If you follow me on Pinterest, you are well aware of my Lost-Boy-inspired collar obsession. My sewing inspiration boards should probably be retitled 1000 Images of Peter Pan Collars. I love them. If every dress in my closet had such a collar, my life would be complete. Thus, it was ridiculous that I hadn't yet drafted one myself. Following up with my 2012 Intentions (#4. Challenge myself), I decided to fix that with this project.
Since I'm not a total daredevil, this collar experiment was performed with some unloved stash fabric. This brown cotton flannel is one I bought in The Great Fabric Mart Sale, for something ridiculous like $2.50/yard. While it is quite warm, it's also brown. Not even the subtle green and chocolate stripes in the plaid made me love this fabric. Thus, the opportunity to jazz it up with a coordinating green collar & fabric-covered buttons proved irresistible.
A collar! Buttons! Joy!The most interesting part of this dress is, naturally, the collar. For tips on collar pattern drafting, I watched the divine Gertie's YouTube video series: Drafting a Peter Pan Collar. I didn't follow the directions precisely, as I made a full collar (there was no lovely button-back to show off), but it proved remarkably helpful. My collar ended up delightfully, perfectly round!
For the pattern, I wanted something simple. I loved the high neckline of Colette's Peony Dress and already had the bodice fit perfectly, but opted for the fuller, gathered skirt of Simplicity 2180. They worked together beautifully. (After I chopped five inches off the skirt, anyway.) I did make one slightly unorthodox decision, however, by omitting the Peony sleeves. It's a winter dress and flannel, which makes one think sleeves, but I love to layer. Bulky sleeves beneath a cardigan is not a look I'm a fan of. Thus, for wearability's sake, I opted for a sleeveless style.
For construction help, I consulted a few sources, but ended up doing it my own way. I sewed the collar to the right side of the bodice, exactly as it would lay, then finished them both together with bias tape. Not only was the inside finish clean, but it allowed the collar to turn perfectly.
In the back of the dress, the collar runs the whole length of the bodice. Since there was enough room in this pattern, I omitted the back zipper, in order to preserve the integrity of my imagined collar design. I have no problem wriggling in and out of a dress, if it means I end up with a full working collar. At the last minute, I also decided to add three fabric-covered buttons down the bodice in the same green as the collar. With the high Peony neckline. the bodice needed something else to balance out that sea of brown. Also, I just love buttons.
Back bodice & collar (Wrinkled, as I wore this all day and couldn't face ironing it again afterwards for poor Hedy.)
In the end, The Wendy Dress is a very wearable little garment. It is the last of my true winter sewing, as it feels like spring is just around the corner here in Texas. However, I can easily see myself making this in a few warmer weather iterations. Alas, I do fear a great tide of Peter Pan collars is in my future. They're almost too easy not to add to dresses!
Also: shoe love! These are the Jada heel from Naya Shoes, which can currently be had for a song, in all colors, at DSW. I love my burgandy ones, but they had a lovely dark teal option as well. Who could resist such a gorgeous vintage-inspired heel?