Last post for this Archer, I promise! If you're not into the technical stuff, skip this!
I mentioned before that I mostly didn't read or follow Grainline's instructions when making this shirt. But I did make sure to read the parts about constructing the collar, mostly because I wanted to see how clear it would be to someone who hasn't made a collar before. And the instructions are pretty good! I actually enjoy making collars and they're not really that hard, especially if you know a couple little things going in. So here are my collar-making tips.
One thing I did differently throughout the whole shirt was to edge stitch rather than doing the 1/4" topstitching. In general, I prefer the look of edge stitching to topstitching - just a personal style preference. But I think edge stitching is also a little easier IF you use your blind hem foot or edge stitching foot - there's a fence that your fabric butts up to, so you always stay the same distance away from the edge!
Once my collar was made and I'd attached the collar stand pieces to it, I trimmed very close to the curved edges, except at the very bottom. I've learned from experience that when I trim that bottom edge before turning my collar stand out, it's almost impossible for me to get those seam allowances to stay tucked inside. I didn't trim them off until after my collar stand was attached to the shirt body.
I agree with Lisa when she said that there's a little confusion in the instructions about which part of the collar stand (interfaced or un-interfaced) goes to the outside of the shirt. The interfaced collar stand should be on the outside. You'll want the un-interfaced collar stand to be inside because you'll be turning that under and stitching it down once the collar is attached to the body of the shirt.
To make the collar easier to attach, you should stay stitch around the entire neck edge, starting from center back to each front, at 3/8" - this bit is actually not in the instructions. Then clip into your seam allowance up to the stay stitching all the way around the neck. If you do this, you'll be able to pull your neck edge into an almost straight line and it will be so much easier to sew the collar stand to it. You won't have to do as much easing, so you'll run less of a risk of getting puckers.
The instructions have you attach the outer collar stand to the body, and then turn under the seam allowance of the inner collar stand and hand stitch it in place before topstitching around the entire collar stand. I know a lot of people are averse to hand stitching. I don't mind it, but I don't want to do it if it's redundant! So what I did was to stick some fusible web to my turned-under seam allowance, steam it in place, and then do my topstitching (edge stitching for me) from the outside. No need to worry that the unstitched collar stand inside will slip, because it's held in place with the fusible web!
Of course, 1/4" topstitching in this area won't be as neat as edge stitching. I'd say my stitching line here is about 3/32" from the edge.
On this shirt, I didn't take the steps needed to make a curved collar like I would on a man's shirt. But I still pressed it around my ham once I was done.
Are you afraid of collars? Have you sewn one before? They take a little practice, but I think they're kind of fun!