I just love a peter pan collar – better yet, a sparkly peter pan collar! But when the collar is part of the garment itself, I find that it limits the style of the dress or shirt. I just get tired of it faster if it’s a specific statement piece I can only wear certain places. Necklaces, on the other hand, are some of the most versatile things we have in our closet. They can be worn with almost any outfit and dressed up or dressed down. That’s why when I heard about a detachable collar that can be worn like a necklace, I just had to make one for myself! And I’m here to help you make one too. No sewing machine? No problem! This collar can definitely be hand sewn and turn out just as well!
Take a look at a few inspiration photos I found on Pinterest while I was researching for this project. Each photo links to the original post when clicked.
What You’ll Need
- 1/4 yard top fabric – This can literally be whatever you want! I chose sequins (more on why you may or may not want sequins yourself in a minute).
- 1/4 yard lining fabric – This could very well be the same as your top fabric unless your top fabric is sequin. Can you say scratchy?
- 1 yard ribbon – This could also be string or even substituted for a button instead
- Printable PDF pattern (download here)
- Thread to match
Working with Sequins
I found great blog posts here and here that outline some tips for sewing with sequin fabric. If I were sewing a more formal piece of clothing, the fabric was more expensive, or the sequins were larger, I would probably go with the first method linked above and carefully remove sequins from the seam line. But since this was such a small project and I was definitely not feeling up to the tedious task of removing sequins one by one, I went with the second method and sewed straight through. I sacrificed a few needles in the process, but it ended up okay. The second blogger recommends a needle for sewing leather, which I wish I made a point to get before starting this project. She also recommends cutting the sequins with old scissors instead of your nice, sharp sewing scissors.
Let’s Get to Work
Once you’ve got all your supplies ready and the PDF pattern printed and cut out, go ahead and fold your top fabric so the right sides (or sequin sides) are facing each other. Pin the pattern in place.
Cut around the pattern piece leaving a border large enough for a seam allowance. I never get exact when it comes to seam allowances. #selftaughtseamstress Anywhere between 1/4″ and 1/2″ should be perfectly fine.
As you can see, sequins will get EVERYWHERE. Cut this on a smooth surface where it is easy to scoop all those teeny tiny pieces into the trash. So, NOT the carpet!
Pin the pattern piece onto your bottom or lining fabric and cut out leaving a border, just like you did for the top fabric. You should have four pieces that look like this.
Pin those pieces together so the right sides are facing each other – sequins facing the shiny side of the lining fabric.
Start on one of the back corners so that you are working your way toward the curve. We want to leave that back straight part open to turn it inside out later, so just sew around the bottom “U” shape.
Go as slow as you need to when it comes to the curve. It helped me to stop every few stitches, make sure the needle was through the fabric, lift up the presser foot, and twist the fabric a little bit (or rotate it more towards me). Otherwise, the fabric just gets caught and bunched, and that’s no good for anyone.
As you can see, I didn’t take my own advice about the slow curves! If this happens to you, I would recommend making your new, corrected stitch BEFORE ripping out the old one. I tell my elementary art students all the time that it will help you more to work around your mistakes before getting rid of them than it will to erase the entire page and start from scratch.
Trim up your edges so they’re nice and clean and your extra seam allowance that we don’t need is removed.
Turn those babies right side out.
Simon was helping out greatly by sleeping on my bed while I worked. I started taking pictures of him and he decided to work it for the camera!
Once they’re turned right side out, press the seams so that they lay nice and flat. Make sure you’re ironing the lining side up, since you don’t want to melt your sequins!
Fold under the unfinished ends, and add the ribbon to the top corner. Pin in place.
Sew the ribbon and raw edges as pictured below.
You should now have two beautiful pieces that look like the photo below! I did this with the machine, but I recommend sewing the two pieces together at the front by hand.
Use the hashtag #cmariecollective on Instagram to show me your collars!