Monday, July 5, 2010

Collar flipping tutorial

This is less of a tutorial and more like an idea with a few pictures taken during the sewing process after a couple of folk requested it when I mentioned this collar-flipping malarkey a while back.

Op-shops are usually bursting with good quality business shirts with worn out collars. This is why there are a zillion tutorials out there for reusing business shirts. The fabric is often very good quality & the rest of the shirt is usually fine but the worn out collar makes them unsuitable for wearing to work anymore.

Affter discovering most of Tim's current work shirts are in the worn-out-collar category I realised I could probably extend the life of some of them by flipping the collars....a little light bulb moment*

*no doubt someone has thought of this before but it had never occurred to me.

So to start with you need to check if the collar is suitable for flipping
(the reverse needs to be the same as the front)


start by unpicking the collar
(use a sharp unpick, not that blunt old thing that came with your machine10 years ago)
I only unpicked as far as I needed to remove the collar


the worn out side!



this collar had a sewn in collar stiffener that I needed to remove as it was very obvious on the reverse side of the collar

so I pulled both of these plastic bits out of the collar


mark the centre of the collar & the shirt with pins (found by folding them in half)


straight pins are better for this bit!
You can see the old stitching marks are obvious, this is helpful when you reinsert the collar into the shirt as you simply match the stitching lines back up again

ready to sew


I made the stitch length shorter than normal as the original collar had very fine stitching. I simple stitched over the previous stitching marks. In reality this stitching line is hardly visible when the shirt is being worn but try your best to match the threads.


now steam, steam, steam the new side of the collar to remove all those wrinkles & marks where the collar stiffeners were(what are those things really called?)


And you have a shirt fit for another day of good rubbing against the stubble!



There is still the faint outline of the plastic bits in the photo below but these disappeared after the next wash & press!



Hope this prolongs a few more shirts before they end up in the scrap pile!

12 comments:

2paw said...

It is such a good idea. My mum also turned the cuffs. She also turned sheets. When they started to wear out in the centre, she cut them in half length wise and sewed the two outside long edges together and made new side hems. We didn't like the seams down the middle but they extended the sheet's life two-fold.

Michelle said...

Awesome! I'm going to give this a go Ange - thanks so much! Off to find the quick unpick...

Anonymous said...

yep my mum did the same as 2paw.

cheers Kate

Gina said...

You're so clever Angie. And so old-school in your thrifty ways.

Liesl said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was just looking at one of Mr HB's favourite shirts, thinking it was condemned due to a frayed collar. I will be having a crack at this!

Lauren said...

What an awesome tutorial!! So far shirts wearing out hasn't been an issue round here, as Huz mostly a gets away with t-shirts and such, so the shirts never seem to wear out... but I'll keep this up my sleeve in case he chooses something more high-flying in the future!

PS. Thanks so much for your lovely offer with the rings. The ones I have seem to work just fine, so I'll stick with them and hope for the best. See you in August. x

Sue said...

My mom used to do this for my dad's shirts as well. It really extends the life of a dress shirt.

The little plastic bits are called collar stays.

Christina said...

Fantastic! I will be having a go at this too. I noticed a few collars that needed attention after you first mentioned the collar flipping. Now I have no excuse but to go sort them out. :)

Umatji said...

My mum used to do this - mind you she also used to chop them off and make grandpa shirts as well sometimes. How long does it take? I reckon I would have a go depending on the time in my current crazed state!

Joanne said...

I've been doing this for my dad at his request for a few years. He was a child post-war and did without so he never throws anything away. He still wears 30 year old shirts.

Tricia said...

What an unreal idea! I'm off to look for some shirts that need their colars flipped. thanks for sharing.

dillpickle said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial. I was sorting washing the other day and noticed my husband's favourite shirt is really in need of a collar flip! Hopefully I'll find the time to do something about it really soon...

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