This section is from the book "Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction", by Laura I. Baldt. Also available from Amazon: Clothing For Women: Selection, Design, Construction.
The front of the waist is sometimes finished with a hem on each side. Place a strip of cambric or silk inside the hem to make it firm for sewing fasteners on. This may be placed as in finishing a placket (p. 335) for a skirt. Stay the under side for an extension. Do not turn edges of cloth in on the front of the waist. Pink them, if they do not fray; overcast or bind with soft silk when they do fray. Stitching may ornament the front of the waist, or be omitted. When the stitching is omitted, unless buttons or other ornamentation is used, it will be necessary to hold the hem in place by a row of small running stitches. These will scarcely show when pressed. Take a longer stitch on the wrong side of the waist than on the right. Use snap fasteners, hooks and eyes, or buttons and buttonholes to fasten waist and trimmings. For a curved neck line, cut a facing the same grain as the part of the garment being faced.
If fashion has declared in favor of the freedom of open necks, the collar may be large or small, flat or rolling; or it may be high, standing close to the neck in the back, or flaring away from it. The flat or rolling collar may be made entirely of the material of the dress, or silk, satin or velvet; or the under part of the collar may be made of the dress material and the upper part of silk, etc. The high standing or flaring collar is usually better looking if the outside is cut in one with the waist; this is not always possible. One can readily see, however, the beauty of this unbroken line through the back of the waist. This collar is better lined with silk or satin, both for comfort and appearance.
When high-neck closings are in vogue, close-fitting collars, of net, lace, ribbon or velvet, attached to the vest or guimpe, may be used. These may fasten either in front or back. A high close-fitting collar of the dress material is sometimes worn on a waist that fastens up to the neck in center front or back. Such a collar should have a lining of soft silk to prevent irritation of the skin.
Cut by drafted, draped, or commercial pattern two pieces of material such as you have chosen for the parts of the collar. The upper part should be cut one-sixteenth inch larger than the under, in order to prevent the under side from rolling up when the collar is being worn. Place the right sides together, baste, stitch one-quarter inch from the edge; trim the corners diagonally to prevent thickness, turn to the right side and baste around outside edge. Place the center of the collar to the center of the neck, pin to place, holding the neck of the waist easy. This preserves the roll of the collar and keeps the neck of the waist from spreading open. If for any reason the neck may have become stretched, run a gathering thread through it between these points, draw the thread up, fasten, and then shrink the fulness out. Baste a narrow facing to the collar and neck of the waist and stitch this with the collar. Turn the facing over on the waist, baste the outer edge to hold it smooth; turn and baste the inner edge, and either slip-stitch or machine-stitch to waist. This facing may be of silk or satin cut crosswise if very narrow, one-half-inch finished, or same grain as waist. If bias facings are used, stitch a straight strip of silk on the under side of the seam to prevent the seam from stretching. If one wishes to wear separate collars entirely, the neck of the waist need only be faced and the collar basted to place each time it is changed.
The high-standing, or flaring, collar should be cut and made like the former, except the collar stays are usually set on the collar before turning it right side out, after stitching the two pieces together. The flare is sometimes supported by the use of canvas or other stiffening as an interlining. This must be somewhat soft in finish or the lines of the collar will seem stiff and rigid. This collar may be placed and finished as the one above.
The high, close-fitting collar, if of net, lace or ribbon, should be made as described under Net Guimpes (p. 381). If the collar is made of the dress material, it should be cut from a fitted pattern. If to be bound with braid in one with the waist, do not allow seams at the top or right-hand end. It is well to baste a bias strip of thin cambric or taffeta along the edge, to make it firm for sewing the braid to place. If the collar is to be stitched at the top in keeping with other stitching on the waist, or otherwise trimmed, the upper and lower edges should be turned to wrong side and basted; also the right-hand end. Place a bias strip of cambric along the line of the turning, and turn edges over this. If the collar is to be trimmed with folds, or braid is to be applied, all this should be done before the lining is put in. Press carefully. If hooks are used as fastenings, these should be sewed to place before lining is put in. Cut lining of silk or satin cross-wise. Turn edges in, baste to place, and hem to collar. Stays would be better placed under the lining so that they may not cause friction. Use buttonholed loops instead of eyes for fastening. Do not turn in left-hand end of cloth. Let lining bind it over, to prevent thicknesses. Bind the neck of the waist with seam binding, place collar and sew to neck of waist.