The saga of the collar beings with the piping.
Once I realized that the braid I had bought was not going to work, I committed myself to making the piping for the collar from the gold silk. I cut many bias strips and inserted the cording by using the zipper foot. This is not difficult, just time consuming.
Attaching the piping to the collar was a bit tricking because I was back to working with the velvet. I basted the piping to the right side of the velvet:
Then I pinned the lining (made from the wool) right sides together with the velvet and hand backstitched the three layers together:
I thought that this was going to be enough to hold the collar together, but I decided to machine stitch it as well after testing it out. Because the velvet was now stabilized by the silk piping and the wool lining, it was much easier to work with and I just sewed over my backstitching:
Things were looking good:
I put the collar on my dress form to get an idea of how it was shaping up and let's hear it for incremental testing! I had accidentally cut the fabric 5" too short:
I was so confused! What could have possibly gone wrong? I went back to my pattern piece and found a little note on it saying "shorten by 5 inches". The only thing that I can figure is that I shortened it twice. *sigh*
I did not have any more velvet, so I had to go back to the fabric store. I got some more velvet, but I also picked up a few more choice pieces:
a silk/rayon brocade remnant
and a ombre dyed silk crepe:
My new problem was that my collar pattern piece was now longer than width of my velvet:
I had wanted to only have one seam on the collar, but I was forced to cut the collar in two pieces. I tried to cut the pattern and the same level that the yoke joined the front and this gave my plenty of fabric to work with.
In the meantime, I picked up this roller foot:
This $2 investment made my life so MUCH better by allowing me to work with the velvet on the machine. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
I had to make more gold piping, but then I was able to machine baste the piping onto the velvet and machine sew the velvet to the wool lining. The process took about a third of the time on the second try.
I now had a collar piece that was the right length. And there was much rejoicing.