I essentially wanted to make a completely separate accessory that I could layer over any dress or jumper to get the Big Collar Energy. I figured it’ll be super versatile. There are plenty of DIY tutorials and patterns out there for a similar look but I thought I’d share what I did to make mine! It’s also a very easy and low commitment project – perfect for beginners!
I used a neckline of one of my favourite patterns – the Mira dress from Fibre Mood – as a guide for this but you can use any pattern, a garment you already own or just eye ball it!
I traced around the neckline of my chosen pattern, eliminating any seam allowances and matching it up at the shoulder to create a C shape. I then drew on my chosen design, keeping the centre back on the fold and drawing a deep collar shape to the front. I chose to have a sharp angled front but you could do any shape you like! Here’s some ideas on what you could do!
Once you’ve got your design, add a 1cm seam allowance all the way around if needed. Cut out two of these shapes in your fabric and cut out one in an iron on interfacing. Use an iron to press your interfacing and upper collar together.
If you want to add the ruffle (and why wouldn’t you!?), take a rough measure of the outer edge of the collar. Multiply this by 2 and cut a strip of fabric that’s this length by 6cm.
Cut two further strips of 4cm by 50cm for the ties (alternatively use a ribbon!).
Start with sewing up the ties! Be warned, this is the fiddly bit! Fold each strip in half lengthwise and sew with a 1cm allowance. Trim the seam and turn inside out with a loop turner. I left my ends raw and used a metal cord end like this to cover a knot. You can either leave a plain knot or just fold over the end a couple of times and stitch it down.
Time to prep the ruffle now! Fold each of the short ends of the ruffle in half right sides together and sew. Trim the corner and turn right side out. Fold and press the rest of the strip in half lengthways. Run two lines of gathering stitches along the raw edge. Pull these in so the the gathered ruffle fits along the edge of your collar where you want it to sit minus the width of the seam allowances at the beginning/ end.
Sandwich the ruffle between your two collar layers. Add your ties to the sandwich filling with one tie in each upper corner in the front.
Sew all the way around with a 1cm allowance and leave a gap of 10cm in the back neck area. Don’t forget to back stitch at the beginning and end of your stitches!
Use this gap to turn your collar right side out. (Clip into any really curved sections before doing this if you need to!). Press the collar flat, turning the seam allowance in the gap into place. Top stitch the collar all the way around to close the gap and make things neat!
This particular style is a bit Crucible chic but I still kinda love it! 😂