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Feb 14, 2011

Men's Shirt Sew-Along 13 -- A new collar for Negroni: CONCLUSION

Today, friends, we add our collar to our transformed Negroni shirt!

For those just tuning in, we've spent the last two days transforming the camp collar Negroni shirt into a more traditional dress shirt by adding a front button placket and drafting a collar stand and collar.  We also attached our inner and outer back yoke using the "burrito" method, which requires no topstitching.

Our goals for today are:

1. Cut our collar stand and collar to fit neckline

2. Interface outer collar and collar stand piece

3. Craft our collar and topstitch

4. Attach collar stand and collar to neckline

1.  Now that we have our neckline complete, it's time to measure it.  You'll want your collar stand to be the same length, plus 5/8" seam allowance on all sides.

You'll be cutting your collar stand and collar on the fold, perpendicular to the selvage.  Remember that you've added a seam allowance to the stand, so take this into account when you cut.  It's better to cut the stand a little longer than shorter: extra length will just end up in the seam allowance and be trimmed after stitching.

Now cut your collar, whose length was determined by marking where the collar meets the top of the collar stand and adding seam allowances.

REMINDER: Cut TWO collar stand and collar pieces: inner and outer, respectively.

Check and double check the measurements before you go any further (keep reading to see why this is critical).

2.  After cutting, you'll probably want to interface the outer collar and collar stand.  These will be the pieces that will face out (in the case of the collar stand) or face up (in the case of the collar).   Lots of ways to do this as you know; pick a method you're comfortable with.  I think I used a weft-weight woven fusible.

3. We make the collar itself just the way we did the Negroni collar, by stitching at 5/8" right sides together, trimming our seam allowance, turning with the aid of our point turner (if we have one), and then topstitching at 1/4".  If you need a reminder, review this step

Then stitch the top of the collar closed (at less than a 5/8" seam allowance).

4.  Here's my method of attaching collar stand and collar to neckline, which I learned from an old Margaret Islander Industrial Shortcuts video, Shirts, Etc.

First, stitch the outer collar to the outer stand: -- OUTER SIDES OF STAND AND COLLAR FACING UP -- along the top at 5/8".

Next, stitch the bottom of the inner collar band (the piece without the intefacing) to the shirt neckline, making sure to match the center point on stand and shirt neckline, as well as the point we marked where stand meets facings.  Basically, the stand has to be centered and even at both ends.  When you flip the inner band up it looks like this (This is the inside of the shirt in the pic below.).

Now, take the outer stand/collar piece and attach it to the inner collar band, RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER.  This technique is similar to the way we made our cuffs.  You'll be stitching along the same seam as the seam holding outer stand and collar together.  You're just adding the inner band (and attached shirt) to it.

You'll want to pay close attention to the point where collar stand and shirt front edge meet -- the shape should be the same on both sides.  It will help to fold up the interfaced outer collar stand approximately 5/8" at the bottom edge, so that when you turn, the bottom corner will already be folded under.

You'll now want to trim the seam allowance, and turn this, just as you turned the cuff.

Now, just as with the cuff, we're going to fold the seam allowance under and edgestitch the outer collar stand seam to the shirt.

OK, so does my collar look a little too short for that band?  It should -- I didn't double check my collar and collar stand measurements accurately when I cut them.  Curses!

It was at this point I decided to make this into a short-sleeve shirt (since I'd wouldn't be able to button the top button as the collar was to short).  I whipped through that pretty fast.


Not perfect but good enough.  I also made some changes  (note the square bottom) I'll be discussing later this week when get into our discussion of fit.  So this is another wearable muslin.

That's all for today, guys!

Questions or comments, just let me know, either here or in our Flickr group.  (There are some great pics and discussions there so please pay a visit.)

Happy sewing, everybody -- and Happy Valentine's Day!


  1. The collar stand on my Kwik Sew 2777 pattern is way too narrow, I think I'm going to trace the collar and stand from David P. Coffin's book as you have. The collar stand is nice and tall, so much easier to sew around a larger area! I'm also going to cut out my interfacing without the seam allowances.

  2. Peter, the "shrinking collar" issue may not be totally the result of mismeasurement, but due to.. well, "shrinking collar." When the collar is turned and top stitched, it ends up a bit shorter than originally cut. I usually figure on about 1/4" on each end for 100% cotton in my size (L).

  3. Great shirt. Even better clip. But you're not going to post "Abraham" on President's Day, are you? I question whether that was politically correct even in 1941...

  4. You make this look so easy, this is the next big step I need to take in sewing, and I'm scared out of my mind.

  5. Peter,

    I read your post on fusible interfacing and whether or not to pre-shrink.

    What did you learn since then? Are you shrinking your woven fusible now? What did you do for this Negroni shirt?

    Also, did you ever try cutting interfacing on the bias? I reverse engineered a favorite Nordstron shirt and it happens to have bias cut heavy fusible in the collar.

    Thanks for your reply!


    1. Sebastian, I have never pre-shrunk fusible interfacing. I'd follow the directions for the interfacing you're using. The kind I use, from Fashion Sewing Supply, specifically states that it does not have to be pre-shrunk.

      I have never cut interfacing on the bias; I'd be curious to know if it made a difference.

  6. Peter,

    Thanks for your reply! At first I used the cheapo Walmart light woven fusible, which I did not preshirnk and after a washing drying cycle came out like a wavy ocean from space...

    I have both 'Mike Maldonados' light, med and heavy interfacing as well as three weights from Sewing supply.

    Just made a collar with theMike M med, without preshrink, so I have to see how it goes through cleaning...

    I guess I will have to do some experimenting to find out what works and what not...


    1. Does Mike Maldonado's interfacing not come with any instructions? If not, perhaps you could inquire.

  7. Hi Peter, Thanks so much for this tutorial. I did a regular Negroni first, following the sew-along posts. Now I'm trying the collar stand. I did one already and the collar assembly ended up too small to fit the wearer's neck. I am wondering....when you say to measure the neckline, do you mean the neck seam line (5/8" below the raw edge)? Using the raw edge measurement (16") gives me a 17.25" collar stand raw edge. The seam line is about 18", so that means I eased a lot of that neck into the stand. (Hope this makes sense!)

    Did I just make a newbie's mistake by measuring in the wrong place?

    1. As long as you are consistent, it shouldn't matter, but I'd say not to include the seam allowance when you measure the neck. The collar stand should be the same length, and then you'll add your seam allowance. Hope that helps!

  8. Hi
    Should the collar stand be the seam allowance past the end of the shirt where it meets edges. Always find this part the hardest and note some examples show collar stand longer,would this be better.

    1. Bill, it's better for seam allowances to be consistent. Measure first to make sure collar stand is long enough to fit. That said, if you end up with 1/4" extra on one end, you can simply trim.

  9. Hi Peter, thank you for your time and this great sew along. I am trying to figure where I would insert a self drafted collar and stand if following the negroni instructions per pattern. I am using the front facings in the pattern and I am stumped as the construction is so different. Hope this question makes sense. Thanks again!


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