European>Cavalier Collars and Cuffs
I've seen basically two ways to make up cavalier period collars.
The first and seemingly more simple of the two is to cut out
a crescent moon shape from a piece of cloth, finish the outer
edges, add lace and ties and you're done. Simple and quick.
The second method was the method used far more in period.
First you cut yourself a long strip of cloth. Then the cloth
is darted or 'clocked' (period term for darts) along one edge
until it forms a 'c' shape. Once this is done, the lace is
added and the collar is attached to a neckband. Not so simple,
not so quick but excellent results.
The method illustrated below is method number two. Why do
I like this method? Whenever I am making up some piece of
historical clothing, I like to use whatever method was used
in period. I also abhor fabric waste (mostly because I can't
afford it). Method number one necessitates the use of a big
hunk of fabric and once the collar is cut out, there is a
great deal of cut-off waste associated with it. Method number
two has no waste associated with it whatsoever. Additionally,
method number one's edges are almost all cut on the bias.
Bias, even though it is our friend, is a pain to work with.
Method number two has no bias cuts whatsoever. Lastly, method
number one is difficult to work with when we get to the lace
stage. If your lace is fairly wide and flat, you will end
up pleating in the lace slightly just to get it to lay flat
around all those curves
another big pain. Method number
two's outer edge is a straight edge; flat laces go on easily
and lay nice.
Making up the collar -
like to use 45" wide fabric, preferably linen. I tear
a strip off (literally - for a good, straight edge) of about
6" in width, from selvedge to selvedge. At this point,
I measure the neck of whom ever is getting the collar and
divide the 45" length by this number. This gives me how
wide my clocks (darts) need to be. I measure and mark each
clock prior to sewing down. Since both ends are selvedge edges,
I don't have to worry about finishing those edges.
Sewing in the Clocks -
There are two ways to sew the clocks in. You can sew them
like darts or you can top stitch them down. I prefer the top
stitching method because this forces the clocks to lay flat
and in the direction that they are sewn in.
Starting at the center for the first
Hand pressing the center clock...
Pressing the first side of clocks...
The first side of clocks sewn down...
Adding Lace -
the clocks are sewn in, I finish the outer edge in preparation
for adding the lace. Normally, I like to faggot stitch my
lace to the edge of the collar for a neat finish - my machine
has a lovely faggot stitch. Even if my machine weren't so
equipped, I'd probably still do this by hand. Alternatively,
you can topstitch the lace on by machine but this looks less
Making the Neckband -
Once the lace is sewn on, I construct the neckband, leaving
one long edge open. I sew in the collar and seal the neckband
edge over it. After ties or whatever you're going to be closing
the collar with is added, viola', a cavalier collar.
A view of the neckband open...
A view of the neckband as the collar