This free quilted collar tutorial is the perfect addition to your wardrobe, and makes for a very fun and quick project. Detachable collars are such an easy way to switch up your look and add a fun handmade touch to even the most basic of outfits. And it’s reversible, so you can get two looks in one!
The hand quilting adds such a nice texture, and since it’s a small project, it’s a very approachable way to start if you’ve never tried it before. The size also makes it a great opportunity to dig into your scrap collection! We’ll be using flannel as batting to keep the quilted collar from getting too bulky.
There are an endless number of ways you can customize these quilted collars. This tutorial focuses on scrappy piecing in the instructions, but you could also keep it super simple with a solid color front and back. Try out some patterned fabrics for the collar or the binding, use embroidery floss and some different stitches for the quilting, add a bow to the front, or anything else you can think of. They are the perfect size for experimenting to your heart’s content!
Guest blogger Emily Van Hoff is a Chicago-based graphic designer, hand letterer, art director, artist, and maker who is well known for her vibrant quilts, curved edges, and unconventional shapes and finishes. Be sure to follow her on Instagram to see all of her incredible quilts!
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Modern Quilted Collar Materials
This is a great project for your scrap stash, if you’d like to use yardage instead you’ll need approximately:
Step 1: Design the Scrappy Pieced Pattern for the Front of the Quilted Collar
Cut out both pattern pieces.
If you are using your scrap collection, choose your color palette and begin laying out pieces. The fabric arrangement should be a bit larger than the pattern pieces. You can overlap as needed and trim the shapes down later. The two sides do not need to mirror each other, as long as you are using similar colors on each side of the quilted collar it will feel cohesive enough!
If you are using fabric yardage, cut a random assortment of shapes and sizes and lay them out as described above, or use a single piece of fabric and cut it a bit larger than the pattern pieces.
Step 2: Sew the Pieces Together
Begin sewing the pieces together, using a 1/4″ seam allowance and pressing seams flat as you go. As long as you have one straight edge to follow when you sew pieces together, you can overlap them and cut the excess seam allowance off as shown.
Be strategic about the order you sew the pieces together so that you don’t end up needing to sew a Y seam.
Continue checking that the pattern piece still fits within your shape as you go.
Step 3: Prep Your Quilted Collar for Quilting
Once you have all the scraps pieced together, trim any major excess and approximate the pattern shape, leaving some seam allowance all the way around the edge as shown.
Use your pieced shapes to cut out your flannel layer and backing fabric. Keep in mind that the collar will be reversible, so match the color of the backing fabric to your binding.
Hold the pattern piece on top of the mini quilt sandwich and trace. This line will not be visible on the finished collar so you can use a pencil, chalk, fabric marker, pen, whatever shows up well!
Add a few safety pins around the outside of the traced pattern shape to hold the layers together while you work.
Step 4: Hand Quilt the Collar
Using whatever design you like, hand quilt the layers together. Following the outside curve is a great option. I am just using all-purpose thread here, but you could experiment with thicker thread for a more visible look.
Keep all of your knots inside of the traced pattern piece, but close to the edge so that they will be covered by the binding.
Check out this in-depth tutorial and video for tips on hand quilting!
Step 5: Binding the Quilted Collar
Cut the collar out along your traced line.
Cut your binding pieces. You will need two 12″ lengths and one 36″ length, all 1″ wide and cut on the bias. The 36″ piece will give you ties that are about 12″ long, shorten or lengthen to achieve your desired length. The great thing about making a detachable collar is it can be adjusted to fit any size neck! If you need to piece the binding together to get a long enough piece, cut the ends at a 45-degree angle, sew them together with a 1/4″ seam allowance, and press open.
Bind the outside edge of the collar first, using the 12″ pieces. Align the binding with the edge of the front side and sew just shy of 1/4″ from the edge, it should be about 3/16″. This is a pretty tiny binding, so go slowly and carefully. It looks more proportional to the size of the collar than a full 1/4″. Try not to stretch the binding as you sew, otherwise the piece won’t lay flat.
Press the binding around the edge of the collar, fold the back edge under, and press flat. Trim the ends down to the size of the collar, and hand stitch the binding down on the back.
Fold your 36″ binding in half to mark the center point, and pin to the collar, aligning the center point where the two halves of the collar meet. Sew the binding on with a 3/16″ seam allowance all the way across the top of both pieces, backstitching at the center to reinforce the seam.
Press this binding around the back of the collar the same way you did with the outside edges. Press the strings by folding them in half and folding in the raw edges to meet at the center fold.
Hand stitch the binding to the back of the collar and continue along the strings. When you get to the ends of the strings, tuck them to the inside of the string tube and sew closed.
Style Your New Quilted Collar!
That’s it! Try on your finished quilted collar with all your favorite outfits and plan out the next version you want to make. Because you WILL want to make another one. 🙂