more seam allowance to press up so that I have plenty of fabric to stitch my inner collar to when securing it down. This is my personal preference, I encourage you to experiment to see what your preference is.
Press the neckline seam allowance up towards the top of the collar.
And press the inner collar down so that the fold meets the stitch line. Pin well.
4. Slip stitch the inner collar to the neckline.
If you're like me and have sworn off all hand sewing, I encourage to try a slip stitch to secure the inner collar to the neckline. The result is an invisible stitch that achieves a much cleaner result that blind stitching that seam by stitching in the ditch.
To slip stitch, simply place your hand sewing needle through the fold of the collar about 1/8" and then sew another small stitch right into the seam allowance of the neckline at the stitch line. Here's a great tutorial on the process.
That's it! You can now proceed in finishing your Matcha Top according to the pattern instructions.
I love how the dramatic neckline really draws the eye up. You can also see how the gathers in the back look in the photo below. Here I'm wearing my Matcha Top with my newly sewn Ginger Jeans (View B).
The top is slightly cropped and looks great with high-waisted pants. I can see this outfit being in constant rotation this fall and winter!
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