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Getting a collar stand and collar to fit

ValerieJ | Posted in Fitting on

I am trying to get the collar and neckline of a blouse to fit correctly. The blouse fits fine through the bust and shoulders, but the neck opening seems very large on me. If I were to button the collar button, I’d say the neckline is an inch or two too big. How can I remove fabric from the neckline without making the shirt too small in the body? Or conversely, would I be better off using the size that fits my neck and then trying to add to the body?

Thanks for any suggestion,


  1. ShannonG4d | | #1

    Valerie, If it's any consolation, you're not alone.  I find this problem frequently; it's particularly common in plus-sized garments. 

    The best method I know of is to fit the collar band first.  Then cut the neckline by the size that fits the collar band, and the rest of the garment by the size that fits the rest of you.


    1. ValerieJ | | #2

      Ugh. You're saying exactly what I'm afraid of. I have been avoiding making clothing for quite some time now - it's just too hard to try to do all the alterations and test garments in the limited time I have after work. I may just have to learn to live with collars that are too large.

      1. mem1 | | #3

        oh dont be a wimp as we say here in OZ.! Have you already cut it out? . you can just taper the shoulder seam in at the shoulder neck end  in by 1/4/inch and that will take an inch out of you neckline. Also make sure that you stay stitch you neclkline or it "grow" as you make the shirt.

  2. liselaure | | #4

    Hello Valérie,

    To reduce your neckline opening, raise it. In other words, trace a new seamline outwards from the original one all around the neckline - I would try 1/8" (3 mm) at first but maybe you will need more. Then measure your new seamline and the original one and shorten the collar and the collar band at center back by half of the difference.

    Hope this will help.


    Edited 6/1/2005 4:32 am ET by LiseLaure

    1. SewNancy | | #5

      Yes, this will work but if you have a short neck you will not be happy.  taking in the upper shoulder seam is better.  Also, try buying pattern for uppper bust measurement as this will make shoulders and neck smaller then do a full bust adjustment.


      1. liselaure | | #6

        Hello Nancy,

        The problem with tapering in the shoulder seam at the neckline end is that it changes the shoulder slope. So if you have square shoulders and the pattern doesn't fit you before, maybe it will fit you after. But if you have sloping shoulders, you'll just get more wrinkles. Moreover, on slopers used in volume production the neckline is commonly lowered to allow for variations between people. Conclusion: a picture of Valérie wearing her blouse would help to choose the best solution for her.

        Hope it makes sense.


  3. User avater
    artfulenterprises | | #7

    It occurs to me that perhap you don't need to remove fabric but rather add it by moving the neck edge closer to your neck! When establishing a jewel neck line on a muslin, of course you want to make the shoulders fit comfortably and the fabric smooth across the upper chest. If there is then a "gap" between the neckline seam (at the shoulder) and the point where your neck joins your shoulder, you need to fill in the missing area and redraw your neckline front and back for a smooth, natural transition. (You can determine how wide your neck is by draping a cord around your neck, letting it fall straight down the front. Measure the distance between the cords level with the small hollow in your throat at Center Front. That gives you a solid starting point for determining how deep the curve of the neckline on your pattern should be. ) The best test of course is to make a muslin for fit leaving comfortable margins (seam allowances) for adjustments. Once you have a comfortable jewel neckline, measure it accurately and adjust the collar stand pattern accordingly.

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