Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bump Begone! or how to sew a collar with collar band and eliminate that ugly bump

As much as I love the look of a crisp collar on a stand, I avoided sewing shirts that had collar bands because I could never seem to produce a nice smooth band. I would follow the pattern guide sheet instructions so carefully, take my time sewing, trim the seam just right...only to have to rip out yet another ugly band and start over.

A few years ago, when I decided to actually read through some of the books in my sewing library, I discovered other techniques for attaching a collar band.

The problem was every time I was ready to sew a collar with a stand I would waste time flipping through book after book after book grumbling to myself "I know one of these books had something about collar stands. Now which one was it?"

Finally, after finding instructions in one of the many sewing books I own, I would struggle again as there were little to no illustrations or photos to help guide me as I read the text. I don’t know about you but I need a few photos to help me understand the steps that are written.

That’s why I created this — to help me remember the steps needed to sew a great looking collar stand minus that ugly bump where the stand joins the shirt front.

There are many ways of attaching a collar to a collar stand. In fact, if you do an Internet search you'll find a variety of instructions. This just happens to be the one that works for me.

Ready, set, sew!

  • Interface the collar and collar band pieces as you normally would.

  • Sew the upper and under collars together, trim seams, turn collar, press, baste raw edges together.

  • Topstitch collar if desired.

  • Trim seam allowance of collar band, raw edge of collar, and neck edge of shirt to 1/4”

  • Sew the interfaced collar band to the shirt right sides together, ending at the shirt front

  • With right sides together, pin the collar (underside facing the stand) to the collar stand matching the small dots on your pattern. Sew together. (Don’t forget! You trimmed the seam allowance to 1/4” earlier.)

  • Place the collar bands together, with the collar sandwiched in between.

  • Now tuck or fold the front edge of the shirt back so that it is almost inside the collar band.

  • Pin the collar bands together. Pin about 1-1/2” along the bottom portion of the band, making sure the front edge of the shirt is still tucked out of the way. (In the photo below the under collar band seam allowance is still shown at 5/8” which is why the raw edges do not match up.)

  • Sew the collar bands together, starting about 1-1/2” along the bottom edge of one side of the band (where you pinned), continuing along the upper edge of the band and finishing about 1-1/2” along the bottom edge on the other side.

  • Trust me on this. It sounds confusing, but it works.

  • Turn the collar band right side out.

  • Press under the balance of the unstitched edge of the collar band.
  • Pin in place along the neck edge of the shirt.
  • Topstitch or hand stitch band in place.

Done! And look! No ugly bump where the collar band meets the shirt front.

Printable PDF of these instructions can be found here.

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  1. Fantastic tutorial, thanks this will be so helpful on my next blouse.

  2. Great tutorial! Collars with stands is one of my problem areas, I've got to try one soon using your tutorial.

  3. Great information! Featured your tutorial at Craft Gossip Sewing Blog:

  4. You are just such an accomplished seamstress! Everything you sew looks great!

  5. Anonymous11:24 PM

    This is a fabulous technique. I love it. I had just gotten to the point where I did a lot of trimming which was scary, but finally did get the thing to lay flatly, but I like your method better. I did download the pdf file, cause like you, if I don't have this readily available will just remember I saw it some place and spend the rest of my life looking for the thing! Thanks for finding it for us!!! ;-)

  6. Anonymous8:57 PM

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  7. great tutorial, it will help me a lot on my second featured dress. I saw your tutorials, they look fantastic. Can you help me, how to sew mens neckties, because i do not know how to proper sew a mens neckties. I always come to an end with an ugly or merely not necktie. I'm just a beginner in sewing.

  8. Its good to see individuals giving instructions. I noticed most of what you show is based on womans clothes.A source for professional shirt making instruction can be found at

    Keep up the great work



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