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Page 5h. How to Make Ribbon & Lace Collars &
How to Make Stand Up Collars

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Susan Kramer
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5. Attach Lace to Finished Side of Skirt Hems
5. Contrasting Top Stitch
5a. Decorative Edging Stitch
5a. Decorative Stitching on Ribbon Trim
5b. Horizontal Trims
5b. How to Attach Lace and Ribbon to Sleeves
5c. How to Attach Lace to Underside of Skirt Hems
5c. How to Gather Skirts
5d. How to Hand Sew Doll Bodies and Clothes
5d. How to Make a Lined Bodice
5e. How to Make a Ribbon Waistband
5e. How to Make Contrasting Panels in Skirts
5f. How to Make Rolled Hems
5f. How to Sew Skirt to Bodice
5g. How to Sew On Sticky Tape Closures
5g. Press then Sew Doll Clothes
5h. Ribbon and Lace Collars
5h. Stand Up Collars
5i. Vertical Trim
5j. Circle Skirts


  • 5h. Ribbon and Lace Collars

    This tutorial is an easy method to attach lace and ribbon at the neckline of your special doll dresses. I think that the lace and ribbon together form a combination that makes doll dress collars look very dressy and fancy.
    18 inch doll dress collar; photo credit Susan Kramer
    In the first photo you'll see a finished lace and ribbon collar. It is being modeled by my 18 inch Gotz doll Emily.

    Sewing Technique

    - First sew shoulder seams of front and back bodice together and press open.

    - Now, if your neck edge seam allowance is one quarter inch, clip on round edges almost to that width, about one eighth inch.

    - Turn the seam allowance to finished side of bodice instead of inside. Baste in place.
    18-inch doll dress; photo credit Susan Kramer
    - Working on the finished side of bodice, sew lace in place so that the lace falls down over the bodice and the edge of the lace is even with the neck edge.

    - The ribbon is sewn over the lace. I hand sew the lace on so that I do not disturb the design on the ribbon.

    See the 2nd photo for an example of the work in progress.

    I recommend using either one quarter inch or one eighth inch wide ribbon for the neckline as it should be wide enough to represent a collar.

    Also, my preference is for a decorated ribbon but if the dress had a busy pattern then a plain collar would give the eye some relief.

    I also prefer, in general, satin more than cross grain ribbon, but again, it is really what fits with the dress material chosen.

    If you decide to use a white or plain material for the dress bodice it will give the illusion of being a blouse and skirt. And it is a nice background for the lace and decorated ribbon collar.

    Most of all, have fun and be creative in your choice of materials for doll dresses and the neckline finishes!


    Article and photo credit Susan Kramer

    5h. Stand Up Gathered Collars

    This is a tutorial for what I think is one of the more interesting collars you can make for doll dresses. It can be made instead of most other collars, too. For variety use a contrasting color from the bodice of the dress. For example, if the bodice is white, such as for a blouse, use the fabric of the skirt for the stand up collar.

    Helene, my 18 inch Corolle doll is modeling this dress.
    stand up collar on bodice of costume by Susan Kramer
    Also, the stand up collar could be in lace rather than dress fabric. The choices are limitless, and up to you to suit the individual costume.

    I developed this technique quite by chance when experimenting with different ways to dress up the neckline of my doll clothes.

    Here is how to make a stand up collar to fit a dress for the full bodied 18 inch dolls like American Girl, for example - and as shown in the photo.

    You'll need to cut a strip of fabric 20 inches long and 2 inches wide along the grain of fabric. Fold in half, press, and gather to fit neck edge - this is assuming the neck edge is 10 inches. Fold in the raw edges at the ends one quarter inch and blind stitch closed.

    In general, the fullness should be twice the length of the neck edge. And decide how high the collar should stand. Then cut the fabric twice that width plus one half inch for the seams on both long edges.

    After sewing together the front and back bodice at the shoulder press the seam open so it will lie flat.

    Baste right side of the gathered lace or fabric stand up collar to the good side of neck opening. The top edge of the collar will momentarily be facing downward over the bodice.

    Now, using a bias strip sew one long edge to right side of neckline over the collar seam. Clip curves. Fold bias strip to inside of neckline, turning in once and blind stitch to wrong side of neckline.

    Usually, I finish the back seam of bodice by turning the open back seam in twice on each center edge and hand or machine stitching to make a one-fourth inch hem.

    If you check out some of the dress patterns on the BellaOnline doll making site you will see some with lace at the neckline and also other neckline finishes to choose from.


    Article and photo credit Susan Kramer

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    page updated March 14, 2009
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