Monday, August 24, 2009

July 09 Program: Necklines and Collars by Joanne Zutz

Ready to branch out and create some interesting new necklines for your lovely machine knit sweater or dress? The most common neck opening is the jewel neckline - or crew neck. This neck opening simply follows the curve of the base of the neck. The back usually has a slight curve of only 3/4" deep, while the front neck depth is anywhere from 3-3/4" to 4-1/4" deep. The curve of the neckline falls mainly at the center front with the sides going straight until they reach the shoulder seam.

A boat neck is simply a cast-off top edge to a knit front and back that have a straight or shaped top edge. Here's a great boat neck tip: Gather your back shoulder edge slightly when attaching the front shoulder to allow the front neck to drop slightly.

Other common neck opening shapes are square, curved, v-neck, as well as a variety of other shapes.

Neck edges can be finished in several ways:
  • Faced - A separate piece of fabric is made the same shape as the neck opening and is attached to the neck edge and turned to the inside along the seam where it is sewn to the garment.
  • Hemmed - In knits, this is usually a hung hem, or tubular edge.
  • Bound - Binding is usually knit separately from the garment and is either applied later by hand, or with the use of your knitting machine.
  • Hand Finished - This technique is often very decorative and may employ either lace or crochet.
Mastered the various (or at least a few) necklines? Try adding a collar! It is exciting to note that collars can be added to many of the necklines listed above and are a great way to finish the neck opening of a garment.

There are many types and styles of collars - below is a list of some of the more common variations:

Peter Pan Collar - This type of collar treatment lies flat against the garment and is curved to match the neck opening. To achieve this collar shape, simply short row around the front outer edge of the collar to the neck edge, opening tension slowly.
Peter Pan Collar

Mandarin Collar - This collar stands straight up from the garment and has either a straight or very slightly curved edge which attaches to the garment. You may choose to try ribbing to achieve a slightly firmer collar.
Mandarin Collar

Tie Collar - This is an extension of the Mandarin Collar. There are tie extensions added to the center front edges of the collar which allow it to be tied into a bow.

Turtleneck - This is also a variation of the Mandarin Collar, but is taller which allows it to be either turned or scrunched down to cover the entire neck. By comparison, a Mockneck only covers part of the neck.

Convertible Collar (aka Polo Collar) - This collar typically comes to a point. It is often necessary to create a collar stand so the center back of the collar sits slightly higher than the front points. The collar can be worn either fastened at the front, or worn open creating a shallow "V" shape in the front. This style of collar is often used for tab front garments.
Sport Collar

Shawl Collar - This collar is created through an extension of the front band and extends to the center back. The outer layers of the front band turns under to become the bottom of the collar and the inner layer of the front band becomes the outer layer of the collar.
Shawl Collar

Cowl Neck - This collar treatment actually reverses the curve of the natural neck opening to create a drape in the center front that lays in a series of gentle folds, depending on fullness.

Good luck and have fun when creating your special neck interest!