Friday, September 7, 2012

C is for Collars

Oh how I love collars--they can definitely make an outfit.  One of the great things about vintage sewing is that there are a lot of detachable collar patterns.  Having a couple basic dresses with lots of interchangeable collars and cuffs was very popular in the 1930s all the way up to the 1970s as was dickies or false shirt fronts (a trend picked up again from Edwardian and earlier fashions).

Here's some lovely examples of collar patterns:

1. 1930's collar and dickey pattern, available at this shop on Etsy; 2. Early 30's collars and belts pattern from my collection; 3. Early to mid 30's dress pattern with large collar, available at Best Vintage Patterns, 4. 1930's removable fur collar and cuffs, photo from here.

1. 1941 McCall removable collar to embroider or smock, from my collection 2. 1940s dickey pattern, available at this shop on Etsy; 3. mid 40's blouse with jabot collar, available at this shop on Etsy; 4. 1940's Advance dickey pattern, available from this shop on Etsy.
1. 1950 collars, cuffs and vestee pattern, available at this shop on Etsy. 2. 1950s collar and matching bouquet pattern, sewn up by Marie at A Sewing Oddysey; 3. McCall's 1950's hats, collars and cuffs pattern, available at this shop on Etsy; 4. 1940's McCall's collars, shawl and cuffs pattern, available from this shop on Etsy.
More 1950's patterns for basic dresses with interchangeable collars:
1. 1950's dress with removable collars, available at this shop on Etsy. 2. 1950s dress with collars, scarf and capelet, available at this shop on Etsy; 3. McCall's 1950's scoop neck dress with collar variations, available at this shop on Etsy; 4. 1950's Simplicity 3973 dress with overlay collar/cape, available from this shop on Etsy.

1. 1969 shift dress with collar and cuff variations, available at this shop on Etsy. 2. 1960s collar variations including ruffled collar, available at Heavens to Betsy Vintage; 3. Simplicity 1960's dress with collar variations, available at this shop on Ecrater; 4. 1960's McCall's collar variations, available from Another Time pattern shop.

My First Dress: A Removable Collars and Cuffs Project:

I'm definitely in love with collars.  In fact, the very first dress I made had detachable collar and cuffs.  I've made it a point to revisit this dress at the same time every year on the date that I posted my first ever blog post (on this very dress).  So far I've done yellow and green collar and cuffs.  Maybe this year I'll go for purple or another colour of green?  What colour do you I should do next?

Collar Sewing Tutorials and Resources:
Here are some fabulous resources (leave a comment if you know of others not on this list!)

  • Casey also did a two-part series on creating a scalloped 1930's inspired collar for the Pendrell blouse (or any other blouse), check out part 1 and part 2 of the tutorial.
  • Gertie also did a three-part tutorial series on drafting a peter pan collar.  Check out part 1, part 2, and part 3 of that tutorial.
  • If you crochet, there are some amazing free vintage crochet collar patterns available here.
What's your favourite type of collar?  Have you ever sewn a detachable collar?



  1. I love collars in all their variations and shapes. Also crocheted ones. 

  2. I cant tell you how happy seeing this post made me:) I love collars and always feel drawn to dresses/tops that have them!
    I am going to look through all of these tutorials tonight because autumn calls for more collars in my wardrobe I think:)
    Jess x

  3. I made my first ever detachable collar this week - black sequins - a pattern from Ellie West sewing on Etsy. I'll blog next week about it, I've got no-one to take photos for me this weekend. Alas. I think it's made me fall in love with the concept!

  4. I have just been thinking lots about collars. How funny that you posted this now! I'm making a blouse which will probably have a peter pan collar. How do the detachable collars stay on? With buttons?

  5. I love collars too! They definitely make dresses and blouses very unique, and I love them under sweaters.

  6. I remember a blouse pattern from the mid 1980s that had six-eight collar variations. One was a broad Peter Pan collar, with a separate neck band that you attached by lifting the collar up and buttoning on the band. It made the collar curl into petals around your face, as if your head were emerging from an unfurling rose. Much more effective on my long-necked friends ... I think this blouse had a hidden button placket, too. It was a favorite pattern, 50 pounds ago. I purchased -- but never made -- a Butterick jacket pattern during the same era, that had interchangeable collar/lapels. Hmmm. Might be time to re-visit that one, thirty years later.

  7. Ah! I love all these resources for collar tutorials! I'd love to make a shirt with a detachable collar. It could really help my rapidly diminished closet space!:)

  8. I think adding a purple collar to your first dress would be a lovely addition to your present collars!  I love shawl collars.  The rose shawl ruffled collar in the center of Simplicity 4154 immediately caught my attention. I am always on the lookout for patterns with a shawl collar. I am really enjoying your alphabet series!

  9. I'm really enjoying this series Debi! I think this post is my favorite one yet. You've inspired me to tackle a 1950s pattern with collar options in my stash. Thanks!

  10. Wow, I already love this series, and we're only up to C! I just can't believe how much research you've done to put all these resources here for us. Wow again, and thank you. Very inspiring.

  11. Debi_myhappysewingplaceSeptember 08, 2012 9:26 AM

    Thanks Katrina! It's been fun gathering up all these resources!

  12. Debi_myhappysewingplaceSeptember 08, 2012 9:27 AM

    ooohhhhh goody! Can't wait to see your 50's pattern with collar options...they are such fabulous patterns!!!

  13. Debi_myhappysewingplaceSeptember 08, 2012 9:27 AM

    Shawl collars are so lovely! I just love all the variation you can have with such a simple thing--collars! 

  14. Debi_myhappysewingplaceSeptember 08, 2012 9:28 AM

    I know what you mean! I need a good basic dress with several collar options!!  What a fun way to mix n' match!

  15. Debi_myhappysewingplaceSeptember 08, 2012 9:29 AM

    SO LOVELY....I love collars that curl that way!  You should definitely revisit it!!

  16. Debi_myhappysewingplaceSeptember 08, 2012 9:29 AM

    I agree! I love the collars under sweaters look too!

  17. Debi_myhappysewingplaceSeptember 08, 2012 9:30 AM

    oohhh..the peter pan collar sounds great! I've seen detachable collars stay on with buttons or snaps or sewn on (simply..not serged..heheheh) and then just removed and a new one sewn on (not really my sense of detachable but I've seen 'detachable' used that way in vintage patterns)! :)

  18. Debi_myhappysewingplaceSeptember 08, 2012 9:31 AM

    YAY! Collars are so much fun! I just love them too!

  19. Debi_myhappysewingplaceSeptember 08, 2012 9:31 AM

    ooohhh!!! Good idea!  I just saw a pair of lovely orange shoes that might go with a new orange collars and cuffs...hmmmm...

  20. Debi_myhappysewingplaceSeptember 08, 2012 9:31 AM

    I would love to learn to crochet--just to do some of the amazing collars and cuffs I see in vintage patterns!  

  21. This blouse will be for my friend. Maybe I will do a sewn on detachable one hehe. If she doesn't like the collar she can sew on another one herself :)

  22. I'm loving reading your A-Z series Debi, it's really very inspired! And thanks so much for the mention of my sailor collar, I love it so much ;o)


I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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