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DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

DIY detachable frilled bib collar Version 1 // TUTORIAL

Big. Collar. Energy. That’s what it’s all about right now! I’ve been constantly seeing different versions of the same trend for the past year and it doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon! That being said, it probably will at some point and in the spirit of making my clothes last as long as possible, I wanted to come up with a way to embrace the trend without committing too hard!

That’s where the detachable collar comes in!

I’m created a collar that sits directly over the neckline of my Bertie dress giving the illusion that it was included in the original design. I’ve written a quick tutorial on what I did below and it can be applied to any top or dress pattern!


What you’ll need:

+ Pattern pieces – front and back bodices, front and back neck facing

+ Fabric 0.5m (enough to cut your collar, facing and frill)

+ Bias binding tape

+ Sew in press studs x 5

Take the front and back bodice pieces of your chosen pattern and mark in the stitch line/ seam allowances on the shoulder.

Overlap the pieces so that this line meets and tape (as though you’ve sewn it together).

Trace around this new shape following the neckline and the centre front/ back lines including any seam allowances. (This’ll save your original pattern to use again. Skip this if you’re never planning to use the original again!)

You need to decide if you want to have the collar in one or two parts (split at the front and the back) and from there see if you need to add or take away a seam allowance to the centre front or back lines. (E.g. if your pattern has a centre back seam that goes up to the neckline, you may choose to remove this and cut your collar on the fold).

For my version, I wanted it to split in the back. I did not add an allowance here as I wanted the collar to finish far enough away from the centre point to allow space for the frill. I already had the seam allowances included towards the front where the button opening is.

Draw on your desired collar shape. You can make this as exaggerated or minimal as your like. I opted for an 12cm depth all the way around with an exaggerated shape towards the front. (This included my 1.5cm seam allowance)

Here’s an example of what your drawn design might look like.

Cut out your new collar pattern and cut 2 of these (or 4 if you’re doing two parts like mine) in your fabric of choice and 2 in an interfacing. Cut out the neck facing in both your main fabric and interfacing. Iron on your interfacing.

If you want to add a frill, measure the outer edge of your collar and multiply by 1.5-2 depending on how ruffled you want it to look.

Cut a strip to this length by 6cm. Fold the short edges in half, right sides together and turn right side out. Press the strips in half lengthwise so you end up with a long strip with finished ends.

Sew two rows of gathering stitches. Pull the gathers in and pin the frill in place to the interfaced side of the collar, making sure to keep the finished ends just outside the seam allowances at the ends and keeping the gathers even.

Sandwich the frill with the non interfaced collar and stitch.

Clip into any curves, turn out the collar and press flat.

Sew the shoulder seam of your facing pieces. Open and press flat then finish the lower edge of the facing.

Pin and sew the collar to the facing just like you would have done with the original construction then press.

Use the bias tape to finish the raw seam.

I used sew on press studs to anchor the collar in place – on the shoulders, centre back and on either side in the front.

Don’t forget to keep the pointy side of the press studs on the collar! That way when you’re wearing the dress/ top without the collar you won’t have anything sticking into you!

The other thing with this is that if I made this dress again (without any neckline changes), I could use this collar with that as well!

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1 Comment

  1. Great idea. I wish I thought of doing this for a appliqué/embroidered collar that I once made, it only took a couple of washes to ruin the collar, hence the whole shirt was ruined. I’ve often though about making another detachable collar, but wouldn’t have thought to add the lining/interfacing. Great thinking.

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