Monday, December 10, 2012

a Peter Pan Collar tutorial

One of my favorite trends right now is the Peter Pan Collar. I've seen it everywhere, it seems, but I haven't been able to find the right top to purchase. Not to be discouraged, I decided to make my own collar necklace. It can be worn with just about anything! Even a t-shirt. And it instantly makes whatever you're wearing pop a bit.

I think it would make a great handmade Christmas gift for someone on your list. Let's get started.

1: Find some scrap fabric (I used white flannel) and play around until you get the shape just right (my approx. measurements are in the next photo). I cut out a basic peter pan shape, then trimmed and reshaped and trimmed some more. I made about three versions until I settled on the one I thought was best. I wanted it to be able to fit wide and small neck styles, including boat necks, so I tried it on with lots of my shirts, making adjustments as needed.

2: Once you have settled on the shape, trace it onto muslin. Add 3/8 of an inch around the collar for a seam allowance.

3: Then use the muslin as a pattern and cut out all of the pieces you will need for the collar. (I used a nice silky cream satin for the back, then the muslin for the center + fusible interfacing for stability, and a top layer of cream pointe d'esprit. But you can use whatever fabric you would like. I think a lace collar would be beautiful. Or even velvet!) You only need a little bit of each fabric, about 1/3 of a yard. Make sure to cut two pieces of each fabric for both halves of the collar.

Attach the fusible interfacing to the back of the muslin. Then stack the pieces in the correct order, as if you were looking at the finished collar (for my collar that meant: satin, shiny side down + muslin with interfacing on the back + pointe d'esprit). To sew them together, flip the top two layers to the back so that the very top layer is sandwiched between the others. For my collar, that meant the right sides of the muslin and satin were sandwiching the pointe d'esprit.

Pin in place and sew the layers together, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Remember to leave an opening in the back so that you can flip the collar right side out later. This part can be a little tricky. I found that to keep the fabrics from pulling and shifting while sewing, first pin and sew one side. Then press the collar flat. Then carefully pin and sew the other side, making sure to keep the collar nice and flat as you go along, starting at one end and sewing to the center, then stopping and starting from the other end and meeting the stitching in the middle. (See the photo above)

4: Now trim the seam allowance.

5: Turn the collar right side out.

6. A chopstick comes in handy. Make sure to get that corner completely turned out, then press your pieces.

7: Now it is time to sew the two halves together. Overlap the point just a teeny bit and use some hidden hand stitches to secure them together.

Now for the ribbon at the back. You will need 2 pieces, each about 18 inches long. 

8: Pin the ribbon to the back of the collar where it was left open during stitching. With right sides together, pin it to the top two layers, leaving the back layer free. Then stitch in place.

9: Turn the back layer in to cover the line of stitching and pin in place.

10: Use a slip stitch to secure the backing and close up the opening.

Hooray! It's finished! What do you think?


  1. Love it! think I can make one. I used to weat them all of the time in the 40'. Most of my blouses and dresses had peter pan collars. love you

  2. Anonymous11:48 AM

    Absolutely lovely!

    Though I'd pay someone to make one for me. I'd be to afraid of butchering it.

  3. I feel so honored to have one! I had so many compliments on it when I wore it last Thursday. Thank you!! I might try and make a cute liberty-ish one!

  4. so beautiful. you make everything seem so effortless. this little project would take me days. leslie is one lucky lady.

  5. you are such an amazing seamstress!

  6. Clever!
    I love the Peter Pan collars... demure and classy. Used to sew them onto Ginger & Judy's dresses that I made for them. So fun to see them being worn again.

  7. I love this! Gorgeous!


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