I’m looking for instruction on how to alter a pattern to accommodate a larger neck circumference. Lots of instruction to be found on how to sew a collar (which I think is pretty straight forward), but nothing on altering the neck size on a man’s dress shirt. Hubby now has an old man’s body but all the patterns I find are for young men’s’ proportions! Do you have any advice?
Submitted by Grammamikki
Making a collar larger can be pretty straight forward as well. First, measure to see exactly how much you need to add to the collar. For this example, we’ll say you are adding 1″. Find the center back of both the upper and under collar pattern pieces. Cut the pattern into two pieces and insert 1″ of tissue or pattern paper to make the collar pieces bigger. They can now be cut out and constructed as normal.
The next part of making the collar larger is that you also need to make the neck opening larger in the same amount so that everything still lines up. There are several ways this can be done. Depending on your shirt pattern, there may be two pleats somewhere in the back. You can either make these smaller, or omit them entirely in order to gain the extra 1″ of fabric needed around the neck opening. If you like the looks of the pleats and want to keep them, another easy way would be to make the front button bands wider, or simply add ½” to each opening edge of the front pattern pieces before attaching the button bands.
These would be the two areas I would add width to first. If you try to add it to the front and back shoulder seams you will then need to also enlarge the sleeve, which can be tricky.
Hope this helps!
AshleyRelated links: Back to Basics: Drafting Patterns Sewing Pattern Alteration and Tools How to Make Patterns That You Can Reuse