Episode 710

lindsay wilkes

Collar Cuties by Lindsay Wilkes

Learn to make custom piping and take a child's garment from ordinary to extraordinary with an easy piped Peter Pan collar.

Custom Piping

Piping is a piece of cording encased in narrow bias-cut fabric strips. Piping is available premade at fabric stores in many colors and sizes, but making your own affords a much wider variety of colors and prints.


Cotton fabric (amount depends on needed piping length)

Cotton baby cording (amount according to desired piped edge)

Piping foot (optional)

Water-soluble adhesive tape (optional; see "Source")

Make It

Measure the desired piped edge.

Cut 1"-wide bias strips from the chosen fabric according to the needed length, plus seam allowances if piecing is needed. 

If making a large amount of piping, stitch the bias strip short ends with right sides together using a 1/4" seam allowance to form a continuous strip; press open the seams.

The cording diameter depends on personal preference and the intended use. If inserting the piping into a children's garment, choose narrower cording, such as baby cording. If making welting for a pillow edge, choose a much larger diameter. 

With the wrong side facing up, place the bias strip on a flat work surface. Center the cording over the strip. Fold the strip in half around the cording, aligning the long raw edges.

Select a 3.5mm-long straight stitch on the machine. Install a piping foot onto the machine. If a piping foot isn't available, install a zipper foot. A zipper foot allows stitching closer to the piping and a piping foot has a groove on the foot underside that the cording slides through. If neither of these are available, a standard foot works for baby cording, as the diameter is negligible.

Baste the piping as close to the cording as possible without stitching into the cording.

Sweet Shirt

Attach a piped Peter Pan collar to a ready-made T-shirt for an instant pop of color.


Ready-made T-shirt

Fat quarter of print cotton fabric

Removable fabric marker

1"-diameter decorative button

Hand sewing needle

Ready-made piping (optional; amount according to desired piped edge)

Water-soluble fusible tape (optional; see "Source")

Button, yo-yo or other embellishment (optional)

Prep It

Download and print the Collar Cuties pattern here. Place the pattern neckline along the T-shirt neckline. Trace the shirt neckline shape onto the pattern; trim, if necessary. Cut away the excess pattern 1/2" beyond the shirt shoulder seamline.

Construct the needed amount of piping according to the instructions in "Custom Piping."

Sew It

From the fabric, cut two collar pairs. Mark the collar fronts and backs using a removable fabric marker.

Press the piping in a curved shape to help it lay smooth along the curves.

Ensure the pattern seam allowance is the same as the piping seam allowance. Trim the piping raw edge if needed to ensure a good fit.

Following the manufacturer's instructions, apply water-soluble fusible tape to the seam allowance side that will lie against the shirt. Or use temporary spray adhesive. Remove the fusible-tape paper backing.

Align the piping with one back-collar outer edge (1); pin, use fusible tape or glue to adhere. If the piping doesn't lie flat along the curve, clip the seam allowance to, but not through, the stitching every 1/4" to 1/2".

Select a 2.5mm stitch length on the machine. Stitch slightly to the left of the previous piping stitching to ensure the original stitching isn't visible on the collar right side.

With right sides together, align the front and back collar pieces. Pin with the stitching side up. Stitch the collars slightly to the left of the previous stitching, leaving a 1" to 2" opening along the short straight edge for turning. Trim the seam allowance to 1/8". Clip the corners.

Turn the collar right side out to check the stitching. If the piping stitching is visible, turn the collar wrong side out and stitch again closer to the piping. Turn the collar right side out; press.

Fold the opening seam allowances 1/2" toward the wrong side; press.

Repeat to construct the remaining collar pieces.

Mark the T-shirt center front along the neckline. Align the collar pieces with the shirt neckline, centering the shirt mark between them and aligning the collar straight edges with the shirt shoulder seams. Edgestitch the collar neckline and short edges to the shirt.

If inserting the collar between the garment and a facing, mark the seam allowance on the collar pieces at the center front. Abut the marks and tack the collars together using a hand sewing needle. Or select a zigzag stitch on the machine, lower the feed dogs, and stitch several times across the collars to prevent them from separating.

Hand stitch a button, fabric yo-yo, bow or other embellishment at the collar center front for added detail, if desired.



Dritz carries WashAway Wonder Tape: dritz.com.

Products used in this episode:


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