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How to sew a clerical collar

Updated February 21, 2017

Many clergy wear a clerical collar, a white band, made of plastic or cotton, that encircles the neck. The band is attached to two pieces of fabric that tuck into the shirt. A button secures the collar around the neck. A clerical collar is fairly easy to sew if you want to make one for a clergy friend, a community theatre play or just for a costume party.

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  1. Measure the circumference of the neck. Cut the white cotton so that it's three inches wide and the length of the circumference plus two inches. Cut a strip of interfacing so that it measures the circumference of your neck plus one inch.

  2. Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of the white cotton, about a half inch from the bottom edge. Fold the cotton over the interfacing, so that the right side of the cotton faces out and align the edges of the fabric.

  3. Stitch the cotton together along the outside edge of the interfacing.

  4. Cut two pieces of muslin that measure six inches long and about half the circumference of your neck. Place the two pieces together, right side facing in and stitch along the edge of three sides. Turn the muslin right side out.

  5. Place the top, unsewn edge of the muslin along the bottom edge (the part without interfacing) of the collar. Put the right sides together. Position the muslin so that it is in the centre of the collar and you have two equal sections of the collar not touching the muslin. Stitch the muslin and collar together with a straight line as close to the interfacing as possible. Don't stitch the muslin to the interfacing.

  6. Wrap the collar around your neck. Position the snaps on the collar so that it fits snugly around. Hand sew the snaps to the collar, one half of each snap on each side of the collar.

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • 1/2 yard crisp white woven cotton or linen
  • Heavy weight iron-in interfacing
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • White cotton thread
  • 2 snaps, size no. 1
  • Sewing machine
  • Hand sewing needle

About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Emily Weller has been writing professionally since 2007, when she began writing theater reviews Off-Off Broadway productions. Since then, she has written for TheNest, ModernMom and Rhode Island Home and Design magazine, among others. Weller attended CUNY/Brooklyn college and Temple University.

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