When I made my anchor M6696 I thought a fair bit about the collar. It felt too floppy and wide and tall.

I’m not sure you can really tell here. I have worn this a fair amount in the real world (although with a new rule of not with knee socks, as I feel too juvenile), and here is what the collar does.

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It sits up and sags out. This is after one day of wear, with a good iron in the morning. Also proving that my resting bitchface isn’t just for regular blog photos. Here’s a bathroom selfie of the whole outfit, with cropped Bonnie which is basically my platonic, ideal outfit, but where I’ve strategically accidentally hidden the collar from view.

IMG_4995I need to make a million more of these so I can wear them every day.

And here is my twister dress, which I managed to also not get any good collar photos of, but where you can see it’s better.

I would say this is one less button done up than the anchor dress, and the collar is sitting in a similar place. Which means that, when done up, it would sit actually at the base of my neck and not about an inch forward as the anchor dress does.

Here is a photo of a boughten shirt I own, and now only wear for interviews because, although it was the most comfortable, well fitting shirt I’d ever owned when I bought it, it is actually a fitting nightmare.

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I wish I’d taken one of just the shirt, but since this was an actual before-job selfie (I didn’t get it) I couldn’t bear to. It was too much of a mess. The collar, as you see, is too big and high, even after ten minutes of fussing with it. The armscyes pull. The back yoke pulls. There are strain lines EVERYWHERE. And it fits me about as well as any bought shirt is going to. I notice people wearing similarly fitting shirts all the time.

I’m not quite sure where this is leading. I guess the thoughts I have about this are yes, I was right that the collar was sitting funny, and right about why and what would fix it (HOORAY! That happens so rarely, it’s almost worth a whole post by itself). And also, about RTW standards vs sewing standards of fit, and where that line is between reasonable fitting and over fitting. I basically can’t bring myself to buy tops anymore because the armscyes are all too low, and quite often the sleeves are on the bias or set in wonky and I know it will always pull. I would never have noticed that before getting better at sewing. I just would have noticed that that particular shirt was annoying to wear.

I know a lot of my makes are far from perfect. Some have flaws that are pretty glaring to me, and sometimes make me feel a bit shy about sharing them when there are so many amazing, skilled people out there. Mostly I share them as a record for myself, because I think flawed makes are still makes and I like it when I see other people making things that aren’t perfect. Those can be the most constructive makes, as well as not making me feel as if everyone else has some magic fitting spell that I don’t know, when really everyone has fit issues they need to work out. Some more than others, but everyone has something, or sometimes, when their garments aren’t fitting right.

And another large part of why I share them is to reflect on a make and what I did that was good, and what I could have done better or more precisely. I know I’ve been sewing quite imprecisely lately and I’d like to make an effort to slow down and be more careful, because those are the mistakes that I feel really let a garment down. Like the placket on my twister dress, or the wonky waistband on my latest in-progress M6696. I will still wear them. Some of them won’t be noticed by non-sewists, I think almost no one in the non-sewing world notices drag lines, for example. And if they do, who cares? Sometimes there’s a dragline there because we have growing, changing bodies that need to move, and unless I want to dress like a female superhero, I am always going to have some fitting ‘problem’. So there’s no point getting too het up about it.

Life has wrinkles. And RTW clothes, even high end ones, often have wonky seams and strange fit quirks. We just don’t always notice as much because we didn’t sew the seam ourselves. And yes, I do want to get better at fitting my clothes to my body, that’s a large part of why I sew, plus getting to feel smug about solving a puzzle, like I do about that collar. But I also don’t think I’ve failed just because a particular garment isn’t perfect. Putting on the RTW shirt and remembering how pleased I used to be by the fit was an interesting moment. I don’t think I’d buy it now. It just looks like such a mess to me. And maybe in another era it would have been not fit for public consumption. But I don’t like in the 30s, I live now, where most people wear ill-fitting RTW and it’s normal. So if I still have little dimples in my knit tops above my boobs, that’s fine. I’d rather I didn’t but I’d also rather I never had to wear shoes or stockings ever, but I live in the real world, where I have to, and where my body is a certain shape, and where I don’t really have a conclusion to this post.

Here’s a picture of my cat.

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2 thoughts on “Some thoughts about collars, and fit

  1. I love your detailed sewing musing posts! I feel like I’m at Craft Camp, or at least sewing myself. I’m not, I’m on the couch under a cat. But I’m learrrrrning.

    1. I’m glad it’s not just me shouting into the void! I like reading this kind of thing when others post it, for the same reason. I’m on the train, but my brain thinks it’s sewing!

      Maybe this is why I don’t finish many things…

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