How to make a decorative collar

As a dressmaker, do you ever look at clothing on TV and think "I could make that"? Yup, me too. So when I saw a dress worn by Angela Scanlon on episode 1 of "Your Garden Made Perfect" I knew I wanted that collar!


I've recently made the Tilda Blouse by Fibre Mood and it had a very similar collar so I used that pattern as the base. (Of course you could use any other collar pattern you have, or Tilly and the Buttons have a free collar download on their website.)

How to make a decorative collar:

Step 1: 

Cut out your collar pattern pieces. You will need to cut 2 x fabric (one for the top and one for the bottom) and 2 x interfacing. I chose to interface both the top and bottom for extra stiffness as my tencel fabric was fairly fluid. And you'll see later why interfacing both the top and bottom will help the decoration.


Step 2:

Right sides together, sew around the outer edge of the collar (marked up in pink here). 

Step 3:

Trim and grade the curve seams and corners. Clip into the curve around the neckline. Turn the collar the right way around and give it a nice steamy press. 

Step 4:

Decorate! I would say that ALL of the items I have made over the last few years have only used basic 3 stitches - straight stitch, zig-zag and buttonhole. But even basic machines come with a few decorative stitches. I chose the scalloped stitch and did a few tests on scrap fabric to check I was happy with the result and get the hang of it before I did it for real on the collar. 

Above is an example of the difference interfacing makes -  on the left the stitches and fabric lie flat where the fabric is a little stiffer with interfacing. On the right are the stitches without interfacing and you can see the stitches are bunching up the fabric so it isn't a neat finish.

Edgestitch around your collar in the decorative stitch and keep an eye on those corners so you turn at a good moment.

Step 5:

Add bias-binding to the inner collar. The method I used was to sew the bias to the upper edge of the collar, fold the bias strip over and then stitch in the ditch from the right side.


Step 6:

Add iron-on patches. Obviously optional but they really elevate it. I came across these gorgeous patches last week in my favourite local independent shop and couldn't resist. And voilá! You have a gorgeous collar to accessorise your outfits with.



Happy sewing

Tanya xx

February 27, 2022 — Tanya Brooman