Collars and Cuffs

Collars and Cuffs, specifically the techniques and style used to make many shirts. This is an essential skill that we had to learn and over the next three years are likely to use.

So as you would expect the first step is to cut out the pattern pieces in the fabric needed.

Beginning with the collar as it is slightly quicker, and has less steps


The first step is to iron the interfacing on to the collar pieces. Interfacing is a stiffening fabric, that helps fabric to keep it’s shape. Then with the right sides of the fabric together, we sew all the way around three sides of the collar fold.

Interfacing on the collar fall

Before the fabric can be bagged out to the correct side, the corners are trimmed down and the slight curve in the fabric is snipped in to, to take away excess bulk in the fabric, that will prevent the fabric from sitting correctly.

One bagged out the collar fold is pressed neatly.

A small running stitch can be use to hold the open seam together before it is attached to the collar stand.

There appears to be a running theme with me where I forget to take photos and so that makes explaining the steps all that much harder.

Now you have to make notches on the collar fall where the stand meets it, to make sure the collar fall is centralised when it meets the collar stand.

The collar fall and stand then need to be carefully pinned together, matching one side of the collar stand and then the other, with both layers matched and pinned to the collar fall it gets sewn together, trimmed and bagged out.

Your finished collar looking something like this

With it all beautifully pressed it can be then sewn on to the shirt in question, as this was only a sample, i instead took some pictures of how it should look on the body.


The first step like before it to iron on any interfacing that will be used to make the cuffs.

Next one of the bindings is folded in half and stitched together, before it will then be attached to the sleeves opening.

Slightly blurry, but you get the idea.

The next steps is to draw the opening, stitch a stay stitch around the edge of the placket opening and then cut in to the opening to create space for the bindings to create the eventual placket.

The key is to not cut all the way to the bottom, but stop 1 cm before the end and cut diagonally in to the corners.

Following creating the opening you have to pin and stitch the two different binding to the opening you just created, working from the outside of the fabric.

Pretty self explanatory I would say

The next step is to press out the bindings that you have sewn to the placket opening.

On the rectangle you press down one centimeter on the raw edge and press it in half against itself to cover up the stitching on the underside of the sleeve.

Stitched from the top of the fabric to make sure the stitching looks neat from the outside

Before top stitch the pointy binding, the excess fabric from the rectangle gets trimmed down and tucked towards the front as it will be stitch so that it is sandwiched between the pointy and rectangular bindings.


The side seams then get stitched, in this case it was a run and fell seam

The cuff pieces then get stitched together and bagged out, similar to what was done before when creating the collar.

On one of the raw edges of the cuff, the seam allowance gets pressed down before it is then sewn to the end of the sleeve.


Before the cuff gets sewn on there is excess fabric that has to be put in to pleats to take out.

To work out how big to do the pleats you take the cuff measurement – the end of sleeves measurement and then  divide this by how many pleats you want.

For this particular style of cuff it was three pleats, evenly spaced apart.

When pinning the pleats they face towards the placket.


you do a simple tacking stitch to hold the pleats in place then stitch the cuff to the end of the sleeve, starting with the edge of the cuff that has not had the seam allowance pressed down.

Next step is to top stitch around the cuff to hold it in place, finishing off the cuff.

The cuff would be finally finished with a button fastening, however we still need t be taught this, apparently there is a specific way to sew on buttons.

So here is my final cuff and half sleeves sample on my fabulous model who is my brother.

I did enjoy the complexity of the cuff and collar on reflection, however in the long run I would definitely refer to not make shirts, because things like this happen.

The reason I will hence forth refuse to make anyone a shirt or attempt to make this complicated placket.




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