I would say that one of the most important things to keep in mind when sewing a collar is what I consider to be one of the golden rules of sewing: reduce bulk whenever possible!
Unlike this collar, many incorporate interfacing to give stiffness and sharpness. I follow the same concept, except I cut out as much of the interfacing in the seam allowance as possible because it is not going to affect the strength of the seam (this works for both sew-in and fusible interfacings):
Another prominent place to reduce bulk is at the shoulder seams. See all that shoulder seam allowance? No need for it!
So now that we've taken care of the sides, let's talk about corners. This probably isn't anything new to you, but the best way to reduce bulk at the corners is to cut across the seam allowance at an angle:
This seam could use more trimming, but when doing so cut carefully and conservatively. If you cut too close to the corner seam (or any seam really), it can pull apart when turning out.
Now that we've reduced some bulk, how do you get that elusive knife-edge?
This can be quite difficult at times, especially when you can't press open the entire seam. This is a time where good pressing skills are essential, and unfortunately that really only comes with practice. There are however tools that can be incredibly useful for this, such as a tailor's ham or seam roll for curved seams, or a point presser & clapper for hard to reach areas. If you're in a bind or simply don't have one, never fear; the straight edge of a butter knife can work just as well (although it may take some more maneuvering).
Are you still with me? I know this is a long post, but it's almost over! Just one more thing I want to cover briefly: collar attachement.
This can often be the most frustrating part because sometimes you are attaching a straight piece of fabric to a curved edge (like this one).
As you can see from the photo above, the collar edge won't always lay perfectly against the neck edge. This is where ease becomes a huge factor in making it work. Unfortunately easing is another one of those things that comes with practice, so if you have trouble with easing don't give up!! The best way to success is to line up your notches, markings, and edges and pin them (vertically) in place, and then work from those points.
Almost done!! Now that the collar is in place, it's time once again for some good pressing. Press the seam up into the collar, and work out any wrinkles or bunching with your fingers and steam.
And there you have it..a flat, sharp, smooth , happy collar!
Although it's finished I want to wait and show it modeled..it really doesn't have a lot of hanger appeal. Pics tomorrow! :)