A Way We Sew Shirt Collars | Leah Boyan | Skillshare

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A Way We Sew Shirt Collars

teacher avatar Leah Boyan, Chief Sewing Officer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Intro to A Way We Sew Shirt Collars


    • 2.

      Class Project - Sample Collar


    • 3.

      Supplies List


    • 4.

      Step 1 - Prepare Sample


    • 5.

      Step 2 - Start Sewing - One last prep step


    • 6.

      Step 3 - Thread Floss Collar Point


    • 7.

      Step 4 - Trim vs Whack


    • 8.

      Step 5 - Hold and Fold - Forming the Collar Point


    • 9.

      Step 6 - Construction Pressing w/o the Iron


    • 10.

      Step 7 - Topstitch and Admire your Work!

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About This Class

Get the knife-sharp, bulk free and matching shirt collar points of you dreams! In this class you’ll learn how to make a sample collar so you can practice all of our signature sewing methods and sew with confidence. We’ll walk you step-by-step through supplies needed, preparation to set up up for success, how to spend more time sewing and less time cutting, our ‘interfacing as template’ method, how to turn sharp collar points, achieve tidy top stitching and so much more. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Leah Boyan

Chief Sewing Officer


My name is Leah and I'm the Chief Sewing Officer at A Way We Sew, and online resources for learning specific sewing techniques to elevate your sewing. I specialize in developing methods that create success not stress.

I've taught nationally for the American Sewing Guild National Conference, and locally at my favorite fabric Shop, Esthers Fabrics on Bainbridge Island, and online for hundreds of students across the country. 

I started my company, A Way We Sew, to help fellow avid sewists sew more and stress less. I take the ‘fight’ out of learning new techniques so you can spend more time doing what you love: sewing

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1. Intro to A Way We Sew Shirt Collars: Have you ever longed to make a beautiful shirt color with matching flat points, knife sharp edges, and tidy top stitching. But maybe your attempts look a little more like this. Hi, I'm Leah buoyant, chief sewing officer and a wavy so and I'm here to teach you how to make a beautiful shirt color just like this. And if you can make a beautiful shirt color just like this, pretty soon you're going to be able to make an entire sure just like this. But for now let's just focus on the color and getting this beautiful matching points, knife sharp edges, tidy top stitching, all the things you've dreamed of in a beautiful shirt color. I've taught hundreds of people how to make colors just like this. And the ISO dozens and dozens of shirts myself, I have a whole closet full of them. If you can. So in a straight line, you can so shirt collar. In this class, you'll learn lots of our signature techniques including how to use interfacing as a template. How did you, uh, hold fold technique for knife sharp points? Even how to use thread floss to really pull out that tip rather than digging out that tip. You'll also learn tidy top stitching methods. How does so to place your hands for perfect top stitching every time. And so many more techniques will even review some of our absolutely must have sewing notions that might surprise you. After learning these techniques, you'll have the confidence to make any kind of shirt color and you'll be ready to take the next Skillshare lesson, making color bands. So let's get started on your shirt journey with this first step, learning how to make this color. Join me for away we so shirt colors. 2. Class Project - Sample Collar: Welcome back. In this class you're going to be making the world's tiniest color. It's really just a sample. And we do samples for a couple of different reasons. Number 1, they're little easier to, so they take plus fabric and you can make a lot of them and not really feel like you're not committed. You're encouraged to create a little sample book if you'd like, where you can easily store this in a sleeve and refer to it later. I have a sample book that has every single sample step along the way. And then when I spontaneously forget everything you ever learned, I can just look back at my sample book and say, oh yes, step number 2 is supposed to look like this. So that's why we do these little samples. You might call it like a half color, something like that. That said, you are certainly welcome to make any type of color, size, shape that you'd like. But I would encourage you at least for your first color to make just this size, the shape, the color that we provided for you in your materials. All right, so we'll see you here soon. We're gonna get started. And I'm so excited to share these beautiful color with you and all the techniques that we use to make it and look forward to seeing you on Skillshare. Thank so much. All right. 3. Supplies List: Hello and welcome to a way we sold and talk about the supplies that you need to do your color lesson. A couple of chunks of fabric, just anything you have lying around about four or five inches wide by 11 inches or so, we recommend a couple of different colors or patterns or prints to, so you can distinguish between the upper color in the under color interfacing. Now, we're going to do a lot with interfacing. So we highly, highly recommend you order the shirt crisp. Interfacing from fashion sewing supply. We use it constantly for all the shirts. If you're going to be making shirts, this is, this is the stuff you want for the classic color band. If you don't have it lying around the house right now, you can just use paper for this sample. So we're just making a samples that you don't need to have interfacing to learn all of these steps, in which case, you've got this in your kit, just printed out, cut it out and you're ready to roll. You can use this and maybe a little bit glue. All right, so if you've got that great, couple other things I want to talk about that just helped the process. Again, why you're making the sample. We recommend different colored for it in the top versus the bobbin, we tend to use green and the bobbin just so it's consistent. We know from sample to sample that that was the bottom, the Bob inside and helps you when you're going back and trying to figure out what you did, you know you can follow along with yourself. The other thing that we really recommend are these friction markers. We happen to have an affiliate link on the shop tab at a wavy. So you get at Fred Meyer union, my mind, they're fabulous. They erase with heat or friction. So you can draw and then just erase or hit with the iron and voila. So I use these, I just think the marker sizes is great for tracing around. And you know, if it's better than Sharpie, although in this, for this, you could absolutely use a Sharpie because it's a sample. Alright, so that's free. She goes over what you need for your supplies. And next up, we're going to talk a little bit more about our methods and how we use the interfacing as a template. We'll see you soon. 4. Step 1 - Prepare Sample: The first step is to simply prepare your hunks of fabric. We're going to talk about what a hug a fabric is and why we're using a hunger fabric. But until that point, all you need right now is to hunks of fabric, one that's going to turn into your upper color. And another chunk, it's going to turn into your under color. You can use two different colors or the same kind of fabric, whatever you want. The point is that the hunk is wide enough to accommodate the color with good margins all the way around. So this piece is actually a little bit too small, so you really want about four inches or so. Why they know maybe about 10 inches long to fit this tiny little sampler, sample color. So just get your two hunks of fabric and meet me here for the next step. Okay. The next step is somewhat of a artsy crafts project. All you need to do is cut out your color template out of the paper. So this gives me came with your downloads. It is printed out, cut it out. Accuracy counts here. So we cut when it counts, this is when it counts. Once you've cut that out, plop it down on a hunk of interfacing and trace around that, then cut it out. The reason for that is that it's a lot more accurate than if you just were to grab a rotary cutter or even pin this and try to cut. It's just so much easier. Interfacing is pretty easy to draw on. It's kinda of like paper and stuff. One thing that can really help in this process though, is just a little dab of glue just to keep this pattern piece from, keep the template from swirling er, a way apart on you. And then we really like these friction markers. They're easy. That's just a felt-tip marker. You can use anything, a pencil, even a Sharpie at this point, it's the sample. And this line that you draw us really sloppy. This, when you draw around this, your next step is to cut away the line. So that's why you could use Sharpie because you want to cut that line away. Why do we want to cut that line away? Well, if you think about it, if you didn't cut that line away, this template here, this piece of interfacing would get bigger and bigger and bigger. And with our method, this piece here when you're done, is that finished shape of your color. So you don't want your color to be bigger than it should be. So again, cut when it counts. This is when it counts. Also assist last time you need to fussy cut so make it count it one more time. So trace around so the steps are cut out of paper, plop it on to a chunk of interfacing, trace around that, then cut that out. Then finally, you're ready for the final step, which is to go to the iron and plot your interfacing on the wrong side of the upper color. So we're using this orange fur upper color. I don't have a right or wrong side to this fabric, so don't worry about that. And you do want to align it with some good margins here. Just make sure you didn't go askew and consider there is somewhat of a green here, so practice, it's good to consider that. So you want this nice and aligned, hit that with the iron. You want it super adhered onto there. And that is it. We're almost ready to go to the sewing stages. I'm going to show you step on To, there's a very important step which involves tracing around chairman, show you that in more detail in just a minute why we want to do that. Alright, so go ahead and get to this point and meet me back here and we'll show you the next step. Thank you so much. 5. Step 2 - Start Sewing - One last prep step: Okay, step two, this is probably the most important step of the entire process here. So we last spoke. We were at step 1, d, where I said, we're going to be tracing around the interfacing that you've ironed on to a fabric that's going to turn into your upper color. Why do we want to do this? I'm gonna show you we call this bend allowance, so we want to give our color some allowance. So what that means is that there's some room for this interfacing and all of the bulk of the fabric to sort of fit around when you're pulling this color up and around the edge here. So if you give some allowance between the interfacing and your stitch line, then there's going to be room for sort of all of that to kinda behave and get tucked under and you'll have a much easier time. First of all, getting these layers IV, and it's just going to look pretty before you've even mucked around with the ironing this. So this is what it looks like if you give allowance to the siem, see how pretty that is. You can't see the under color. This is what it looks like with no allowance you how that under colors kind of shadowing out. So allowance. No allowance. So what is Allowance? Let me give you a little close up here. Hopefully this will show up. The stitching that we've done is just to the outside of the edge of the interfacing. No allowance. We've stitched pretty much right up against the edge of the interfacing allowance. No allowance. We want allowance. So this friction, friction markers that I mentioned make this really easy because they go away with heat. So make sure that your iron it first and then draw around. And that just gives you the nice width there. It's about a 16th of an inch or so. Don't be tempted to eyeball this. We really are going for accuracy here. So go ahead and trace around and while you're at it, I want to point out another thing that's going to happen in step 2 b. Well, we're going to meet me at the machine, but when you stitch this, we're going to start from the center of the color and stitch out this way. And we're going to do a turning trick here. We call flossing the point and then stitch up and over this way. At this point here, we need to stop with our needle down one stitch away from the point. So why have your marker out? Why not give yourself a little hint? Put a little arrow there that you need to stop sewing right there in order to do this treatment here, don't worry, we're going to walk you through that at the machine. But always helpful to have any kind of tips or techniques or helpers. So all right, so that's why we give the color templates and allowance will see you here for we'll see what the machine for step two, The Thank you. Okay, we finally get to, so we're on step to C, which is sewing the upper color to the under color. So all I've done is I've plopped a hunk of an upper color fabric onto my hunk of under color fabric and just made sure I had good margins all around. I actually have a bit of a short sample here. So good thing I'm paying attention. You just don't want to run out of any space up here. It's not so bad because you are actually going to be cutting right along the interfacing. So if you're running short on, on real estate, just make sure that you have enough around here. You want about a half-inch all along the outer color edge up here. It doesn't really matter as I said, because you're going to be cutting right along the interfacing there. So good margins. And also we've marked when we're going to end our stitching right here. So think about your stitch length. The shorter the length of stitches and sort of easier it's going to be because you have more time to get really accurate here. So just consider that I have about a 2. Another little tip not necessary for the sample, but, you know, it's kinda good to know. Is a smaller needle is going to be a little more accurate for you if you have a size 70, it doesn't. So with whatever is in there, it's totally fine. Don't run out and change it right now, but just for future. Okay. Let us so I'm going to stitch just to the right of that marked line. Remember fallen down. And take a look. I am Raul. I'm probably can't see from this angle, but I'm just now two stitches away. So I'm going to lower my presser foot, take one more stitch and boom, now I'm ready for the next step. So just plays everything there and we'll show you the next step. 6. Step 3 - Thread Floss Collar Point: Okay, we're ready for step 3, and that's this thread flossing technique. We're going to floss the point. And for floss, you just use good thread. I happen to have, I think it's gene thread, so it's a little thicker. You can use button hold, twist or just any piece of thread you have hanging around. You can even use dental floss. The point is we're going to floss this in-between the two layers, wrap it around the needle, and then use this later on as sort of our tow truck in order to pull that point out. So I'm just going to walk through all of the steps. I think there are four of them. So step 3, a, b, c, and d is basically all one movement, but I'll go one step at a time. Okay. So the first step is you stop with your needle down one stitch from the point of your color. You lift your presser foot but keep the needle down and you're going to floss. This is honestly the hardest part. Floss the thread in between the two layers. There has to be in-between the two layers and it wraps around the needles. The that's, that's sort of, you know, basically just pull it as far as you can to make sure you get some tension on there and it's wrapped around the needle. Now I have a knee lift so it's easy for me to drop my presser foot. But if you need to obviously keep up as much tension as you can and lower your presser foot. Take one stitch. And what just happened is you humped over part of the, all of the thread actually. Now we take the right-hand side threads. So when you think about it, one side of the thread is like up in there underneath. You can see it's like it's in here. The other one can't get in there because there's a lot of stitching. So the one that can't get in there needs to get in there. So grab the one on the right. Lift your presser foot because you're wrapping this around the needle all the way to meet the other tail so that this one is now also underneath your color. Your needle is up now you're turning your all of your work. So just keep it nice and tidy. Rotate your work. Check if you need to, you can pull on these a little bit just to make sure that they're not going to get into your stitch line. And now we're ready. Let's get yourself angle there so you're going to come on up here. So you wanna kinda predict where you're going to sew. So you have a nice straight line under your needle, you know, get a little wonky action go in there. And I'm just so basically up to the interfacing. And we do want to backstitch here. Because our next step is going to be to cut that off and we don't want this to unravel. Actually are very next step is to repeat the same thing for the other side. So I'll go ahead and do that. You don't need a backpack here because eventually that's actually going to be top stitched. But I just start over my previous line of stitching by two or three stitches. And I'm almost there. I'm going to shorten my stitch length, just squash so that I can be sure to hit right where I need to. Okay. Ready for side two, it's the same exact process, just reversing the direction. So thread, the floss in-between the two layers have raised my presser foot in order to get up in their lower my presser foot, take one stitch. Raise my presser foot again. Rotate everything. So your threads are now both completely underneath your work. And I'll turn your work. Get oriented here so you want to be straight up so you don't want to be touching this way and then have to Change direction. You want to be nice and straight. So I always kinda consider where the point of my needle and I'm actually etched it into my machine then I okay. That's what it should look like when you're done with step to see, we've stitched next to that marking line. The next step is going to be trim and whack. So meet me back here for step number four. 7. Step 4 - Trim vs Whack: Okay, step four is talking about trimming versus whacking. So we mentioned this soon in their introduction that we like to. So first cut later. This is what's demonstrated here. So we already, obviously we sowed this to hunks of fabric together. Now we get to cut and here's where the interfacing comes in again, working for us as a cutting template. And if you recall, we already have 387 inch built in seam allowance into the neck edge here, this is where the color will meet the band. We do not have any seam allowance along the outer color edge. Remember this is the finished shape of the color where the interfacing end. So don't trim along here because then you wouldn't have any seam allowance, wouldn't have anything for it to kinda bend around. It would disintegrate because you would just run out of stitching. The other thing we want it. So let me just reiterate. We can just whack somewhere out here because we've already stitched it and this is just now sort of what's leftover. Cut away anything that doesn't really look like a color. You don't have to be accurate, so you just whack. However, I don't want you to get, you know, cutting happy. I want you to just cut about a half inch or so away from this edge and a half inch or so from this edge, do not trim that ColorPoint. We need that point for something to fold and hold onto. So key, it should look like this when you're done, I'm going to demonstrate that here. So you so there's no don't get cut happy on me. So along the top, I'm going to cut exactly on the interfacing. That is already we have a CMA Islands built in there. Now for the other sides, I'm going to whack. So I got about eyeball it, but half inch or so just cut all the way down like that. And now just kept like that. Keep that. We need that for our next step. And just continue on here. Now get ready for the next step, which is going to be to give the color, the finger to hold in fold and form that ColorPoint there. We'll see here in a minute. 8. Step 5 - Hold and Fold - Forming the Collar Point: Step number 5 is the holding fold on technique, otherwise known as giving your colors or finger. The purpose of this technique is to get a really nice, flat but stable ColorPoint. So there's no need to kinda crab claw or dig out this point once you turn up VD, if you use this technique, step one is to fold everything towards the interfacing. So if you're looking at interfacing, flip it over and fold across the tip your color. And I recommend, you know, really applying some pressure here. So you can really kind of flatten those layers. The next step is two fold one side of the seam allowance back on itself, and again, then the other side back on that. So you now have three layers going on there. And then just take a note here. Whatever that shape looks like right now is going to be the finished shapes. And you really do want to make sure it's sort of, you know, folding right along the seam line here. If it looks like that, it's going to be bulky so you really want to get it nicely folded. So I'm right handed. So I first hold the tip with my right hand, then I stick my kinda get up close and personal with your color here. Stick your thumb in-between the two layers. I'm using my left hand and now I pinch my thumb inside, in my finger on the outside now holding those layers. And now I take my right hand once again, stick my thumb up inside the color and I basically am flipping the under color up and over that point and just wiggle it out a little bit. You don't have to do much really. You're just going for these thread tails. So once you see those, you don't have to shove your finger up there anymore, grab under the thread tails and just ease out that ColorPoint and you'll even hear it pop. Did you hear that? Or you can go either way. It will be able to feel it. You can just touch on that as much as you need to. Now this isn't as perfect. You see it's kind of a little, a little wonky looking. No problem. We can just unfold it and do it. Again. See how it did get kind of folded up in there. The other reason we want to fold over interfacing this happens to you sometimes it doesn't fuse that well right there. So that first fold is designed to really kind of a lock that in one side, the other side reach up and over. And then we go. It's so strong. Now keep these tails on there for now because I actually keep them until the very, very last moment then I'm done with the shirt because you're going to be using these in the next step to really guide sort of the point in how you shape that point and matching it with the second, that, with the second side. That said, let's turn this one. So again, we're turning it over the interfacing side one site to get them up there. Pinch. And this one I use my right hand up and over just until you can see your tail. So don't push anything more. You really going to pull that point out. That one looked very nicely. It once you get better at this also if you have thinner material, so this is quite beefy actually, this is quilting cotton, so it's a little thicker than shirting material. So indeed, if you're using fine Italian cotton, this is going to be flat. And that said, as you get more accustomed to this, you certainly can trim your seam allowances a little bit more, but not much more. You really pretty, you know, you want to keep something in there to or to hold onto. All right. That is it for your next step is going to be at the ironed, do a little construction pressing, and we'll also do some construction top stitching once you're here. 9. Step 6 - Construction Pressing w/o the Iron: Okay, step number 6 typically happens at the iron, but I'm too lazy to go to the iron. So I'm just going to show you here one thing that I use instead of the iron are my fingernails and I have a gel coating on there, so that makes it even easier to interfere now. So I go up in here and kind of scratch that seam allowance open. So I'll just do that all throughout my color and it really can help. The next step, that said, way back in step 1, e, the most important part of this whole thing, because I stitched just outside of my interfacing, I this whole process is going to be much easier to get this to turn correct side. So we'll remind you the orange is the outer color. This is the public side is the side. You want to be extra special pretty you probably don't want to see shadow of your under color. Now if you're using the same material, you're not going to notice much, but with the alternator complimentary material, you really do want to have that under color disappear. You want to look like that. Not like that, right? So all we need to do is do that. Manipulation at the time were top stitching. So I'm going to just demonstrate this now because once it's under the machines, little harder for you to see. When I start top stitching, I'm going to reach in the color yet again, getting up there in blue, the color space, and pull on the bottom layer. I'm pulling on that bottom layer. It will help the top layer sort of cup up and over. If I don't pull on it, if I were to just start stitching, it would sort of smashed down as it is and you see that shadow. So that would be the next step is top stitching and we'll see yours. 10. Step 7 - Topstitch and Admire your Work!: All right, The final step is during the top stitching. So just a couple of things to point out to you are not required, but it's really helpful to have a type of foot that looks like this. It has a guide here. This one is a quarter inch. And we do recommend for this style, the kind of classic Oxford style, but it's a quarter-inch top stitched from the outer color edge of your color. So if you have something that looks like this in your machine box, put that on. And the other thing to keep in mind is it's very easy to go either too far or not far enough at this edge here. And I'm going to guarantee you're not going to go far enough. A lot of folks, a little confused when you think about, okay, well, what am I doing a quarter-inch from? So you actually end up stitching a little farther than you think you need to. But we're not worrying about any of that. Let's just stick a dot where you want to turn. So just make sure those are even, you could even match up your your points like that and stick a pin through there so you know you have exactly the edge that you want. Finally, as I mentioned in the prior step, we're going to be doing some sort of construction forming as we go to make sure that this top collars are cups up and over the under color. So you'll notice me doing that. It's a little harder to do along the front edge. So for that, I usually just kinda scrape with my fingers and get that bottom color to kinda behave in cup underneath. And we'll start at the top. And no need to backstitch because that's going to get covered up into the color bands. So you can just start saying, Here's where are these little thread tails come in handy? So try not to lose those. They can really help guide the point. Turning. And here's again, as I mentioned, these little tails and help. And it's hard to tell because it's black, but there's that shadow forming bear, I don't want that. I want that to go away. So I'm reaching up and just pulling on that so that it cuts underneath. Just take a couple inches at a time. We can see it really kinda hidden under there. So I'm just using my fingernail scraping and as far as you possibly can. Hi, I'm kinda twisting it just a tiny bit so that that cups underneath. Using my thread tails to kind of support. Some of you may have the kind of machine that likes to eat materials. So this will be Tripoli helpful because you can kinda use it like a tow truck to get that point, to go under, meet their machine. And light pressure. One more time reaching up in here, scraping on that bottom color. Just do one tiny back stitch. So it doesn't unravel industry showing you my right. That's it. Look and get both sides. Just a little finesse point here. You might notice there is actually a little excess fabric on the under color. You actually want that this is a bit of the higher level color technique, but in the, in, in high-end colors, there actually is more fabric on the under color, not less, more fabric isn't counter-intuitive. But if this were in the round, it would really shape up quite nicely. Alright, are very, very final step is just to do a quick line of basting here, and that's just a quick choline. And now your color is ready to put in your color band or just show off in your sample kit. You can see which direction you sewed it. Some folks like to stitch top stitch maybe only half of the color. So you can always kinda get in there and see what you did or create one more. And you'll go through each of the steps. Maybe you have a color shape in mind that you want to addition so you can try that out. That's the end of our color lesson. Thank you so much. This is this is Leah. I'm from a wavy, so okay. You're all said you've done your color and next step to ignore your work. And then ssh to attach it to the color band. And we're going to be offering that class here at Skillshare very shortly. So I hope you'll join me for the color band class, and I hope you enjoyed creating this beautiful shirt collars. Thank you again and we look forward to seeing you soon.