Monday, December 23, 2013

Sewing a Peter Pan Collar

Christmas is two days away and I'm still knitting like crazy, but I decided to take a little break from all that to sew something for myself.  It was the perfect crafting breather, and it totally rejuvenated my spirits.

So here it is; my brand new Peter Pan collar necklace:

I didn't have a pattern, but I did have a polo shirt, so I decided to use that as a jumping off point.  I traced it onto some scrap fabric, adding a curve to the front of it to make it more Peter Pan than polo.

Second, I cut it out and tried it on.  It didn't sit right at all.  So then I traced it again, making the whole thing more curvy, and it was a teensy bit better but still not right.  I tried again, making more alterations, and again, and again, and on the 5th try I ended up with a collar pattern that I was happy with.  The key seemed to be drawing the pattern onto the folded-in-half fabric at a pretty steep slant so that the circumference of the neck hole is smaller than the circumference of the bottom of the collar.

Third, I folded my green fabric in half, placed my newly-made pattern on top of it, and traced around it adding about a quarter inch seam allowance on all sides.

Fourth, I repeated step three so I had two matching green pieces.

Fifth, I pinned my two green pieces together with the right sides facing in, and sewed them together, leaving one end unsewn so that I could turn it right-side out again.

Sixth, I turned the collar right-side out with the help of a knitting needle, pinned the final end together with the seam allowance tucked inside, and ironed the whole thing flat.  Then I got back on the sewing machine and top stitched around the entire collar.

Seventh, for the final touch, I hand-sewed the button onto the top corner of one side of the collar, and sewed a hair rubber band to the back of the collar on the opposite corner to make a loop for the button to go through.

Overall, I'm extremely happy with the way the collar turned out, and I can't wait to wear it around the ship on Christmas day.

I made a couple of mistakes on this project, though, and I will learn from them when I make another collar in the (hopefully not-too-distant) future.  Both lessons involved remembering to hammer out the details of the project before I hopped onto the sewing machine.

When I started sewing the two green peices together, I just picked a random corner to start from and I sewed until I was almost back to that corner before I remembered that I needed to leave part of the collar unsewn in order to flip it right-side-out again.  I didn't love that the part I left unstitched was such a prominent part of the collar.  Therefore, when I do this again, I'm going to think ahead and pick an inconspicuous spot at the back of the collar to leave unsewn.

I also wish that I had added the loop for the button before I sewed the two green pieces together.  That way the tails of the loop would be neatly hidden inside the collar instead of dangling on the backside.

It's all about thinking ahead, isn't it?

Oh, and this is quite nitpicky, but I wish the button sat directly between the two sides of the collar instead of slightly to one side.  Do any of you experienced sewers know how I could make that happen?

Anyway, I'm still really excited about how well this sewing project went.

Have you sewn a collar before?  Do you have any tips for me for the next time I try it?



  1. this is such a cute idea and the possibilities are endless with different kinds of fabric :)
    i think like you said it's all about planning ahead, sometimes I like to walk myself through the steps before I start sewing :)

  2. This looks cute! I did tried to sew a collar, mine ended up quite wrinkly, so I'm not sure I have any tips since yours is way neater. :) Happy Christmas, Laura!

  3. Add a small extension tab for the button to sit on. It can be like the underlap of a pant zipper. The button can be sewn to the tab and the excess fabric can be tucked on the backside of the abutting collar piece. Clear as mud?

    1. Genius! That makes perfect sense. =) Thank you!

  4. Looks great! I'm tempted to attempt this myself. I've crocheted one before but sewing seems tons difficult!

    1. Oooh, a crochet collar sounds like it would be really pretty!


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