This post is a step by step tutorial to sew a shirt collar properly.
Study the terminology used for a shirt collar and the different types of shirt collars you can sew here.
Interfacing – There is no place where Interfacing is more needed than a shirt collar.
The interfacing is necessarily attached to the under collar fabric and then cut the pattern around. You can apply interfacing to the top collar piece also, for the best results.
A lightweight fusible interfacing is used. You can also use two types of interfacing – medium-weight interfacing on the upper collar and a softer interfacing on the undercollar.
You need 2 collar-leaf pieces and 2 collar stand pieces for the shirt collar.
In this article I will cover:
- How to sew a Shirt Collar
- Step 1. Prepare bodice
- Step 2. Cut interfacing collar pieces
- Step 3. Attach interfacing to top collar piece
- Step 4. Cut collar fabric with 1/4 inch extra
- Step 5. Attach interfacing of the stand/band collar to fabric for undercollar
- Step 7. Sew the Collar leaf
- Step 8. Press the seam allowance
- Step 9. Assemble the collar
- Step 10. Sew shirt collar to the neckline
How to sew a Shirt Collar
Step 1. Prepare bodice
To attach a collar you need a bodice with a small neckline and an opening – preferably with a button placket.
Staystitch the neckline to avoid it stretching.
Step 2. Cut interfacing collar pieces
Draft the patterns for the collar as per the pattern given below with your measurement.
Cut these out from interfacing – one of each.
Step 3. Attach interfacing to top collar piece
Attach the interfacing for the collar your fabric – you will need to cut the fabric with 1/4 inches extra all around – so take fabric accordingly.
I have read in sewing books that if you add a small triangular piece of fusible interfacing at the corner point of the upper collar (extra on top of the regular interfacing) this will weigh the points and keep the collar in shape. This is optional.
Step 4. Cut collar fabric with 1/4 inch extra
You need to cut 2 pieces for the collar. Only one will have the interfacing attached.
Step 5. Attach interfacing of the stand/band collar to fabric for undercollar
Cut it out with 1/4 inch extra all around.
Step 6. For the top collar of stand add 1/4 inch extra
For the next piece you have to trace the first piece and then add 1/4 inch extra at the bottom edge.
(Result is the top piece is understandably a little bigger)
You have two pieces of the stand collar ready.
Step 7. Sew the Collar leaf
You have to keep the two collar pieces, right sides together and stitch them together along the edge of the interfacing. The red line in the above picture is the sewing line.
To sew the points of the collar properly, when you reach the collar point stop by leaving the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and turn around, and then continue sewing.
For neat but sharp point at the tip of the collar, sewing experts suggest taking a stitch across before pivoting at the corner.
Clip the seam allowance every 1/2 inch and cut off the corners. You can cut very close to the point but be careful not to cut the seam.
Turn your collar right side out. Use a sharp tool to bring the point sharp.(Not so sharp that it will make holes; you can use a bamboo skewer, chopstick, a blunt pencil point etc)
At this point you can top stitch the collar. This will give a nice crisp look to the collar.
Step 8. Press the seam allowance
Step 9. Assemble the collar
Keep the top band collar piece rightside up infront of you. Keep the collar leaf on top. Refer picture below.
Keep the other band collar piece rightside down.
Place the other band collar piece rightside down on top of the leaf collarSew along the top edge, along the edge of the interfacing. Make sure you do not catch the side edges of the collar leaf when you sew.
Step 10. Sew shirt collar to the neckline
Start aligning the collar edge (back) to the back neckline
Sew the collar edge to the neckline. Start from the middle of the back neckline and proceed to the front on both sides.
This is how it will look from the back after the stitching is done.
The picture below is how the collar looks from the front.
The front edge needs to be finished now.
You can either hand sew the front edge or machine stitch. I am not confident enough to use a machine to sew this step – but machine sewing is how it is usually finished. Just fold the edge to the inside and sew.