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A Collar of Substance!

At last! a man’s dress shirt collar with enough shape and crispness to handle a rich silk tie with authority!

In the wear test the collar fit smoothly over the tie. The stand and collar did not buckle nor bind even though the fit is close around the neck. The collar points curve downward and slightly under without needing collar stays.


My husband always uses a full Windsor Knot and I have to deal with that thick knot when I design his collars. It is unlikely he will change to a diffent technique when he’s busy getting dressed and thinking about other things. So be it.

I used a layer of the Pro-Woven Fusible on the collar, collar facing, stand and stand facing.

This time I cut the interfacing the exact size of the collar and undercollar, not .25″ smaller as usual. Next time I’ll go back to my old ways and trim the interfacing to the stitching line on just the undercollar, as I can see the thickness of the 4 layers inside the seam in this photo. The full layer of fusible on the collar will help in a smooth transition from seam allowance to body. The doubled layers are not noticeable under ordinary lighting, however, so I think I have a keeper anyway.

I shaped the collar over a ham, pinned it in place and steamed heavily, and let it dry before attaching it to the collar. This definitely helped with the satisfying shape of the collar. David Page Coffin suggests this in his book on Shirtmaking. The video is also worth purchasing and there seem to be only two left. I hope that more are going to be offered in the future as this is a valuable tool in learning how to produce great shirts.

I also used one layer of this same fusible in each of the front plackets, again cut the full width of the separate plackets, and yet the body is smooth, not too stiff for the fabric, just perfect. I am so delighted.

Now to apply the plackets and cuffs to the shirt sleeves, flat fell the side seams and armscye seams, finish the hem, buttons and button holes. Ah, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel: this shirt might be in the closet before the end of 2006!

You can buy this interfacing at

I also see that Pam has put up an excellent tutorial on her blog, Off-The-Cuff-Style showing how to make a tailored collar and lapel like that used in the Hot Patterns Plain and Simple Princess Shirt. This is very helpful for those who have never done a collar/revers combo before and will carry over into jacket making.

Happy Sewing!

I’m off to the Nashville ASG Christmas party today. I’m excited that I can meet with old friends. I haven’t been able to attend any meetings this year because of business trips. And when I have been home I haven’t been willing to get up at 6:00 am on a Saturday to drive almost 2 hours for a 9:15 am meeting. The party is being held at 11 and 30 minutes closer to my location. Yipee!!


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

2 responses »

  1. Oh yes, the lovely, balanced, Windsor. I was taught how to do it by my Dad about 20 years ago, and still do it better than DH!

    I’d love to see the final version in use, please?


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