Monday, 22 August 2011

Peter Pan Collar Top

I've been working hard on a self-drafted Peter Pan collar.  Here is the finished muslin and partial test garment.

There have been some lovely Peter Pan collars on Burdastyle lately which have inspired me to have a go myself.

There are some excellent tutorials on-line.  I used mainly Gertie's tutorials uploaded onto You Tube here.  (She is a delight to watch and her tutorial fantastic).  I also found Jamie Lau's tutorial on Burdastyle very helpful here.   There are a number of other videos on You Tube on the subject worth watching.

I used my Angela Kane shift dress pattern to make the collar.  I'm planning to make another shift dress with a Peter Pan collar.   The collars are really easy to make, but they take a lot of patience to get right.  I ended up making the pattern pieces three times.  Each time I made up the collar and so I made three test collars.  I then decided to make a test garment using just the top half of the shift dress pattern.  As I want to line my shift dress I also lined the test garment.  I wanted to see how you sew the collar onto a lined dress.  I only found one tutorial for attaching a Peter Pan collar here.   This tutorial looked really helpful but it was not for a lined dress.  It looks as though you just need to attach the collar with bias binding if you are not lining the dress.

I couldn't find a tutorial for attaching a collar to a lined dress anywhere.  I emailed Angela Kane and she told me how to do it.  (I'm a member of her site).

The collar was great fun to draft.   I made use of my snazzy new French curve.

You get your front and back pattern pieces and join them at the shoulder, seam line to seam line.  Now this is where Gertie's and Jamie Lau's tutorials  differ slightly.   Gertie said to overlap the pattern pieces at the outer shoulder by a half inch.  I used this method for my first two collar pattern pieces I made but the result wasn't particularly flat looking.  Jamie told you to overlap by 1 inch which I did on the final one shown above.  It has worked perfectly.

You have to trace the neckline of the garment from the pattern pieces (overlapped as stated above).  You then decide where you want the front and the back of your collar to start.  I started the front of the collar about 0.5 cm from the centre front of the dress and about 1 cm from the centre back of the dress (to allow space for the zip).   You then start drawing the seamline of the collar from these points.  My collar was 1 3/4 " wide from the neckline.  You just mark this distance from various points on the neckline with lots of small dashes and then join them up with the French ruler.   You just hover the french curve over your dashes until you get the correct curve and then join them up and move onto the next bit.  You then use the rounded bit of your French curve at the front and back of the collar to create a nice curve.   You then add the seam allowance all around your collar.  My French curve is great because it has a 1.5 cm seam allowance marked on it so you can just match your seamline up to the curve on the inside of the ruler and then draw around the edge.

You then trace out a duplicate copy of your collar pattern piece and use your curve ruler to make the second pattern piece 1/8 of an inch shorter around the collar edges.  This is the under collar piece and the idea is to ensure the that the seam line does not show on the top and to create a roll for the collar.  There's no need to make the neckline seam allowance shorter.  I ended up topstitching around the edge of the collar which looks quite good.

I used a pencil to draw my pieces.  With my first two pattern pieces I used a felt tip pen but a pencil is more accurate.    I didn't interface my test garment but I will on the final one.   Here are my final pattern pieces.

I almost forget - you draw in the grainline by simply folding the collar pattern lengthwise at the centre (Gertie shows you how to do this).  I've always wondered how they know where to put the grainline!

I had to do a slightly different lining method in order to attach the collar:

1.  I stitched the shoulder seams for the lining and then I stitched the shoulder seams for the dress.  I ended up pulling half of it out so it is worthwhile just stitching halfway across the shoulder seam starting from the neckline.  (You need a gap to turn through).

2.  I attached the collar using the spacing from the centre front and back you decided on when drafting the collar.   The underside of the collar touches the right side of the dress.   I stitched about 1.2 cm from the edge.

3.  I then attached the lining to the neckline, right side of the lining facing right side of the collar and dress with the standard 1.5 cm seam allowance.  I under stitched the seam allowances to the lining and also top stitched the neckline to secure the collar in place better.

4.  I then stitched the armholes up to about 1 inch from either side of the shoulder seam line.  Remember you have not yet joined the side seams and so the under arms are not joined.

5.  Turn the lining through to the right side.  (It took me ages to figure this out.  I wondered what I was doing wrong until I realised that it was impossible to turn through with the side seams stitched together!).

6.  Again using my own "no hand-stiching" rule I sort of pulled out from the inside the shoulder seams and neck edges that need stitching.  Pull out far enough to let you stitch comfortably.  It is possible to do although you do have to hold it steady and go slowly.

7.  Turn the shoulder seams back to the right way and marvel at your neat shoulder seams!

8.  You then stitch the side seams.  You will be able to figure out from here how you can stitch the side seams of the lining and the side seams of the dress in one long row of stitching.   Turn through.

9.  I didn't attach a zip on my test garment but I will follow the same principles as Tasia's zip on the Crescent skirt, so attaching the zip to the lining first and then to the dress.   I will leave about 1.5 to 2 inches of the back of the neckline unstitched to make inserting the zipper easier and then go back and stitch up the gap after inserting the zip.

I'm really pleased with my test and I'm looking forward to trying it in a nice fabric.  I will insert a link to this post in my Techniques section for easy reference.

Happy sewing.


  1. I've been browsing your blog, it's very nice :) These are good tips- I'd like to draft my own peter pan collar sometime in the future!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad this will be helpful. If you have any queries just leave a comment on the blog and I'll try to answer where I can. I'll look out for your peter pan collar!

  2. çok tşk ederim bana yararlı oldu

    1. Thanks. I'm glad you found this helpful.