Extend The Life of a Shirt, Turn the Collar

Being crafty can be utilitarian too.

My husband wears a dress shirt to work 6 days a week. After a while the collars start to show their age, especially when he doesn’t shave, but the rest of the shirt still has plenty of life. The solution? Remove the collar, flip it over and sew it back on.

Necessary Tools:
Seam ripper
Sewing machine, a zipper foot would be ideal

Depending on your comfort level this project can take up to an hour per shirt, so make sure that (1) the rest of the shirt is still in good working order with no stains and (2) the owner will wear the shirt after you’ve put in the effort.

The most time consuming part of this project for me is removing the collar, on a good dress shirt the two pieces are meant to stay together. I always start from what is currently the underside of the collar, and keep in mind the first few stitches will be tough.

Once the collar is removed from the shirt, may I recommend removing all those little threads before re-attaching the collar. I can tell you from personal experience all those threads at they are much harder to remove once you’ve sewn them in place.

Give the collar a quick press, it’s been sewn on and folded in one direction for the life of the shirt, and depending on the fabric you’ll need all the help you can get encouraging it to now fold in the opposite direction. Pin in place.

I use my zipper foot to re-attach the collar, it gives me a clear look at my very narrow work area. You may find that you need to remove the top button on the shirt for the easiest maneuvering. Now that I’ve done about 10 of these I can work around the attached button (I can also do a shirt start to finish in about 30 minutes)

After I’ve completed the shirt I like to give it a quick wash and then steam press the collar.

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