Thanks to Alison for sponsoring the Phildar Fillies knit-along. I've enjoyed watching the progress of other Phildar projects.
I did end up cutting 3/4" off of each center front and finished the edge with a zigzag machine stitch. I found that my regular machine foot does have a tendency to stretch the fabric. It probably would have been a good idea to use a walking foot to minimize the stretching, but I did ok without one.
Attaching the collar was a simple process. I just followed the detailed directions in the pattern book. I pinned the collar to the outside of the sweater positioning it so that more stitches were on the front. Then I pulled out all but one row of the red stitches. The last row of red stitches was unraveled stitch by stitch as I sewed each collar stitch to the sweater with a backstitch.
Satin Hook and Eye Tape
The pattern didn't have much detail on how to attach the hook and eye tape so I decided to handle it in the same way I hand sew a quilt binding. The goal is to fold the tape around the edge of the sweater fabric and tack it down with an invisible stitch. The top and bottom edges of the tape are hidden by folding them to the inside of the tape. I recommend using a needle with a small eye.
I started by basting (or pinning) the back half of the tape to the sweater and then carefully stitching down the tape. Once the back of the tape was secured I folded it to the front and stitched this edge of the tape to the front of the sweater. I used an invisible stitch that I taught myself and find difficult to explain but I'll try.
I start the stitch by inserting the needle into the fold of the tape, trying not to catch either side of the tape (just a piece of the fold). After the needle catches a small amount of fabric from the fold I push the tip of the needle out. To finish the stitch, I catch a bit of fabric from the sweater, then tug the needle free and tighten the thread so the stitch doesn't show.