Time and time again we run into collars that are not shaped and cause the back of the collar to not fold down far enough to cover the neck seam.
We generally cut off the collar and start anew by using draping methods. If you’d like to see how to add just the right amount of shaping to a collar to fold down the perfect amount naturally… read on to see the step by step.
Steps to draping a new Surplice Collar.
Problem: Collar back not folding down naturally enough to cover the neck seam and the front points need a better angle shape. We are also bringing in the neck width 1/4″ on each side.
Notice the back of the collar not covering the neck seam.
Step 1. Working on half of the collar (use the center back neck as your middle, then you can mirror the pattern later if it is symmetrical), draw a line to represent the new neck width. I like to use a piece of cording or string as a guide.
Step 2. Draw out your new collar angle shape. We are making this one more pointed and bringing it down. Place a piece of similar fabric (shown in green) under the neck line and be sure it is on grain. (We cut off the old collar to the new, more narrow width). Pin in place and re draw collar angle.
Step 3. Leaving the cording in tact, fold fabric over to desired length. For curved shapes like the neck, it helps to cut “slits” the fabric to help it lay flat. These “slits” happen on the outside of the pattern and will be cut off later. Be sure not to cut in to your pattern area. You can now see or feel the cording you placed earlier. Trace the collar shape lightly with a pencil (photo 7)
Step 4. Trace around the neck line, the fold line and the outer collar line and mark shoulder seams. Take the fabric off and lay it flat on a table. ”True” your pencil lines with a marker using a ruler for accuracy. Add seam allowance and cut it out on the fold so you have both halves. Pin on to the top and test the fit.
From here, you can make a paper pattern and sew on your new collar!