How to make a Mandarin collar

Updated February 21, 2017

A Mandarin collar lends an Asian flair to a garment. This stiff, stand-up collar is formed using a narrow, rectangular piece of fabric that is sewn to the neckline of a shirt, blouse or dress. It is relatively simple to create and add to a garment. A straight stitch forms the seams of the collar and attaches it to the article of clothing. Once attached, the collar is pressed flat and stiffened.

Place the garment on a flat surface and measure the neckline with a measuring tape. Add 2.5 cm (1 inch) to the measurement. This is the length of the collar.

Mark the length of the collar on a piece of newspaper. The height of the collar is a matter of personal preference, but Mandarin collars are generally 2.5 to 10 cm (1 to 4 inches) in height. Add 2.5 cm (1 inch) to the desired height and mark the height on the newspaper. This long recangle will serve as the pattern for the collar.

Cut out the newspaper pattern with a pair of scissors. Fold a piece of fabric in half with the right side in. Position the pattern on a piece of fabric and secure with straight pins. Cut along the lines of the pattern. Cut through both layers of fabric.

Machine-stitch a straight stitch 1.27 cm (1/2 inch) from the top and side edges of the fabric. You may curve the front edges for a less severe angle. Trim the top corners of the collar to 0.6 cm (1/4 inch) and turn the fabric right side out. Push the top corners out with the tip of the scissors to give it the correct shape. Press the seams with a hot iron to flatten out the fabric.

Place the garment on a flat surface. Stretch the neckline so that it lies flat. Align the raw edges of the collar with the neckline of the garment and secure to the underside with straight pins. Machine-stitch 1.27 cm (1/2 inch) from the edge. Ease the material into the neckline curve by making vertical snips in the raw edge.

Trim the seam on the inside of the garment to 0.6 cm (1/4 inch). Press the seam to flatten the fabric. Apply starch and iron the seam to make it stand up.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Newspaper
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Starch
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About the Author

Amy Kingston has been a professional writer since 2001. She has written articles for various publications, including "Health" magazine, "Jackson Parenting" magazine, the "Bolivar Bulletin" newspaper and "A Musician's Pursuit." Kingston was also published in "Voices of Bipolar Disorder."