Whether you have decided to sew a custom shirt or you like the challenge, you should know that assembling a shirt collar requires a lot of patience and precision. If, after reading this sentence you start stamping a bit, then the shirt collar is not for you, or at least not for the moment. For those who want to venture, here are a few technical steps inspired by the book “Burda: a practical sewing guide” that I husked and simplified for you.
Assemble and sew the collar as previously described
The shirt collar is formed by the collar (the part that folds) and the band collar (between the collar and the neckline), each consisting of two layers: the under collar and the upper collar.
You need to interline the under collar as this side become visible when the collar is folded.
As for the collar band, you need to interline the upper side! If you start feeling a headache … make a pause, feed your cat or your baby and take the following steps
Attach the collar to the collar band
Pin the collar between the two layers of the collar band, as a sandwich, right sides facing, from the middle of the collar to the edges by matching the notches, step by step, in this order: interlined collar band, simple collar, interlined collar, simple collar band. That is to say that you first put your ham on bread and then the other slice of bread and do not try to drag the ham between two slices of the bread. Get it?
Stitch the four layers together, cut seam allowances and clip. Fold the seam allowance of the simple collar band and iron.
Fold the collar band upwards over the seam and press. And you deserve another break. Coffee or manicure, you choose.
Stitch the collar band on the neckline
Make sure before proceeding that your collar band and neckline are notched and that you have finished the shirt placket. Otherwise, make U-turn.
Pin the interlined collar band over the neckline, right sides facing. Stitch, cut seam allowances and clip. Lay down the seam allowances over the collar band and press.
Pin the simple collar band with its folded edge against the attachment seam, sew it by hand or top stitch along all edges of the collar band.
Smile and enjoy this rare moment to admire your masterpiece and tell you that you still have the sleeves and cuffs to do, what a joy!
Personally, I tried the collar shirt at least three times for my shirt dress and I’m still not ready to start again. Let me know your experiences with collars, I might feel less miserable.