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Perfect Collar Points...A Shirtmaker's "Secret" Technique

"Secret" in this case meaning that after all these years
I am finally sharing one of the ways I achieve
 "As close to perfect as possible" Collar Points
on the shirts that I design and sew for my clients.
(Extreme close-up of a Collar point)

This amazingly simple Collar Point technique is used by many Custom Shirtmakers all over the world.  Like many of the techniques I use, it was learned during my Tailoring and ShirtMaking Apprenticeship.

There are certain techniques that Custom-ShirtMakers use to get professional results, and this is one of them.  Before I get to the tutorial, please note that there are a few things that (almost all) Custom ShirtMakers "Always do", and "Never do".  We TURN collars, we do NOT "poke" them out with pointy objects, or any other object, template or gadget. Also, when we want a Point, we SEW a Point...we do NOT pivot taking 2 stitches. And we NEVER sew a collar with a 5/8-inch seam allowance, because it wastes time and fabric.

That said...if you Pivot and Poke and use 5/8-inch seams,  and are happy with your results.....I am NOT the self-appointed "Point Police Officer"!   So carry on...and disregard what follows.   :)

If you want your collar points to be perfect every time, with very little effort....here is the method that most of my professional ShirtMaking colleagues and I use with great success...even on the thickest shirt fabrics. In fact, the fabric shown in this demonstration is a thicker than usual, double-weave wool/cotton herringbone shirting fabric.

The first step to a great collar is to reduce the seam allowance of your collar pattern piece to 1/4-inch (Please note that you will also have to change the shirt-body neck edge seam allowances to 1/4-inch).  

 Then cut 2 collar pieces, and Interface one of them as shown below. Generally, the top collar is interfaced. For a softer look, interface the bottom collar or interface both for a very crisp collar. The interfacing shown here is Pro-Woven Light Crisp Fusible Interfacing, from www.FashionSewingSupply.com.) I will elaborate about interfacing techniques another time....today it is all about The Point.   

So to continue, shown below are 2 collar pieces with 1/4-inch seam allowances--

 (All photos may be "clicked" to enlarge)

Next, Place the collar pieces right-sides-together (RST), and stitch the long top seam completely from one edge to the other,  as shown--

Press the seam flat, then press it open. Then turn the piece so that the Right Side is facing up, as shown--


 The following steps will be done on both sides, for each collar point, when making a collar. 

However, just one side will be shown here to demonstrate the technique.


STEP 1--   Cut a piece of thread about 15-20" long and fold it so there is a loop on one end, as shown-- 

STEP 2--  Lay the folded thread exactly in the "well" of the seam, with a generous portion of the LOOPED side going off the edge, as shown--

STEP 3-- Fold the collar Right Sides Together, matching the short side seams of the collar, and "trapping" the folded thread INSIDE, snugged-up against the line of stitching. (The looped side sticks out beyond the edges), as shown--

 STEP 4-- Move it to the machine...but before any stitching is done, lift up one layer of the collar and make sure that piece of thread is still right against the seam, as shown below. If it isn't, use your fingernail to nudge it into place.

Now carefully match the short edges of the collar, and stitch the seam. IMPORTANT-- Because the thread loop must be secured when this seam is sewn..Stitch the First Inch of This Seam with VERY SMALL/Short /Tiny  STITCHES.   (I use 22 stitches per inch, the number 1 stitch length setting on my machine) ...then change back to your regular stitch length, and finish sewing the short end of the collar.  Notice that the looped side of the thread is still sticking out beyond the edges--

STEP 5-- After the side of the collar is stitched, carefully trim the seam allowances as shown below. (Make Sure NOT to Cut THE THREAD LOOP!  Repeat...Move that loop out of the way before trimming!)   
Yes, this is all the "point trimming" that is needed...trust me.

----- REPEAT Steps 1-5 on the Other Side of the Collar -----

Here is the really fun "OH My Gosh !" Step---

Do this separately for each Point....

Reach INSIDE the collar and grasp BOTH of the 2 thread TAILS.
 (NO! NOT the loop! Grab BOTH of the loose threads inside!)

 Keep Pulling BOTH of those 2 thread tails....
Gently keep Pulling BOTH of those thread tails....

And keep pulling BOTH of those 2 thread tails until the collar point is turned out completely--


Now to get rid of the thread...Just pull ONE of the thread tails....until the last of it slips through and out.

Here is an extreme close-up of the collar Point....BEFORE is has even been pressed and edge-stitched... No Humps, No Lumps, No unsightly Bumps!  Once turned, the 1/4-inch seam allowances "fit and fill" the point...stopping the "Tip Flip" so often seen in "made-at-home" Collars.

So...do you think you might give this fast and easy method a try when making a collar?    If you do, I suggest making a quick "mock-up" with scrap fabric (you can skip the interfacing)  to practice the thread-loop technique.

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Blogger AuntieAllyn said...

Wow, what a FABULOUS tip . . . thank you so much for sharing!!! Can't wait to use this tip the next time I'm sewing a pointy collar!

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow,so cool. Can't wait to try it.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Jillybejoyful said...

Brilliant! And your pictures and explanation could not possibly be any clearer, thank you!

(thank you too, for explaining that you know you have the dreaded word verification - as much as I hate it, I appreciate your warning) :)

1:17 PM  
Blogger Moni said...

This is absolutely the BEST! I will try this. I have always wondered how to make the points sharper. Thank you for taking the time to post your wonderful tutorials.

1:18 PM  
Blogger a little sewing said...

I can't wait to try this!

1:22 PM  
Blogger gwensews said...

Awesome! Thank you!

1:25 PM  
Blogger renee said...

Oh, this is so nifty! Thank you very much for the excellent tutorial. I want to go make a collar right now, just so I can try this technique.

1:39 PM  
Blogger pdiddly said...

brilliant tutorial - thanks

1:41 PM  
Blogger Ann Made Studio said...

Thank You for this wonderful tutorial and sharing your technique.I will certainly try this :)

2:00 PM  
Blogger Martha said...

Away from my sewing room, but I too cannot wait to do this! Love your tutorials always.

2:17 PM  
Blogger June said...

Wonderful!!! Thank you for sharing another secret. Thank you thank you thank you!

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! That is an amazing tip! So simple but so fantastic! Thank you for giving us a little peek into the custom shirtmaking world!

2:31 PM  
Blogger Sewing by Shirley said...

Wow!!! I cannot wait to try. I have always wondered why my collars aren't pointy. No matter what I've tried, they just have that home-made look to them. Love this! I can't wait to try this.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

I LOVE this, Pam! Thank you for sharing how things are "really" done!

2:34 PM  
Blogger Kelley said...

Thank you so much for another super informative tip, Pam. You are an excellent teacher!

2:34 PM  
Blogger annie said...

OMG. I love it. Soooo much better than the needle with the knotted thread technique and useful for absolutely any collar w/ points, or cuffs, etc. Thank you so much.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous iram said...

wonderful thank you

3:11 PM  
Blogger Gorgeous Things said...

You are A-MAY-ZING!!! Thank you for sharing this. I'm going to bookmark it right now!!!!

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Pam!! How sweet of you to share your secret.


3:12 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing. This is a great tip! and such great detailed photos as well. Even I get it :)

3:27 PM  
Blogger Andrea (four square walls) said...

This is incredible. I don't know how many times I've researched ways to get a perfect collar point, but they all say the same thing that never seems to work for me. Thank you!

3:28 PM  
Blogger Andrea (four square walls) said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Sickofitcindy said...

Thank you so much for sharing this tip! I can't wait it try it out.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Shelley: the Dread Pirate Rodgers said...

Oh. My. Gosh.

Absolutely, positively AWESOME technique. Thank you so very, very much for sharing this method.


4:03 PM  
Anonymous Corrine said...

Always enjoy your posts. I learned this technique from Margret Islander herself in the 1980's and have used it ever since. It works great every time. I use it for all corners, home dec, cuffs, belts etc.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...


This bespoke technique has indeed been around for a long time! I did my apprenticeship in the 80's with a Master Tailor from Italy who had learned it during his own apprenticeship 40 years earlier!

I eventually viewed the all the Islander tapes (Shirt-making, Industrial Techs, and all the Galaxy Tech series) in the mid-90's,though this technique was not included in the 6-8 tapes I got from the Library. She seemed like a lovely woman. It must have been great to actually meet her!

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Nana said...

Fantastically simple.....but I would have never come up with this. Can't wait to try.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...

Oh Pam, you made me LOL for real at:

(NO! NOT the loop! Grab BOTH of the loose threads inside!)

Thank you so. Ich for this great tutorial. Your photography skills complement your teaching skills. Thanks so much for sharing...

9:56 PM  
Blogger Valerie said...

Great tutorial--can't wait to try this trick! Thanks!

8:21 AM  
Blogger Jan said...


Thank you!!!

9:28 AM  
Blogger Candice said...

Great tutorial!

1:52 PM  
Blogger JustGail said...

a long time ago, I read a tip to do something similar for making fabric tubes, why did it never occur to do this for collars? This looks much easier than the fold & clamp method!

1:54 PM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...

JustGail... I think the tube-turning method involves pulling out long thread tails from the machine and then, leaving them attached to the machine, then tucking them into the RST tube...before sewing the tube. Then you can reach inside and use the tails to turn the tube Right Side Out. That's what I do when making thread loops. <--- If anyone reading this wants a quick demo of that technique, let me know here in Comments. If I get more than a few requests, I'll do a quick tutorial.

About the clamp-method...it is so interesting to me that the tailors who help me with some tasks here in my ShirtMaking shop prefer to use the Collar Clamp, while I almost always use this method ;)

2:24 PM  
Blogger Elaray said...

I love this tip and i can't wait to try it!!! Have you written a book? If not, you really should.

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

I would love to see your technique for making thread loops which would also work for tube turning.

Thanks for a beautiful set of pictures of a new-to-me technique!


4:05 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Wow. FANTASTIC. Thanks!!!!

4:43 PM  
Anonymous nowak said...

Thanks a lot, I will definitely try this one! (And I am not easily convinced to change my usual ways of sewing.)

5:20 PM  
Blogger Re's Home on the Road said...

Woot! is right. Thanks for the great tip.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Nancy K said...

Thanks for sharing these wonderful techniques.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

I LOVE a great secret! Can't wait to try this one.

11:09 PM  
Blogger HeathersSphere said...

Thank you, Pam, for sharing this cool tip! I am looking forward to try this.

11:29 PM  
Blogger Martha said...

Thank you for sharing this technique. I will definitely use it!

12:41 AM  
Blogger Lily said...

This is very good tutorial, and very clear pictures. Many thanks. I will give it a try, and of course will let you know the result:-). Lily

1:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So impressed. You've done it again, Pam.

6:43 AM  
Blogger Bunny said...

Pam, I can't thank you enough for this and can't wait to use this method! thank you, thank you, thank you!

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Pam!I've enjoyed your other tips and I am anxious to try this one.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Claire Sews said...

This is fabulous!! Thank you for sharing.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Andie said...

I've definitely got to try that method the next time I make a shirt. Using the thread is an extremely clever solution for making the collar point perfect.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Tee said...

Wow, it's just like when I turn a strap that I've made on a serger, buy trapping a very long serger tail inside the stap! I use the serger tail to turn the strap to the right side! Who would have thought to do this with a collar point! Thanks so much!

3:39 PM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...

Hi Tee...yes! ...it's "kind of" like like that, but more skill is involved here because we do need to make sure that the thread loop is positioned EXACTLY at the intersection of the collar-point stitching.

Rather than when making a tube or fabric loop by just serging off a long tail and placing it inside the piece of fabric before continuing on to stitch the tube closed.

Both of are simple techniques...but with a collar point, we need to be a little more careful :)

5:03 PM  
Blogger celkalee said...

Just wanted to add that yes, Margret Islander was an amazing and inspirational woman. I had taken a class from her in the 1980's and despite my best efforts my collar points were not working out like I wanted . Her method worked well for lightweight fabrics for me but not for other fabrics. She showed me this little "trick" even though it was time consuming compared to her industrial methods. A hard working woman before her time, she used her sewing to support herself and raise her family. I purchased all of her tapes at that class, still have them and actually plan to review them. Just need to find a way to hook up a VHS player to a mi-tech digital TV!

7:51 PM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...

celkalee, thanks so much for your comment....she always seemed, even on tape, to be such a warm and sweet woman! Thanks so much for sharing.

I used my sewing to support myself totally for a long time before I married Roger..and never missed my former corporate job...I love it that much. I still sew every day as one of my "sewing" related jobs...and I can't imagine a better way to make a living!

As for this technique...it is the fastest point-turning technique I have ever used. It is also used in some modern industrial contract shops that make "better" RTW menswear. The entire collar is fully stitched and turned in 2-3 minutes (at most)...not time consuming for us at all...perhaps because we do it so often. But I am not here to convert anyone :)

Here in my small 5-machine shop, the entire technique is done right at the machine. The top seam is stitched and "finger-pressed" open, thread placed on one side, the second seam stitched, Thread placed on second point, 3rd seam stitched, then all "Point Threads" pulled quickly, turning the points in seconds. The entire collar-sewing process takes mere minutes. Then the stitched collars are taken to our pressing surface, pressed swiftly, then back to the machine for top-stitching. Done!

Time is money...even in a small custom-shop like mine :)

8:51 PM  
Anonymous Translator said...

I have never managed to get clean points when doing collars...a good thing my girls like Peter pans collars... but am looking forward to putting your excellent tips into action. Thanks so much for such a detailled tut.

6:28 AM  
Blogger Reethi said...

Thank you! This is a great tip!

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful tip! I will try it next time I sew a collar. Thanks for sharing it!

1:44 PM  
Blogger MaryAnn said...

Thank you for generously sharing your collar turning tip. I plan to use it soon. I would appreciate you tube-turning trick in a tutorial as well. Again, thank you very much for taking the time to post this very helpful tutorial.

2:59 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you so much for your wonderful experience and sharing your knowledge and experience. I was self taught growing up. I did take one class when my father was stationed in Hawaii. It was a Patti-Palmer Peltsh class for one day. By then I was sewing all my clothes and I was in 9th grade. (mid-70's). I have a BS in Home Economic/Textile Science 83. Back then we did not have access to computers and relied solely on instructors. I never even saw my beginning sewing instructor. She had me teach the class from her notes.
I have learned so much in the last couple of years being on line and doing my own research. Hugs to you!!!

3:34 PM  
Blogger Dilliander said...

Fabulous Pam, thanks for sharing this technique, and the many others you have documented in the past. Its appreciated :)

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Dorothy said...

Thank you so much for such a useful tutorial - much appreciated

6:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Perfection! This works beautifully, I can't thank you enough for sharing your valuable knowledge!

12:25 AM  
Blogger Aless said...

Pam-I love you too! I cannot *tell* you how many hours of painstaking work this will save me. I pride myself on my shirt collar points, but they take an age doing them the way I was taught......
Even after 35+ years of sewing, I can still find something new to learn.

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Jean said...

This is such a wonderful tutorial -- I can't wait to try it. Thank you so much for taking the time to share it with us!

10:30 AM  
Anonymous LindaC said...

I am going to try this today! Thanks so much for sharing your tip and I second the person who said you should write a book.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous JackieN said...

Thanks! Your entire blog is a gem, I am so glad to come across and learn some proper sewing techniques.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Sew Lady Sew! said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

11:42 AM  
Blogger Selective Fine Fabrics said...

Wow, what a great tip, can't wait to use it. Thanks

5:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I appreciate your skill--and your generosity--so much. Thank you! Elle

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excruciatingly brilliant. Thanks for sharing!

8:43 AM  
Blogger Diane Sladowski said...

Thank you for sharing! I have been able to get good points with light weight fabrics but can't wait to try this on something thicker. And it looks *much* easier than all the fussing I need to do sometimes. Love secrets!

10:38 AM  
Blogger Cissie said...

What a wonderful tip! I just tried it and it was so easy and effective. Thanks so much.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Katho said...

This is magic! I'll definitely use this technique! Thank you so much for sharing! I'm always looking for the best possible technique and you're a great help!

5:50 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

The collar points in your tutorial are perfect! Great pics. Thanks for posting this!

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great tip! I just tried it...like 1 minute ago! I've been struggling with stretching the points and warping the fabric by trying to poke through with an awl. This is genius! Thanks

2:25 PM  
Blogger Marian Dean said...

Great tip, I have struggled for years to get an easy way to a sharp pointed collar, you are the answer to my dreams. I shall be checking out more of your blog now I have found it. ( via Joy, and Phylis)
I live in UK by the way.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Marian Dean said...

Great tip, I have struggled for years to get an easy way to a sharp pointed collar, you are the answer to my dreams. I shall be checking out more of your blog now I have found it. ( via Joy, and Phylis)
I live in UK by the way.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Katy said...

Amazing! I haven't done a pointed collar yet but I'll definitely be trying this. Can I ask - is your under collar pattern piece slightly smaller than the upper? If not would this method still work with a smaller under collar piece? I would also love to hear any tips for turning a rounded collar!

4:48 PM  
Blogger claudetteeccleston said...

I wasn't gonna, but now I am going to be making a shirt for myself for Saturday. Looking forward to my first easy collar points. Can't say the rest of the shirt will be any good but at least I' confident I'll have sharp, pointy, points. Thank you very much!

5:06 PM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...

Hi Katy, and thanks for your comment.

Like most professional shirtmakers, when I draft a pattern, both collar pieces are identical in size and shape. I roll the seams a tiny bit to the underside when I press the collar prior to top-stitching it. The top-stitching then holds the collar edges in place. All that said...when I draft a shirt pattern, I *do* include another set of collar pieces where the under-collar piece is slightly smaller. Those are used when I am making shirts from heavier fabrics like wool, denim, and flannel.

Either way, this "thread-turning" method will work. The most important thing is to make sure the looped piece of thread is "snugged" tight up against the long seam, and that very tiny stitches are used to close the short seams of the collar.

Here are just 2 of many tips for sewing rounded collar edges-- Reduce the seam allowance to 1/4", and use small/short stitches...it is easier to follow a curve when the stitches are small, and it will help make the curve look smooth when the collar is turned.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Sewing Galaxy said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial.
I sew now a shirt for my hasband.
this tutorial is great!

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fabulous, I'm certainly going to use that technique.
Many thanks.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Alethia said...

Wonderful idea!!!!

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:55 PM  
Anonymous maureen said...


5:19 PM  
Anonymous Karin said...

This great tip made my day!

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you thank you thank you - pointy collars are my kryptonite. I have a stunning pale yellow eyelet dress waiting for a double collar, I ruined the first set with that darn pointy thing! Good thing I cut close together so I had enough fabric to recut.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Zoë said...

Thank you so much for this tip! I've tried a few other methods but haven't found a foolproof method yet. I'll be giving this a go next time I make a collar.


7:14 PM  
Anonymous Signe Eriksen said...

Thanks for sharing! I have to try this - it looks so easy, and with a better result than the methods I've been taught.

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Donna said...

very well explained can't wait to try it.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Erika said...

I have to say: wow! I had this post saved to when I had to to a collar and it was today. It worked perfectly. Thanks a lot for sharing. I think my journey into making shirts (for me) will be easier with your tips :D

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bookmarked this and just tried it with a fray-happy thin cotton, interfaced on one side, and it worked a charm! Thank you so much!!

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Debra said...

I've been making men's shirts for many years and now make only my husband's shirts, from purchased patterns, (sometimes mixing and matching) and always bemoaned the bulkiness of my collar points even though trimming the seam to a 1'4" to try and eliminate the bulk. I've NEVER seen this technique and can't tell you how thrilled! I am with this technique. A HUGE thank you!
I'm trying my hand at drafting a clerical collar so I can make clergy shirts for my husband and I'll be adding this technique to my sewing repertoire. I've also added your site to my 'Sewing' favourites.
Thank you for being so generous with your talent and expertise.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If one stitch is sewn over both ends of the looped thread, it won't be secure when you invert the collar and pull it. How do you guarantee this won't happen?

4:28 PM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...

Anonymous..thanks for your comment.

Let me be very clear...I do not offer, make, or imply any guarantees of any kind regarding any sewing techniques that I decide to share here on *my* blog.

I share them...freely...as examples of what I have learned and used during my years of professional sewing experience.

It seems that this technique has not only worked consistently for me for over 25 years, but has also been successful for many who have commented here before you.

Try it or not...it's up to you. Just as it is with any other tip or technique you read about on on a blog or in a sewing book. :)

9:23 AM  
Blogger Cissie said...

What a great tutorial, Pam! I've been using your technique for a month now and am thrilled with the results, though I still have a ways to go! Why don't you write a book? Your directions are so clear and easy to follow, much more so than other shirtmaking books. You could start with interfacings and take us all the way to ironing the finished shirt. Really. Think about it! Thanks for all of your tips!

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful, neat and soo precise!

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Dani said...

Wow! Awesome! All the best ideas are really simple when you come to think of it. Thanks very much

2:33 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Much appreciated.

4:22 AM  
Blogger lindak21 said...

YAY!!! just made my day...I love this and I thank you!

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drafted and sewn a few button shirts and never could get a really crisp point, no matter how careful I was. Thanks for sharing this master shirtmaker secret. I will add it to my arsenal of tailoring techniques!

Timothy Campbell
-Portland, OR

2:26 PM  
Blogger rubelin said...

I've been using this technique lately but nearly every time the loop pulls right through. I use a very short stitch but it seems both sides of the loop are getting between the same stitch =(

Any ideas how to prevent that??

I think I'll be making a super fat knot in some thread and just pulling the knot back out after it's been turned, but it's not at fast or effective at the loop (which was gorgeous the one time it worked properly ;-) )

5:57 PM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...

Hi Rublelin,

Try using a thicker thread like top-stitching thread. That should solve the problem :)

You can also try making a knot in a single piece of thread...and just leave the knot in the point after it is turned. The knot should bury itself between the seam allowances that are left inside the point, and will not be noticeable.....

OR.....make the knot in the MIDDLE of a long piece of thread. That way, after the point is turned, you can hold the finished point between your fingers and pull the thread out from the INSIDE.

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, I just tried it and it looks great. Thank you.

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a fantastic way tod turn collars and get a crisp point. Thank you for taking time to explain how it is done. Cannot wait to try it out

12:02 PM  
Blogger sewnow2011 said...

Awesome tip and tutorial, awesome shirts. Thank you for your generosity in sharing your knowledge and inspiration.

10:41 AM  
Blogger sewnow2011 said...

Great tip and tutorial. Thanks for sharing. Much of the sewing instruction for home sewers is difficult and ineffective. This is awesome. I can't wait to do this...I think that many have surrendered to wearing and sewing just knits as they lack the knowledge/skills and fit to make great woven garments.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic tutorial, hope you don't mind me linking this on my blog (with clear credit to you of course!) it's fab.

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful tutorial, thanks for sharing this. Hope you don't mind me sharing this link with my sewing friends. It's ace!

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Lauri said...

Hey, this worked the first time I tried it! (Which means it's pretty much foolproof.) Thank you so much for this tip!

4:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would double clip the collar point, coming in from both sides. Since the angle is less than square, there needs to be more clipped off. Cutting straight across is how to do a square corner, not a sharp angle corner = there needs to be less fabric that gets tucked away.

Also, have a boo at this collar process. If you take the time to study it - or better yet, try it - your treatment of collars will never be the same. This is how the real pros do it. http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/a-tale-and-tutorial-of-three-collars/


12:41 AM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...

Dear Anonymous,

-- While I respect your opinion and therefore did not delete your comment...I regret that you felt the need to denigrate one of my techniques and doubt my professionalism.

--I *am* one of the(in your words) "...real pros..."
Shirtmaking has been my professional career for 28 years...it is NOT my hobby.

I am classically trained Tailor who decided to specialize in the art of Shirtmaking during nearly 6-years of an extensive and highly intensive professional apprenticeship.

-- With regard to what you would do...in my professional experience clipping (or to be more precise, "trimming") the collar point depends on the fabric being used. With most cotton shirt-weight fabrics there *needs* to be enough fabric to fill the point...otherwise there will be the "Tip Flip" often seen in shirts sewn by the less experienced.

--Here I demonstrated just one of a few different techniques that I (along with the "real" professional tailors who I employ in my shop) use for turning a collar...depending on fabric and pattern. As you can see from the countless comments before yours it has worked very well for others.

-- Regarding your link, I respect Kathleen Fasanella highly, both personally and professionally. While our techniques may differ occasionally, I am as much of a professional in my smaller specialized field of *custom* shirtmaking as she is in her much broader role in the Commercial Sewing Industry (along with her notoriety and countless other professional accomplishments). She knows who I am, I consider her a "professional friend", and unless her opinion has vastly changed over the years that we have been acquainted...Kathleen respects my abilities and my profession. There is no doubt that I have always both respected and greatly admired hers.

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pam, it's obvious that you are a much nicer person than I am. That "real professional" remark reads like a slap in the face and it's offensive. I hope Anonymous was merely clumsy with her/his wording, and not intentionally condescending and pointed -as I am being now! Thank you for all the information you have shared on your blog over the years. The techniques are priceless, your generosity in sharing your tricks is appreciated, and oh yeah - your interfacing is THE BEST available anywhere, at any price. In the interest of not remaining anonymous, please sign me Karla Kizer.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...

Thank-you, Karla !

7:25 AM  
Blogger Ann Van Doren said...

Thank you from another self taught "follow the pattern instructions" home sewer!

11:14 AM  
Blogger Ann Van Doren said...

Thank you from another self taught "follow the pattern instructions" home sewer!

11:14 AM  
Blogger Seam Ripper Joe and his Sewing Machine said...

This is Brilliant! I have a Victoria Jones shirt I'm starting this week and I'm going to definitely try this technique. Thanks :)

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's " sew" generous of you to share !!! Thank you !!!

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are 'sew' generous!!
Thank you!!!

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great tip. Your shirts are beautiful!

6:46 AM  
Blogger sewphie said...

Thank you so much! Just tried it, and it worked perfectly...on one side. The other side, the loop came out, so I put it back with help from a needle, and then it worked great too.
Really appreciate your very clear tutorial.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What a great way to make perfect collars - i will practice it.
Thanks a lot - Anita

4:06 AM  
Anonymous robbiesews.com said...

wow! it can't be that easy! each time i watch a tutorial i'm just smiling with glee. thanks so very much.

10:36 PM  
Blogger SewCraftyChemist said...

Oh sure I find this AFTER making a collared shirt :) I will do this on shirt #2! Thank you!!!

5:24 AM  
Blogger Jayson & Sara said...

Thank you thank you! Just turned a jacket collar of pretty heavy twill. There's no way my points would have been so sharp without this tutorial. Thank you so much!

8:45 PM  
Anonymous samira said...

really fabulous
and you helmped a lot
thank you so much

4:57 AM  
Blogger Nastassia said...

I'M extremely happy to have found your blog,, It's been very helpful. I had problem with getting a corner well done and your tip is just fantastic!!

Thank you!!!! :)

1:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for sharing your pro-techniques here!

I tried your method several times with mixed results. The points turn out rounded and not super sharp.

Also, a couple of times the loop is either not catched and thus lost, or catched but not exactly at the corner so the point turns out skewed, distorting the fabric...

I came up with a solution where I use a sewing needle on the pulling thread. I stich the the long seam of the collar first, like you do. Then I lay the needle right under the seam, in the well on the inside, with the needle sticking out the short seam side, I then carefully stitch the short seam, making sure I stitch over the needle with one stitch. I then lift the press foot, pull the needle outside, turn it around the corner stitch and place the needle inside the collar.

The pulling thread is now wrapped around the exact corner stitch! A sure success for the price of threading a needle and lifting the pressing foot.

Alternatively you can make the seam in one go, and as you turn the corner, leave needle down, lift the foot and turn the collar, put the pulling thread needle under, lower foot, take one stitch, lift foot, pull needle with thread and place inside, then complete the short seam and repeat on the other side.

Hope you can follow the description! Let me know what you think.



10:11 AM  
Blogger MaryMary86 said...

You are a gifted teacher - going to try this now.

5:15 PM  
Blogger tonyaandevansmom said...

WOW! I am truly amazed and grateful for this tip. I will be trying this before the day is out.

12:32 PM  
Blogger tonyaandevansmom said...

WOW! I am truly amazed ang grateful go this tip hat I will be trying before the day ends.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Lyn W uk said...

Hi Pam. What a great tip. I just can't wait to try it.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Wale Adebanjo said...

Wale Adebanjo from Lagos, Nigeria.
I'm very sure this will work for me too. Thanks very much Pam

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so amazing. I really appreciate you sharing your expertise. This is generous and has changed the way I make collars!

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great tutorial. Better than the one found in a famous shirt making book. I have tried it and its so much easier and neater than the one I found in that book. Thanks so much.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

That. Is. FABULOUS! I have been making shirts for 30+ years and have never been shown this technique... I am stoked! Thank you so much. Gorgeous!

8:38 PM  

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