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adding a collar to a dress without one

Cecelia_Bryan | Posted in The Archives on

I was wondering if anyone has any info on how you add a collar to a pattern without one. I want to put a peter pan collar on a dress that already has a collar, but it’s more of a “standing up” collar. I want a flat peter pan on it instead. I notice that on other patterns that have peterpan cpeter panwhen you match up the center backs, the shoulder points match, but as you come around to the front, the edge of the collar (around the neckline), is about a half inch higher than the neck edge of the bodice, but it is still the same length. If I match up the center fronts, it still matches at the shoulder seam, but then the back edges are off. I am wondering if the outside edges of the collar are actually fuller than the same area on the bodice – there is more fabric in that area. Does this make any sense at all?
Also, if anyone in the D.C. area can give me any advice on classes for fitting somewhere nearby. I really would love to learn from a professional how to fit and adjust patterns.


  1. Maria_P | | #1

    Hi Cecilia, I'm not sure if I can help. I believe the quirkiness you noticed with the p. pan collar lining up with c.f. and c.b. is related to the amount of "stand" the collar has. To draft a flat p.pan collar: 1)Line up the bodice b.& f. at the shoulder neckline seam , this seam intersection will be your pivot point.
    2)Pivot the front to overlap the back by 1" (not including seam allowances)at the armhole.
    3)When tracing the neckline, lower it by 1/8" at the c.b. and shoulder seams, and 1/2" at cf. (blend these amounts for for entire length)
    4)At cb measure the desired width of the collar and continue collar edge line to cf, parallel to new neckline. Curve collar edge line to cf (start curve approximately 2" from cf).
    5)Smooth any "bumpy" spots and add appropriate seam allowances.
    A bias grainline usually has a softer fall. You may wish to make the upper collar 1/16" larger on the outside edge than the lower collar. I hope this is of some help.

    1. Debbie_B. | | #2

      *Cecilia..My suggestion & maybe the easiest is to find pattern with Peter Pan Collar you like, then use that pattern (with PP Collar) to alter the neckline, etc. on the dress pattern. Worth a try!

      1. Debbie_DeDuck | | #3

        *There is a book with pictures of the technique that your first reply describes. The name of this book is "Make it Your Own" by Lori Bottom & Rhonda Chaney. It is still in print. I just checked it on Amazon.com and it costs $15.16 there. I got a copy from the library and there are alot of nice collar variations described there, as well as other variations of commercial patterns. It is worth looking into. You could check it out of the library, too.

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