Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Tutorial - Drafting One Piece Collar - Crisp and Sharp Corners Part I

There is always something new to try in sewing.  I have a library full of sewing books, full of ideas and techniques to try and possibly incorporating into my sewing practices. But, these days I rarely do.

This year I'd decided to try a few new things to improve and refine current my practices.  There is always room for improvement.    So today I'm sharing a technique published in Sandra Betzina's book, "Sewing Tool Box".  This technique produces perfect crisp, sharp corners on a shirt collar.  The following tutorial gives you step-by-step instructions on how to re-draft the collar pattern so that it is one continuous piece.  Part II will illustrate how the actual collar is made.

Here goes:

Step 1 - First you want to copy the collar onto tissue paper.  Include the notches.  For this example, I used Vogue 9029.  This collar is placed on the fold.  So it is only half of the collar.  If you are using a full collar, fold it in half, then trace it.

Step 2 - Cut it out and draw a line to mark the 5/8" stitching line.  Count off the seam allowance.

Step 3 - This picture show the half collar without the seam allowance.

Step 4 -  Now you want to take another sheet of tissue paper.  It should be at least 18 inches wide and 18 inches long.  Note: I double the paper to show you how the collar will look when it is cut out of fabric.  Place the center of the collar on the left lower edge of the tissue paper and trace the other three sides.

Step 5 -  Next, flip the pattern over to extend from the right end where the collar ends. Trace the three remaining sides.

Step 6 - This picture shows the two collar traced on the tissue paper.

Step 7 - Now on the right end, add 5/8" seam allowance to the new pattern.

Step 8 - Cut the new pattern out.  It should look like the pattern above.

Step 9 - Note - to show how the "fabric" collar will look, I cut the pattern on the fold.

Step 10 - This step shows how you would fold and sew the fabric collar, which has only one center back seam to create the upper and lower collar.  The second seam is along the long edge shown on the lower section of the following picture.

Happy Drafting!


PS - Next post actual collar being constructed.


  1. So interesting! I can't wait to see the results and whether/what you think the benefit of this method is.

    1. Thanks, Clio. Benefits: sharp corners with less bulk on the end. Quick one piece collar.

  2. Been doing collars like this for years. Got it from an old Nancy Zieman book SEWING EXPRESS. Love the technique and have never looked back. All collars are done this way now including hubby's dress shirts. I believe that, besides Sandra Betzina, Louise Cutting does all collars this way as well.

    1. Sandra Betzina is who taught me how to do this. Thanks, Garnet128.

  3. I've never seen this before, so clever and I'm really intrigued to try it. Thanks for sharing and for taking the detailed photos and explaining it so well.

  4. Hey. Is this technique used to make a one piece collar for a shirt? I just figure out how to make that collar for the life of me. If not, would you be kind enough to show me the steps? Michael.

    1. Hi Mich, There is a part II that shows the actual collar. Part I shows how to create the collar pattern. enter collar in the search box to see Parts I and II. Thank you,



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