Sailor collars are one of the most common costume elements when it comes to anime. Today, we’ll learn how to put one together!

Step One: Neckline

Decide what kind of neckline you’d like for your collar. For this particular collar, we’re just sewing it onto a basic scoop-neck top, so, we followed the neckline pattern for the original top.

Step Two: Draw it Out

Trace your neckline onto your pattern piece.

Step Three: Draw Out the Collar Shape

Starting at the center neckline, draw out a rough shape for the collar. Make sure the width of the collar piece is approximately half of the width across your shoulders (pattern piece is cut on a fold, so work in halves). There isn’t a set collar length, just make sure it is long enough that the bottom of the collar falls between the bottom of your shoulder blades and the center of your back.

Note: Make sure you account for a seam allowance.

Step Four: True Up your Edges

Using a curved ruler, clean up the edges of your rough pattern shape.

Step Five: Cut it out!

Cut out your pattern piece. If you forgot to include a seam allowance, that is fine, just remember to add one when you cut out your fabric pieces.

Step Six: Admire Your Pattern!

Now, you have a collar pattern piece. Onto the real fabric!

Step Seven: Cut Out Your Fabric

Place your collar pattern piece on your fabric, lining up the center back with the fabric fold. Cut out two collar pieces.

Step Eight: Decorate your Collar

Most sailor collars have some sort of border. You can use ribbon or bias trim. You’ll see in the rest of the tutorial pictures that we added some red trim. Set aside one of the collar pieces for your lining, and decorate the remaining piece.

Step Nine: Sew the Collar Pieces Together

Now, pin both collar pieces together. Make sure the sides you want to be visible are facing each other – the non-visible sides should be facing outward. Only stitch the outside edge of the collar. Do not stitch the neckline.

Remember, you’ll be turning the collar inside out later.

Step Ten: Admire your Work

Now, both collar pieces are sewn together. Make sure you do some reinforcing stitches at the corners of your collar.

Step Eleven: Clip the Corners and Curves

When you turn the collar inside out, you want it to be nice and flat. To make this happen, you’ll need to clip both corners and the curves near the front of the collar. Make sure you don’t clip into your original stitch line.

Step Twelve: Turn it Inside Out!

Carefully turn your collar inside out.

Step Thirteen: Chopstick Time!

Get your chopstick and…

…use it to make your corners look crisp and sharp. Be careful when you do this – don’t push the chopstick so hard into the corner that you push it through the fabric. This shouldn’t be much of an issue if you put reinforcing stitches at the corners.

Step Fourteen: Prep for Iron

Lay out your collar and get it ready for ironing.

Step Fifteen: Iron It!

This step makes a huge difference! Iron your collar nice and flat.

Step Sixteen: (Almost) Finished Collar

Now you have your finished collar piece. All you have to do now is…

Step Seventeen: Attach It!

Attach your collar as normal. There are many ways to attach the collar to the neckline. You may attach it in conjunction with a neckline facing or garment lining. If you have questions about facing attachment, you can view our facing tutorial here.


Thanks for reading my tutorial!
If you have any questions, feel free to email me!