Have you ever looked at photo of a great dress, a truly great dress, but there was just something missing? For me, that is often the collar and cuffs. Be it a beautiful fashionable dress or a basic utilitarian dress, women protected their clothing from perspiration with personal linens in the form of collars, fichus and cuffs. Including these simple cotton pieces can really make or advance an outfit. Skipping this finishing component can really set your image back.
Here a sampling of women at work domestically from Lilly Martin Spencer.
Collars, cuffs and fichus varied and somewhat evolved as years and decades went on. You will want to study your particular years of focus to determine the shape, width and treatment that is appropriate for you.
In general, each will take a minimum of material; a fat quarter of fine muslin, lawn or organdy can make nice collar and cuff options. I suggest starting simply, with a hand rolled hem and bias binding for the collar and a simple, hemmed and folded cuff. The fichu directions below can be made a half yard of fabric. Having a few of these on hand is very handy. 😉