Mandarin collars are band or stand-up collars. They make frequent appearances on traditional Asian garments, but they are a great design element and can be adapted for many different styles of clothing. Collars can really change the look of a garment, and it’s easy to learn how to make a Mandarin collar, so don’t be afraid to swap out a traditional shirt collar for a Mandarin collar to add some variation.
Here’s how to make a Mandarin collar:
1. Measure the neckline. If you are sewing from a pattern, you can use the collar included as a guide, as well. This measurement is the length of your Mandarin collar; mark this on a piece of pattern paper. Make sure to add in a seam allowance on the length (I added ½”).
2. Decide on the height of the Mandarin collar. Typically, they are 1” to 4” high, but nothing’s stopping you from getting a little avant garde and making it higher. Mark the height on your pattern paper, again adding a seam allowance (I added 1/2”).
3. Using your new pattern, cut 2 pieces from your fabric and 1 piece of lightweight fusible interfacing. Apply the interfacing to the wrong side of one of the collar pieces according to manufacturer directions.
4. With right sides together and matching raw edges, sew the sides and top of the collar together, using a ¼” seam allowance.
5. Trim the top corners to reduce bulk. Turn the collar right side out and press.
6. Matching the raw edges of the collar to the raw edges of the neckline, pin the collar to the right side of the neckline. The collar should be the same length as the neckline opening. Sew, using a ¼” seam allowance. Press.
7. Finish the neckline seam with a technique appropriate for your fabric.
If you want to get a bit more creative with your Mandarin collar, consider making it out of a contrasting fabric, adding a curve to the front edges of the collar, adding a frog closure, or creating a collar that overlaps slightly (in this instance, you could also add a button and loop closure).
Have you made a Mandarin collar before? What types of garments have you added them to?
Now that you know how to make a Mandarin collar, be sure to check out Craftsy’s The Perfect Tailored Shirt to learn how to make a crisp, tailored shirt. It would look great with a Mandarin collar! And so would a welt pocket, learn how to sew one here.
Looking for a different kind of collar? Head here for a tutorial on making a chic women's collar.