How to Alter Patterns for a Larger Collar Circumference

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NSC Question

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

NSC Answer

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!


Related links:

Back to Basics: Drafting Patterns

Sewing Pattern Alteration and Tools

How to Make Patterns That You Can Reuse

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11 Responses to “How to Alter Patterns for a Larger Collar Circumference”

  1. cyndi bailey

    Im make a adult bib I need to enlarge the neck , how do I do that? Please help

  2. Lauriane Kuaka bola

    Is there any video how to saw a men's vest?

  3. Susan Hamilton

    I am trying to increase the neck size on a man's dress shirt with a back yoke. The pattern fits well except the neck band. So far I have been able to make the band longer but with the collar attached I have too excess at the nape of the neck. My neck attempt is to reduce the top of the band and collar to eliminate the pucker. I was able to spread the yoke pattern to accommodate the neck band, is that where my problem lays? With the novel virus I am unable to find a larger pattern to combine with the one I have. Thanks so much for Any suggestions.

  4. Vera Miles

    <strong> Ticket 22763 I have a blouse that is too tight across the shoulders. Should I cut out arm opening?

  5. Megan Cleary

    Does this apply to a chinese or Mandarin collar as well. Thanks Megan

  6. mona

    I am looking for ideas on opening up the neck line to fit over a larger-than-usual child's head.... AFTER the material has been cut out... hmm

  7. Barbara

    I would love to know how to sew hand woven fabric. I have a very large piece of handwoven fabric that is wool and silk and I don't even know how to begin to use it. I have asked about handwoven fabric before but not got an answer.

  8. Robert Custer

    Will you please tell me how to sew up Blue Jeans that have a big rip and ones that have a small rip with a Brother Sewing Machine Please?

  9. dellfa brown

    how to put in bobbin and bobbin parts

  10. Jane P

    How do you alter a sleeve when one has large arms?