Monday, September 1, 2014

Mary Darling collar: Free tutorial and awesome GIVE-AWAY

If there is one thing I cannot deny, it is that I have soft spot for peter pan collars. Last week I've been experimenting a bit, and stitched up a little variation on the peter pan collar.

The collar is made from 3 different pieces, and it disappears into the shoulder seams. If you scroll down, you can find detailed instructions for drawing such a collar.

I was struggling a bit to find a suitable name for this collar. The "three-part semi peter pan collar" is a very accurate, yet rather unattractive name. The "Mary Darling collar" (named after another character from the Peter Pan books) sounds a lot better!

As is always the case with the awesome names I give to my patterns (Matryoshka bin, Hanami dress, com'on?) the idea was not mine at all. It came from Linda, who runs the Berlin-based fabric shop Volksfaden. If you haven't checked it out before, make sure you do, because this is no ordinary webshop! Volksfaden is just oozing with nostalgia and fun, and makes shopping for fabrics a true visual pleasure. On top of that, Linda carries a wide range of brands and designers, including some of my very favorites (echino, Petit Pan, Lotta Jansdotter, Melody Miller, Soft Cactus, ...).


Linda also supplied the gorgeous fabrics I used for this dress. Both are from the new French brand Atelier Brunette. Not only does Atelier Brunette have great color combinations and gorgeous prints, the fabrics are also really finely woven and light (almost like voile) and come at 150 cm (55") width. I'm a huge fan!

Pattern: Hanami dress

Would you like some free Atelier Brunette fabrics? Perhaps you can buy them with the €50 Volksfaden voucher Linda is generously raffling off. Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. And yes, the GA is open internationally (I know a few US readers who would love to get their hands on some Aterlier Brunette ;-)). Fifty euros is currently worth about $65 - that's a pretty sweet prize, isn't it?
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


In the tutorial below, I explain how you can draw and make a Mary Darling collar, to fit any regular bodice pattern. It is really easy!

A. Making the pattern
1. Take your bodice front pattern, and trace the seam allowance of the neck line and shoulders.
Are you using a pattern which does not include seam allowances? Then simply add SA at neck line and shoulders.

2. Next, mark where you would like the collar pieces to meet each other.

3. Decide on the desired width of the collar pieces. Mark this width as illustrated below.
I went for a slim collar: just 1 inch (2,5 cm), but you can make it as wide as you like. You don't have to include seam allowance yet.

4. Next, draw the collar pieces as illustrated below. Try to make the curves more or less symmetrical.

5. Then, take a piece of tracing paper, and trace both collar pieces as illustrated below.
Make sure to trace them separately, so that you have space to add seam allowance in step 6.

6. Add seam allowance at the outer edges as illustrated below. Name your pieces, so that you cannot mix them up later on.
Tip: use presser foot width for SA - it makes it easier to stitch the collar perfectly in step 9.

7. Your pattern pieces are ready now. Yaay! 
Now you just have to cut them from your fabric.
- Middle piece: cut 2 on the fold from your main fabric, and 1 from interfacing
- Left/right piece: cut 4 (2 mirrored pairs) from your main fabric, and 2 (mirrored) pieces from interfacing.

8. Reinforce the three top collar pieces with the interfacing.

9. Put top and bottom pieces with right sides together, and stitch the curved edges, using the seam allowance you added in step 6.

10. Reduce the seam allowance to some 3 mm (1/8"). 

11. Turn the pieces right side out, and press carefully. 

12. Pin the collar pieces onto the bodice, and baste stitch them near the neck line edge. Important: make sure the different pieces meet each other at the neck line's seam allowance, so that there is no gap between them in the finished bodice.

That's it! Now you can finish the bodice according to the instructions of the pattern you use.


  1. Mooi kraagje! Ik moet dringend nog eens wat kleedjes naaien voor de meisjes want ze kregen een heuse groeischeut! Deze staat nu mee op de wishlist! M

  2. Oh, the Mary darling collar will become a classic, mark my words !

  3. so sweet. can't write much as i'm off to volksfaden...

  4. Tks for sharing this pretty collar! My next dress will have this collar!

  5. Check! Die ga ik proberen! Dankjewel voor deze tutorial!!!

  6. What a 'darling' collar! I think you may have coined. New sewing phrase!!

  7. I love Peter Pan collars too, An! I have to try this one. It is gorgeous!
    Thank you for the tutorial and the giveaway!

  8. LOVE the collar! Ty for the Giveaway!

  9. Cute and unique collar! Thank you for the tutorial and the giveaway!

  10. Thank you for the wonderful tutorial! That would even be cute for grown-ups! I count myself lucky to have met Linda in person and that shop is really great! It was the first fabric shop I went to when I started sewing and they had a geranium dress on display! Of course I fell in love; -)

  11. Love this new version - Peter pan collars always look so pretty :)

  12. I visited the Volksfaden store in Berlin when I was there last year visiting my daughter. It is a wonderful shop. If I win the gift certificate , I may have to travel there again to spend it! I love the Mary Darling collar.

  13. I would love to win this fabric.