Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Craft Room: Retooling a Collar off an Old Blouse

Hello Darlings, 

If you follow me on Instagram, then you may already have gotten a sneak peek at the simple little DIY I finished the other day.  Detachable collars - we all love them, right?  So awhile back, I found this totally 80s jacket/tunic/blouse thing and kind of fell in love with the collar despite the hideous almost waterproof cross between a choir robe and a slicker type of material.  While I will admit that I have indeed worn it before...see here, I really just wanted to save the collar and nothing else so cue up the DIY.  

This one is so easy my friends (trust me, I am far from a pro), and it doesn't take a neurosurgeon to pull it off, just a pair of scissors and perhaps some needle and thread and pretty ribbon.  

Materials Needed:
A thrifted blouse with a pretty collar - preferably sailor or Peter Pan style.
A needle and thread
Hook-and-eye closure (optional)

1. Lay your blouse with the collar flat, then using the collar seam as your guide, cut about a centimeter  below the seam the whole way around the collar.

 If you want to skip the next step, you can also cut as close to the seam as you are able.  You will be left with an unfinished edge which won't be seen when worn, but because I was cutting through 4 layers of material on my blouse (yes 4! Two from the blouse itself and 2 from the collar.), I decided to be cautious and leave myself a little extra room to cut.  Either way, I would have had to do step 2 since the 4 layers of fabric would have been stiff enough to stand up leaving a bulky edge where the seam is.  

2.  With a needle and thread, sew the centimeter of extra fabric down to the collar.  This will help it lay more flat.  Iron if needed.

Because I'm a bit picky...ok, a straight up type A perfectionist at times, I opted to give my collar a faux bow in the front and a hidden hook-and-eye closure to keep it more secure when worn.  I have purchased a couple of lovely collars with the typical two ribbons in the front that you tie into a bow, however I have found that on me, the ribbon does not stayed tied or it becomes very cockeyed during the day.  So instead, I added a hidden hook-and-eye closure where the collar would close in the front and a bow on the front of the outside flap.  This stays in place for me sooooo much better but it does add one more step to the process.

3.  In the mirror, put the collar around your neck, overlapping the front ends (about 1/2 an inch in from the edge) and mark off where it will naturally close on both sides.  This is where your hook-and-eye closure will go.  Grab your needle and stitch on both parts of the hook-and-eye.  (The hook will go on the inner side of the outer flap of the collar.  The eye will go on the outer side of the flap which lays closest to your skin)  Make sense?  That's a mouth full!

4.  Take your ribbon and tie a bow, making sure it's the right size you want it to be for your collar.  With your needle and thread, sew the bow on to the part of the collar which overlaps the other - right on the front center - which is basically on the outer side of where your hook is sewn.

Hooray!  You are finished!  You now have quite the little show stopper of a collar on your hands.  Alright darlings, enough DIYing for the day, I'm off to bake some pumpkin carrot cake muffins.

Peace, love, and pumpkin lattes, 
Love Bunches, 


  1. Cute! Now I'll be on the lookout for old shirts with sailor collars! ( I doubt I'll find many)

  2. This is an awesome idea - definitely going to give it a go x

  3. Excellent job!! How sweet this is!!

  4. recycling vintage clothes/giving them a modern twist is one of my favorite things to do. this is such a good idea. i feel a goodwill/thrifting trip coming soon lol. :)

  5. Brilliant. Seriously. Absolutely great idea. And I can't believe you saw potential in the jackets; I never would have seen that!

  6. I have been searching everywhere (!!) for an old shirt with a beautiful collar. At least now I'll have a tutorial once I find one:)

  7. This is so cute! I cannot wait to see what you pair this cute little collar with, the plaid is perfect for fall and winter. This time of year is when my plaid obsession comes back in full force. Plaid backpack, plaid shoes, plaid shirt... sometimes I wear more than one at a time and I look like a disaster!
    I can't wait to thrift a shirt and try this, thank yoU! And oooooooh pumpkin carrot muffins?! I had a sample of one from Starbucks (and one from panera) with a surprise cream cheese center- it was amazing!
    Have a beautiful day!
    xo Hannah

  8. This looks really cute, and you were right, it's easy too :)

  9. This is so simple! I've been wondering how to do something like this.

  10. This is such a cute idea! I need to work up the motivation to do this, it's so much easier than I would've expected.

  11. What a great idea! I have a few blouses that could probably use this diy...thanks!

  12. I used to be a technical designer for jackets so collars are kind of my thing. They frame the face so well. This is a great tutorial to show how to take a collar from an old jacket/shirt and make use of it!

  13. Neat! You have me sitting here thinking about which shirts I can take a collar from. :)

  14. this is a great idea - i really love it - i want a detachable collar so bad!
    <3 katherine
    of corgis and cocktails

  15. Brilliant. Must try!!!
    Have a grand weekend, dear Marisa guapa.

  16. amazing!!!! you have your own style of collar
    im following you now, hope we can follow each other <3

  17. Wow, Marisa! You're so skillful! I'd love to learn to do this kind of things! Well, no I have the sewing machine, so it's just a matter of trying, hehe.

    Hope you have a fun weekend! :P

  18. cute idea <3


  19. I recently bought a hideous dress with a really cute collar with dreams of doing this! I'm so glad you did this tutorial because I haven't had the confidence to take the scissors to it yet :) Very cute!


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