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Dance Shoe Bag
Retro Shirt Collar




ManyTracks Sewing and Knitting 
Sue Robishaw



5 Needle
Multi Color



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photo shirt collars

How-to  ~  Ideas  ~  Inspiration
 From more than forty years having a good time living a sustainable life
in the northwoods of Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Extend the life of those still serviceable and comfortable old shirts by replacing the worn out collars. Or create a new look for those still in good shape. A small amount of cloth and a few hours will have the retro ready to wear in no time.   

Replace that ratty, worn out collar and let that favorite work shirt continue for many more years.

Winter is the time I can catch up on mending and sewing projects which pile up during those months when my focus is outside. I find it satisfying to spend a little time to make a favorite clothing fit better or extend its life. Neither of us enjoy shopping for new clothes so altering/mending/sewing suits us. And since I do it when I feel like it that suits me, too!

One of those easy and satisfying projects is to re-collar a work shirt for Steve. He has his favorites and is reluctant to give those up just because they get a little (or lot) tattered. It seems the first part to wear through is the collar (unless the shirt goes down for some other more drastic, and usually obvious, reason). If the shirt is in otherwise reasonable condition I take the collar and collar band off and sew a new one on.

I keep some plain cotton fabric on hand for this, simple navy and brown. You can use the collar you take off as a pattern, or trace around another one onto some sturdy paper or cardstock. Or use a commercial pattern. I use the collar pattern from a shirt pattern I came up with awhile ago for making or altering shirts for Steve. A one-piece collar/band combination works (it is just a work shirt after all!) but I find a separate neck band and collar piece sewn together fits and looks better, so that is what I do. For these re-do’s I don’t bother with interfacing or top button as I would with a new shirt. You could replace the collar with just a neck-band, too. That works. But I do a regular two piece one (it works better for the fiddler!).

Whenever I make a pattern for something I make notes as I go along and type out instructions for next time. I list the steps in the order that worked for me, highlighting anything that might make the work go easier in the future. I tweak and make changes to the instructions every time I use the pattern. This helps down the road.

Here are my instructions for a replacement work shirt collar (with no interfacing - if you want interfacing just add it):

* Cut two pieces of each - Neck Band and Collar

Neck Band
* Place on work table in this order: Inner band right side up / Shirt yoke right side up / Outer band right side down. Pin.
* Stitch 1/2” seam, folding in ends to match.
* Press seams toward neck band.
* Top stitch along edge. Mark center back.

* Sew 2 layers together, right sides facing, stopping 3/4” from neck band edge. Mark center.
* Clip corners. Turn right side out. Press flat.
* Sew Inner Collar to Band, Right Sides Facing (shirt back is facing up, inner collar down).
* Press seam toward band. Turn shirt over.
* Carefully smooth inner layers. Turn under raw edge and pin slightly below other seam.

along edge of collar.
* Trim as necessary at ends. Make sure both sides are even.
* Turn in and top stitch close to edge (on right side).
* Top stitch, top side, around collar.

And there you have it -- a renewed work shirt! Now, about those cuffs...

Copyright by Susan Robishaw

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Have you read  "Frost Dancing - Tips from a Northern Gardener"? A fun short read.

or "Homesteading Adventures"    Creating our backwoods homestead--the first 20 years.

and "Growing Berries for Food and Fun"   A journey you can use in your own garden.

updated 01/16/2017
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