Sew Cute: Detachable Collar

I haven’t quite started my official spring-cleaning marathon yet (I am a champion procrastinator), but my great seasonal wardrobe update continues. Last week I shared with you how to update a basic button-down shirt, and this week I’m continuing on my re-styling kick.

Detachable collars have been popping up on street-style blogs and in shops for a while, and for good reason: they’re polished enough to look grown-up, but whimsical enough to add a vintage, quirky pop to tops and dresses. Luckily for us DIY-ers out there, they’re a snap to make! I made my little collar black and white to really play up the mod look, but let your imagination run wild with different color and pattern combinations.


  • Cotton or linen
  • 5/8-inch wide ribbon
  • Thread in a corresponding color to the fabric
  • Basic sewing needle or sewing machine
  • Paper or tagboard to make the pattern
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Ballpoint pen or tailor’s chalk (if you have a light-colored fabric like mine, I recommend using tailor’s chalk or a pencil to avoid staining the cloth)
  • Iron and ironing board

Craft away:

Fold the paper in half, hot-dog style (lengthwise). Trace half a collar shape onto it, 9-inches long by 2 3/4-inches wide.

Cut the shape out and unfold the paper. You should now have a collar template. Check the fit against your neck – you can make the template longer or shorter to make the collar sit higher or lower on you.

Fold the fabric in half and place the template on top of it. Trace the shape onto the fabric. Pro tip: pin the fabric together to prevent it from sliding around.

Add 1/4 inch all the way around the shape, and then cut it out. You should now have two collar shapes.

Fold the upper, straight edge of both pieces down 1/4-inch, towards the outside of the fabric. You can use your handy tracing line as a guide. Iron the fold to set it in place.

Cut two 16-inch long pieces of ribbon. Roll them up, and stick a pin through the roll to hold it in place. Leave about an inch of the ribbon free from the roll.

Place the unrolled end of each piece of ribbon between the two pieces of fabric, with the end of the ribbon 1/4-inch under the top-corner edge of the fabric.

Pin around the outside edge of the shapes to hold the two pieces together, making sure that the ends of the ribbon are pinned in, too. The folds should be facing out.

Using the needle and thread or a sewing machine, sew the bottom, curved side of the shapes together, using your tracing line as a guide for your stitches. Leave the straight top with the folded edge open. Be careful to only stitch the ends of the ribbon down, too—make sure the rest of it doesn’t get caught anywhere!

After sewing, you should now have a little pocket with an open top. Flip it inside out and iron it to set the shape.

Pin along the top, unstitched edge of the collar. The folds that you previously set should now be folded towards the inside the collar.

Stitch the remaining edges together using the needle and thread or a sewing machine. Since this seam will be topstitched and visible, keep your work close to the edge of the fabric.

Unpin and unroll the ribbons.

You’re finished! Simply loop the collar around your neck and tie a pretty bow with the ribbons to add a mod touch to any basic top or dress.

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