Flat Collars : Different types & and Essential Sewing methods

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how to sew flat collars

A flat collar is a simple, flat, and unstructured collar that lies flat against the neckline of the clothing, without any buttons, flaps, or other embellishments.

As the name suggests, it lies flat on the garment’s neckline, rather than standing up or folding over; the inside edge of the flat collar and the neckline are the same. When worn, it lies flat on the shoulder, not propped up on stiff band as it is with most of the collars.

It is considered a casual and feminine-looking collar. 

This is an oft seen collar on kids’ dresses. It is usually cut in a rounded shape for girls’ dresses or else pointed.

A flat collar rolls over the neckline seam and lies flat, but that does not mean that the neckline seam or the collar seam edges will be visible – the collar is sewn with the help of a facing which is turned to the back and stitched – so the neckline seam is neatly done.

Different types of flat collars

Flat Tennis Collar

tennis collar  flat

A tennis collar is a flat shirt collar for made of the same material as the shirt it is on(usually a tennis shirt). This is preferred for tennis attire as it is comfortable and non-restrictive.

Peter Pan collar

This is quintessential flat collar – it lies flat against the garment, as much as it could. The special feature of this flat collar is its rounded shape. This feminine collar is used on frocks for girls. This collar may have a slit in the back and the front. You can make a peterpan collar following the tutorial here.

Cape collar

flat collar on kids' frocls

This collar is similar to peter pan collar, just bigger. Where Peterpan collar may have a tapered width, this collar is the same throughout. This collar has a rounded back and slit in the front.

Chelsea collar

This collar consists of two long collars around a V neckline. The collar looks the same on the front and the back

Bishop collar

flate collar -bishops collar

This collar hangs the same way the vestament of bishops’ hang. The collar forms a W shape on the front.

How to sew a flat collar -2 ways

Method 1. Flat collar without an opening

flat collar

Cut out the front and back bodices. Mark the necklines. Cut a piece of facing for the slit opening.

cut front bodice neckline with facing-pattern

Cut the neckline of the back pattern in a slight curve, around one inch deep. Prepare the bodice – sew the front to the back after the front bodice is cut and sewn with the facing pattern given above. You will be sewing the facing only on the slit part.

Measure around the neckline. Add 1/2 inch to this measure. Cut collar pieces in this measurement. The collar pieces should be 4 inch wide.

flat collar pieces

Keep the two collar pieces rightsides together and sew the three sides. Remember to fold the bottom edges of one side slightly up as you sew (refer the picture below)

flat collars

Turn the collar piece right side out.

turn the collar rightside out

Join the outer edge of the collar to the neckline

flat collar

Join the other edge of the collar (which is folded because of how you have sewn it) to the inner neckline by top stitching from inside.

collar sewn

Method 2. Flat collar with a back opening

Step 1. Cut out the pattern pieces.

measure one side of the neckline
Measure half of the neckline.

This is for 2 seperate flat collars. Measure the half of the neckline round.

Length of the flat collar marked as half of the neckline

Mark the collar on the fabric pieces for the outer collar and under collar.

Another method to draft the flat collar is to mark from the garment neckline. ie. Mark the collar along the neckline of your garment.

Remember to mark the collars along the lengthwise grain of a fabric to avoid over stretching. You need 2 outer pieces and 2 under collar pieces.

Cut out the outer fabrics and the lining fabric
Cut 2 outer collar and 2 under collar pieces

Step 2.

Attach interfacing to the undercollar pieces.

interfacing attached to the collar pieces
Attach interfacing to the under collar pieces

Interfacing can be attached to the undercollar before cutting out the pattern.

Use interfacing that matches your fabric; attach the interfacing to the under collar fabric and then cut the pattern (If you are using a see-through fabric for the upper collar, attach the interfacing to the upper collar fabric; otherwise you will be able to see the interfacing)

Step 3.

Keep the upper collar piece and under collar piece right sides together

Upper collar and under collar together
Keep the under collar and upper collar rightsides together

Stitch along the outer edge.

Stitch them together along the outer edge
Stitch the two pieces together along outside edge; Trim seam allowance

Clip along with the seam allowance every one inch or so. If there are corners, cut off.

Step 4.

Press the seam allowance open. You may have keep it on a rounded pressing tool 

Step 5.

At this point, you may understitch the undercollar and the seam allowance- this ensures that the undercollar fabric would not roll to the front.

Step 7.

Turn the Collar right side out

turn collar rightside out
Turn collar right side out

Step 8.

Stay stitch the neckline. Make a facing unit for the neckline. The facing should be 1/4 inch longer finish the outer edge of the facing (just turn the edge to the inside and stitch)

Step 9.

Pin the collar on the neckline.

collar and facing sewn to the neckline
flat collar is kept over the neckline; facing is kept over this

Step 10.

Cut a 1 inch piece of bias cut fabric piece as facing. Keep the facing on top, right side down, and stitch in place.

Facing turned to the back
Turn the facing to the back

Understitch the facing and the seam allowance.

Turn the facing to the back and Hand stitch the facing to the garment.

Iron the collar in place

An easy way to add flat collar on your garment is to buy one of the ready made ones and just sew it on.

Readymade flat collars

Related posts: How to sew a polo collar; Peterpan collar; Dress collar types; Different types of shirt collars.

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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