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Patterns of the Past: Exploring the Early 1960s Italian Collar Shirt

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I’m a big fan of vintage men’s shirt patterns, and I find many of the styles—particularly the camp collar shirt—to be timeless. While most of us are familiar with the camp shirt, the Italian collar shirt style had a briefer run and is largely forgotten.

Blue-and-white print men's short-sleeve Italian collar shirt on a dress form
This Italian collar men’s shirt, vintage Simplicity 3875, is made in a lightweight cotton poplin print from Mood Designer Fabrics.

 

Two 1950s pattern envelopes showing men's Italian collar shirts
Simplicity 3875 and Butterick 2305, both from the early 1960s, are Italian collar shirt patterns.

What is an Italian collar?

An Italian collar consists of a separate undercollar piece and an upper collar cut in one with the shirt facings. In his book, The Shirtmaking Workbook (Quarry Books, 2015), David Page Coffin has a chapter about this style. He also has a Pinterest board with images of shirts and shirt patterns in this, as well as related styles.

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  1. floraspy | | #1

    Thank you for the article. I believe New Look 6598, a women's shirt pattern still in print, has this type of collar. It's fun and quick to make!

  2. Grandma2six | | #2

    Thanks so much for your article. Imagine my surprise when I discovered I actually own the New Look #6598 women's shirt pattern! I love different collar styles, as well as sleeves, so when I find an interesting pattern, I buy it, even if it doesn't get attention right away. Having enjoyed your article, I plan to get this ready to wear before Spring arrives!

  3. OsewViolet | | #3

    I love the different colors of gingham used to make the shirt. It gives me ideas for large scraps I am trying to use up.

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