Master the Art of Jacket Alterations: A Step-by-Step Guide to Sewing a Perfect Collar

As the weather starts to cool down, it’s time to bring out those cozy jackets we’ve been eagerly awaiting all summer. But what do you do when your trusty jacket’s collar needs a little love? Fear not, because in this article, we’ll be delving into the art of sewing a collar on a jacket. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced sewer, mastering this skill will not only save you money but also give your jacket a new lease on life. So grab your sewing kit and let’s get started on learning how to sew a collar on a jacket!

The collar of a jacket is a defining element of its style and functionality. Whether you are a seasoned seamstress or a novice at sewing, knowing how to attach a collar to a jacket is an essential skill to have in your repertoire. A well-sewn collar can add structure, shape, and personality to a jacket, while a poorly sewn one can ruin the overall look of the garment. In this guide, we will walk you through step-by-step instructions on how to sew a collar on a jacket like a pro.

Understanding Different Types of Collars

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of sewing a collar onto your jacket, it is crucial to understand the different types of collars and how they are shaped. Knowing this will help you choose the right type of collar for your particular jacket and also assist you in visualizing how it should look when attached.

1. Flat Collar: This is the most commonly used type of collar in jackets. It lies flat against the neckline and has no visible shaping or stand.

2. Stand Collar: As the name suggests, this type of collar stands up from the neckline instead of lying flat. It usually has two pieces – the upper piece that stands up and an undercollar that lies beneath it.

3. Shawl Collar: This type of collar has no visible stand and curves gently around the back neckline before coming down towards the front in one continuous piece.

4. Peter Pan Collar: The Peter Pan collar is round with a rounded edge at the center front and back neckline with straight edges curving around towards the shoulders.

Knowing the different types of collars will help you determine which one is best suited for your jacket design and also give you an idea about fabric placement while sewing.

Materials Needed

To successfully sew a collar onto your jacket, you will need some basic sewing tools and materials. These include:

1. Fabric: This is the material that you will use to create both the collar and your jacket. For a professional-looking collar, choose fabric that is similar or complementary to your jacket fabric.

2. Interfacing: This is a stiff fabric used to provide support and structure to collars and other garment parts.

3. Scissors: A good pair of scissors is an essential tool in any sewing project. Invest in sharp, high-quality scissors for best results.

4. Sewing Machine: While it is possible to sew a collar by hand, using a sewing machine will ensure clean and consistent stitching.

5. Pins or Clips: These are used to hold pieces of fabric together while sewing and prevent them from shifting.

6. Measuring Tools: Having a few rulers, measuring tapes, and marking tools like chalk or washable pens will make it easier to accurately measure and mark your fabric pieces.

7. Hand Sewing Needle: You may need this for finer details like attaching buttons or hand-sewing small parts of the collar.

Preparing the Collar Pieces

Now that you have all the necessary materials, it’s time to prepare your collar pieces before attaching them to the jacket. Here’s how:

1. Cut out your pattern pieces: Using the pattern guide, cut out your collar pieces from both the main fabric and the interfacing.

2. Fuse interfacing onto fabric: Place the interfacing on the wrong side of your chosen fabric piece (usually the inner side) and iron it on according to manufacturer instructions.

3. Trim excess interfacing: Trim any excess interfacing that may extend past the edges of your fabric piece using sharp scissors.

4. Mark seam allowances: Using a ruler or measuring tape, mark ⅝ inch (1.5cm) seam allowance on all edges of both collar pieces.

5.Hem the bottom edge (optional): If your collar design requires a hem along the bottom edge, fold and press the seam allowance towards the wrong side of the fabric before sewing.

Sewing the Collar

With your prepared collar pieces, you can now begin sewing them onto your jacket. Here’s how:

1. Place collar pieces together: Lay both collar pieces on top of each other with right sides facing. Pin or clip them together along all edges except for the neckline.

2. Sew outer edges: Starting from one end, sew along both outer edges of the collar using a ⅝ inch (1.5cm) seam allowance, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.

3. Trim corners: Trim off corners carefully to reduce bulk when turning your collar right side out.

4. Turn right side out: Carefully turn your collar right side out by pulling it through one of the open ends and pushing out all corners using a blunt tool like a knitting needle or chopstick.

5. Press collar: Use an iron to press your collar flat, paying special attention to curves, edges, and points.

Attaching Collar to Jacket

With your collar now ready, you can attach

Understanding the Anatomy of a Collar

When it comes to sewing a collar on a jacket, it is crucial to first have a good understanding of its anatomy. A collar can be broken down into four main parts: the collar band, the fold line, the collar points, and the under collar. The collar band is the portion of fabric that wraps around the neck and meets at the front of the jacket. The fold line is where the fabric folds over to create the rounded shape of the collar. The collar points are located at each end of the fold line and are what give a collar its distinctive shape. Lastly, the under collar is attached to the inside of the jacket and provides structure and stability to the collar.

Choosing Your Fabric

When selecting fabric for your jacket’s collar, it is important to consider both aesthetics and functionality. First and foremost, make sure that your chosen fabric is sturdy enough to hold up to everyday wear. Fabrics like cotton, wool, or denim are great options for jacket collars as they are durable enough to withstand frequent use. It’s also important to consider how well your chosen fabric will drape over your desired style of collar. A stiffer fabric will create a more structured and defined shape, while a softer fabric will result in a more relaxed and flowy look.

Cutting Out Your Collar Pieces

Before you can start sewing your collar onto your jacket, you’ll need to cut out all necessary pieces from your chosen fabric. Carefully lay out your fabric with right sides facing up and place your pattern piece on top, making sure to align it with any grainlines indicated on the pattern. Use weights or pins to secure everything in place before tracing around your pattern with chalk or a washable marker. Once you have all four pieces (collar band top & bottom + under collar top & bottom), carefully cut them out, making sure to stay on your traced lines for a clean and precise edge.

Constructing the Collar

Now comes the exciting part – putting all of your collar pieces together! Begin by sewing the collar band top and bottom pieces together along the long, curved edge with right sides facing each other. Trim any excess fabric and clip into the curved edge to help it lay flat. Repeat this process with the under collar pieces. Next, lay your sewn collar band on top of your under collar with right sides facing each other, making sure to line up all edges. Stitch along the top edge and one side, leaving one side open so you can turn it right side out. Once you have turned everything right side out, give it a good press to get rid of any wrinkles or puckering.

Attaching the Collar to Your Jacket

Now that you have a fully formed collar, it’s time to attach it to your jacket! First, mark the center back of your jacket with a pin or tailor’s chalk. Then, fold your jacket in half vertically so that the center back lines up with the front edges of the jacket. This will help you evenly place your collar in the next step. Place your collar on top of your jacket with right sides facing each other and aligning at the neckline. Pin in place and then stitch along the entire neckline using a ⅝ inch seam allowance. Snip into any curves or corners as needed and give everything a good press once again.

Facing Your Collar

If desired, you can add a facing to cover up any raw edges around your collar attachment seam. To do this, cut out two facing pieces (using either lining fabric or extra scraps from your chosen fabric). Place them RST (right sides together) and stitch along the outer edge, leaving one short side open. Then, turn it right-side-out, give it a press, and sew it onto your jacket collar using a ⅝ inch seam allowance. Trim any excess and understitch the facing to keep it laying flat.

Finishing Touches

To complete the look of your jacket collar, you can add some topstitching along the neckline and edges of the collar. This not only adds a professional touch but also helps to reinforce the collar for everyday wear. You can also add any other embellishments such as buttons, snaps, or even a contrasting fabric to really make your collar stand out. Just be sure to sew on any decorations or closures before attaching your collar to the jacket.

Maintenance Tips

To ensure that your jacket’s collar stays in good shape for years to come, there are a few simple maintenance tips you can follow. First and foremost, always follow washing instructions for your particular fabric to avoid any unwanted shrinkage or damage. If possible, remove the collar from your jacket before washing and drying to prevent wear and tear. Ironing or steaming is also important to maintain the structure of your collar and keep it looking crisp.


Q: What is the first step of sewing a collar on a jacket?
A: The first step is to cut out the collar pattern according to the size and shape of your jacket.

Q: What type of fabric should I use for the collar?
A: You can use the same type of fabric that you used for your jacket or a lightweight interfacing fabric for added structure.

Q: How do I attach the collar to my jacket?
A: Pin the collar to the neck edge of your jacket, right sides together, matching notches or marks. Sew around the edges, leaving an opening for turning.

Q: How do I press and finish the seam on my collar attachment?
A: Trim excess seam allowance and clip curves if necessary. Press the seams open before turning right side out. Use a point turner or chopstick to gently push out any corners or edges. Press again to ensure a neat finish.

Q: What should I do if my collars are not staying in place after sewing?
A: You can hand stitch or machine stitch along the edges of your collar attachment to keep it in place. Alternatively, you can also add buttons or snaps as additional reinforcement.

A: Topstitching adds a professional finish and helps keep your collars in place. You can choose to add topstitching along the edges of your collars for added stability and aesthetic appeal.

In conclusion, knowing how to sew a collar on a jacket is an essential skill for anyone interested in garment construction or clothing alterations. With the right tools, techniques, and practice, adding a collar to a jacket can be a simple and satisfying project.

First and foremost, it is crucial to choose the appropriate collar style for your jacket and select the right fabric for both the collar and the jacket. Paying attention to details such as grainline, interfacing, and seam allowances can make all the difference in achieving a professional-looking result.

The actual process of sewing on a collar involves several steps, including attaching the outer collar to the jacket neckline, inserting any necessary undercollar pieces, sewing the inner collar onto the outer collar, and then hand-sewing or topstitching around the edges. Taking your time with each step and being precise with your stitching will ensure a clean finish.

In addition to technical skills, it is crucial to practice good sewing habits such as maintaining an even tension on your stitches and learning how to troubleshoot common issues like puckering or unevenness. These small details can make a significant impact on the overall appearance of your finished product.

Lastly, it is important to remember that learning how to sew a collar on a jacket is not about perfection but

Author Profile

Jill Nammar
My name is Jill but everyone calls me Jilly. I design original cross stitch patterns inspired by vintage French and flowers. Roses are my muse.
I hope you have a cozy time stitching my patterns. Put the kettle on, relax and create a heartwarming piece of hand-embroidered art. Personalize your home and turn up the soulful charm with soulful stitchery.

My goal is to provide you with pretty patterns that promote peaceful stitching. My wish is for you to discover the gentle beauty of hand-embroidery.My patterns have been featured around the web and in Homespun Magazine and Boston Magazine. I find my bliss in cross stitch.

From 2024, I have embarked on a new venture—writing an informative blog on the “Embroidery and Cross-Stitch” niche. This blog is an extension of my passion, where I share detailed posts and respond to queries related to embroidery and cross-stitching.

The blog covers a wide range of topics from beginner tips, pattern creation, historical insights, and the therapeutic benefits of stitching. My goal is to build a community where enthusiasts can learn, share, and grow in their embroidery skills, ensuring everyone can find their own bliss in cross-stitch just as I did.

Thank you to all my customers and readers who have supported Sew French. Your kind emails, photos of completed patterns, and continual encouragement fuel my dedication to this beautiful craft. Join me in stitching a world of beauty and peace, one pattern at a time.