Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mod Alteration Project: From Crew Neck to Peter Pan

I used the collar/cuff pattern pieces from this pattern

This is the crew neck before I made my additions

When I've gone shopping (both online and offline), I have not been able to find long sleeve shirts with peter pan or other oversized collars. I love oversized collars and oversized french cuffs as well.

Since I haven't been able to find these types of shirts, I decided to make one. I didn't want to have the trouble of making a whole shirt, so I purchased a crew neck shirt that fit well. My plan was to add white contrasting cuffs and collar to the shirt. Overall, the project went okay but here's what I took from it:


1.) NECKHOLE: Once again, when I added a collar, that meant the neckhole was too stiff to be a pullover. So, I added a 4 inch zipper, so that I could fit the thing over my head. It was kind of annoying, though, because I had to cut into the back of the shirt to insert the zipper and the fabric on the shirt was really flimsy. Also, there was no seam there, so is just cutting into the fabric going to work? I'm not so certain....

So, the zipper doesn't feel very sturdy, but I'm hoping it holds. It also doesn't look the greatest, either, but it works.

2.) FABRIC: I used white ponte roma polyester from my scrap pile to make the cuff/collar. It worked okay, but if I could do it over, I would have picked a fabric that was closer in thickness to the shirt. Because the shirt was so thin and flimsy, the ponte roma seemed very heavy on it. It looks okay, but it doesn't feel that great when its worn. The collar feels sort of lopsided and the collar/cuff areas both feel heavy due to the weight of the ponte roma.

3.) SIZING: Now, I like oversized cuffs and collars, but the pattern made them REALLY oversized. I ended up leaving the cuffs as is, but I had to make the collar a bit smaller.

Before adding cuffs

4.) PATTERN: I used cuff/collar pattern pieces from a dress pattern. Simplicity 5150 from 1972. I plan to make the dress too, eventually.

Finished product

5.) DETACHABLE COLLARS: After making the project, I discovered that you can buy detachable collars from craftsters on Mod Cloth and Etsy. I bought a few and was really pleased with the handiwork. My only problem is that when I add them to plain shirts, I have a pretty small neck, and they're too big for me. So, I will need to pin them in place or find some other solution. If I can get them to work properly, they are nice, because they make a crew neck shirt into an instant peter pan collar shirt. I wish they had detachable cuffs too!

I have since learned that this shirt looks better with Mary Jane shoes and knee high socks. More pictures of that look in the future.

6.) EXPECTATIONS: I don't think I planned this project all that well, because I expected it to be easy. I didn't predict the challenges and didn't plan for them. If I do something like this again, I hope to learn from my mistakes. Some things aren't as simple as they sound in your head!

Happy sewing!


  1. good idea! If you make one of these again maybe you could create a center back seam by cutting it all the way to the bottom then sewing it back together and inserting the zipper. You would just need to make sure you have enough room for the seam allowance. Gotta love the over sized tie pictured on the pattern too.

  2. I think it looks great!!! :) Goes perfectly with your skirt too.

  3. Bry: You are so right! The way I did it was pretty silly, so I def. will try your strategy next time. I really should have done it that way.

    I love that oversized tie too! I plan to make some ties soon.

    @ice pink stars and popbabe7: Thanks so much!

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