Peter Pan collars are too charming. Maybe it’s because they remind me of my little girl clothes of the past, or even because they are named after a boy who can fly and is friends with fairies. Regardless, I have never been able to walk away with my credit card in tact once I spot one. With tuition and rent bills filling my mailbox, however, I have learned to put down the hanger, and leave the store Peter-Pan-less. My indulgent behaviour in check, I came up with a more practical approach to achieving this darling look. Borrowing tips and tricks from various do-it-yourself guides (and after a few interrogations of my fashion design friends), I came up with my own recipe for adding a little Peter to any garment. Professionals please keep in mind that this is a girl with little garment-making know-how, describing to like-minded folk, the simplest way (in her eyes) to achieve a DIY collar.
Materials: Fabric for collar, interfacing, thread, paper, pencil, fabric scissors, an iron
Step 1: Trace the Neckline of the garment that you wish to Peter-ize. For this I used just a regular blank piece of paper and pencil. I stuck the paper inside the dress and aligned it with the shoulder seams, then I traced away. This will give you the neckline on the front of the dress. Repeat with the back of the dress so that you have the shape of both the front and back. Once you have both front and back necklines, cut and paste them together so that you have an oval-like shape. You now have a starting place!
Step 2: Using your imaginary neckline for size, do a rough sketch of what you want the collar to look like, on another blank sheet of paper. For this part I drew a few different variations, cut each out, and tried them on the dress to see which size I liked best. There is nothing worse then getting to the end stretch and realizing you don’t like the size. Once you have a shape you like, in the words of Joey Gladstone, “Cut it out!”
Step 3: Now is the exciting part, or if you’re like me, the nerve-wracking part. Pin your pattern to the fabric and cut! Okay. Before you do this, take a deep breath and remember one crucial thing: leave a seam allowance (this means leave about an inch or inch and a half of fabric around both the outside and inside of your pattern, so you have a little something to work with). Before removing the paper pattern though, I like to just dot around the pattern itself onto the actual fabric, so that I have a perfect guideline of where I need to be sewing. Repeat this step on both your fabric that you chose for your collar, and the interfacing.