Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Preppy pan collar makeover....A tutorial, eeek.!

The Whirlwind has a stack of plain t-shirt's in her draw, I have been meaning to spruce them up for ages and finally got round to doing one during yesterdays nap time.

From boring old plain t-shirt, to this........

You will need....
pencil, paper, ruler, tale measure, sewing machine, needle & thread. breakfast bowl!
x1 plain t-Shirt ( from here on referred to as a tee)
x1 22x13 inch piece of fabric.
x1 7inch strip of bias tape (store bought or make your own)
x2 buttons
x2 2inch strips of elastic thread.

Please note these measurements are what I used to create a collar on an age 2 toddler tee. You may have to adjust your own measurements accordingly.
You can click on each picture individually for a closer look at my notes.

First off I created a pattern for the shape of the collar I wanted. I basically found a bowl from the kitchen which had approximately the same curve as the neckline and placed it on top of the tee, then made little pencil Marks on both sides of the side of the bowl where it met with the shoulder line.

Now place your bowl onto a sheet of large paper (I taped 2 A4 sheets together) and draw your curve line from shoulder mark to shoulder mark.

Eyeball the look and shape that you want for your collar.... I wanted a curved peter pan style, but you could easily do pointed lapels(good for boys tee's) or a scalloped edge the choice is yours.

Go back and pick up your tee again and measure the back neck line from shoulder to shoulder, then divide this number by 2.

Take this number as the distance you need to draw a straight line up from the inner shoulder point in your pattern.....For example The Whirlwinds tee measured 9inches along the back neckline This divided by 2 is 4.5inches. So I drew a straight line 4.5inches up from the top of the inner curve I had already drawn on my paper. (make sense?). Extend the outer curve into a line to match the first. This will be the part of the collar that runs round the back of the neck.

You basically now have your pattern, but you need to add seam allowance. I always use a 1/4inch seam allowance and I eyeballed this around my pattern like so...

Once this is all done cut out your pattern (including seam allowance) and you should have something like this...

Now the fun begins!...

Fold your desired fabric in half and line up the short straight edge of your pattern with the fold. Trace round and cut out. Do this twice, when you are done and open up your fold you should have two long strips resembling a 'C' shape....

Pin the collars right sides together, mark two points a distance of 2inches along the middle top curve, and sew all around your perimeter from one point to the other. Do not sew across the 2inch mark as this will be where you turn right side out. Once sewn trim your seam allowance (no closer than 2mm from your stitches and not across the 2inch opening) and then clip tiny slits along your curve lines and clip the corners this will give much smoother curves once turned right side out just be careful not to cut through your stitching.

Turn right side out...use a chopstick or a blunt pencil to help push out your corners. Tuck in your opening ,iron flat and topstitch around the entire collar.

Take your tee and turn inside out. Find the mid point of the back neckline(fold shoulder seam to shoulder seam to find this) Do the same for your collar and pin the inner neckline of your collar to the inner neck of your tee working from the back mid point to the front lapels....
Sew together starting about 1/2inch in from the start of one end of the collar, and stopping 1/2inch from the other end of the collar( this gives you room to attach your bias tape.) I used a zigzag stitch, but I don't think it matters if you use a straight stitch as there will be an opening at the front anyway to get it over your head.(you will notice in my pics that my collar did not quiet meet up in the centre, this is because I changed my mind over which tee I wanted to make over.. I noticed a hole at the bottom of my original tee... and was too lazy to re-do another collar, but on the original tee they met closer in the middle!)

Now turn your tee right side out and flip your collar out and iron down.

Mark a vertical line 3inches down the centre of your tee between the 2 lapels (collar) and cut (make sure this line is straight!)

Take your bias tape (measurement calculated by x2 the length of the incision + an extra inch for tidy ends...Tuck in 1/2inch at each end for tidy seams)line it up with the top or your tee( in the 1/2inch space) and sew all the way down one side and up the next of the cut in one continuous length. (look here for how to make your own bias tape and how best to sew on bias tape) Go back and sew down the 1/2inch section of the lapels on top.
I seem to have lost the pic for cutting the front of the tee and sewing the bias, so I have tried to write clear directions on this earlier pic instead.

Hand sew on your buttons, one at the top, one mid way down. Do the same on the other side for your elastic loops, You will have to test exactly how big or small your loops need to be depending on the size of your button.

Voila....Stand back and admire the cuteness of your work.

Then spend half an hour chasing your little one around the place trying to get a decent pic ! Or admire yourself in the mirror as you can easily make this for your own tee.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. It is the first one I have ever written and its a bit thrown together, so please feel free to ask me anything vie comments or email if none of it makes any sense!

x K


casserole said...

I love this!! The collar and binding add so much to the plain tee!

I linked to your tutorial over at Craft Gossip Sewing:


CarlaSue said...

Thanx for linking this to Craft Gossip, which is where I found it! What a brilliant idea, great tute and love this blog! I`ll be making collars for my own tees now. :)
What. It`s a peter pan collar and I never grew up!

BNB said...

Love it! Will try on adult-sized shirt for sure!!!

Ruth said...

gorgeous! i want to try an adult-sized one too! said...

Love it thanks!