Following Directions

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As I pinned the Peter Pan collar on to my project du jour in order to make sure I was happy with its size, I contemplated the order of sewing the second yoke, facing, and collar to the dress. My instincts were to sew them together as I have previously for my husband’s button down shirts: get all of the pieces on the body of the garment sewn well and then add the collar in such a way as to hide the seam. Except, when I checked the (meager, if I’m allowed to admit!) instructions that came with the dress pattern, they suggested I sew both yokes, then add the collar, then cover the collar seam with not only the front facing but also an additional facing piece at the back.

Now, as this is my first Peter Pan collar ever, my question to you is whether I should follow the pattern instructions and take advantage of the facings or follow my own path and not worry with so many facings? What method is best for this type of collar?

And, just to sate my curiosity, I’m also wondering how often you find yourself breaking away from following directions when it comes to sewing instructions?

21 thoughts on “Following Directions

  1. Alicia says:

    Usually if I break away from the instructions, it’s by accident. I just keep going without really realizing it and all of a sudden I’m three steps ahead but in a different order. It generally works out though. I’m excited to see the finished shirt – I really like the polka dots!

  2. jillybe says:

    Love that fabric! I don’t do traditional yokes & collars often, so can’t help you there.

    As far as following pattern directions, I probably deviate a bit more than is practical. I like to think that I have a good reason for doing it, and occasionally that (may be) true – other times I’m just too scattered, or perhaps delusional. But that’s how happy accidents happen!

  3. Blogless Anna says:

    As I get more confident and learn improved ways to do the same thing, I’m constantly stepping away from the instructions and doing my own thing. I’ve been sewing a lot of Japanese patterns (in English) lately and they are very sparse on instructions. This means I glance at the instructions and diagrams at the beginning and go on my own merry way. No peter pan experience (yet), so I can’t help with your specific question. Good luck.

  4. Handmade Jane says:

    I’ve made a few blouses with Peter Pan collars, both with and without facings and my advice would be leave the facings off. Facings add so much more bulk and rarely sit flat, they’re a real pain – I hate them! I generally finish the inside of my collars with bias tape and it works a treat. Good luck, the dress looks lovely. x

  5. Kat says:

    Lovely dress coming along and I love the fabric. “Meagre” is being *really* kind when it comes to BurdaStyle instructions – which I never ever follow. I always deviate from instructions and go to my trusty sewing books instead. Or I just follow my instincts and try something new. Trying different ways of doing things is really the only way to find out what works and what doesn’t, so I’m with everyone else…trust your instincts and do what you think is right. I suppose a ‘facing’ could also be a bias binding so you could try that as well to finish things off.

  6. Anne W says:

    I wouldn’t have thought you’d need facingas as well as a yoke! I normally read through the given instructions, then follow my own order of work. With a Peter Pan collar I usually use a binding over the seam, then from the right side, hidden by the fall of the collar, topstitch through all the layers about 2mm away from the seam. This on the blouse side, not collar side. Hope that makes sense…

  7. Amanda says:

    That’s looking super cute- love the fabric! I sometimes go rogue and follow my own judgement on particular parts of a garment. If it is something new or a different way to do something I’ll follow the instructions.

  8. Clio says:

    I stray from the instructions ALL the TIME. I sew a lot of Burda, so it is often a necessity. But with any pattern, even if I follow the construction order, I always use the best technique that I know for a given job (ie: using interfacing when the pattern doesn’t specify, installing a zipper the way I think is better, hand sewing certain things, machine sewing others, lining differently, seam or hem finishes, etc). Pattern instructions will usually get you from fabric to garment, but it rarely will get you from fabric to the best sewn version of that garment. I guess point of view this comes with experience.

  9. Cheryl Lemmons says:

    This is looking great! Beautiful fabric. I’ve gotten to where I ignore the instructions and do what my experience tells me works best. As a general rule, I attach collar stands and collars before sewing the side seams. More and more, I’m sewing sleeves in flat and then sewing up the side seams as well (especially in less tailored garments).

  10. Laura says:

    I only check the instructions if there is some funky stuff going on with the pattern. Otherwise I sew everything up in the order I feel is sensible. After all I learnt that order from other patterns :-)

  11. nicolerunde says:

    Love your fabric–where is it from?

    I like how the Banksia Blouse (megan nielsen) uses bias tape to finish the collar seam. I don’t like having a facing, like how it’s done in the Colette Violet Blouse

    • Amy says:

      I bought this Marc Jacobs polka dot embroidered silk from Mood with my Mood Sewing Network allowance. I’ll post more details about it this week, but if you want to get a jump on everyone else, it’s listed online here.

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