Awhile ago I found this lovely bright chiffon blouse at my local Goodwill.  It was a couple sizes too large for me and a little outdated in shape; I decided to upcycle it into something more fitted and modern.  Colorblocking has been on-trend for a couple seasons now, so I decided to add some contrasting fabric to the collar*.  Here’s how:

You Need:

shirt with collar you want to replace / contrast color fabric

Tools: fabric scissors / marking chalk / sewing machine / machine needle for lightweight chiffons / fabric glue / pins / seam ripper / matching thread (for both the contrast color and the shirt color)


*Since my blouse was chiffon, I really couldn’t use fabric glue to stick the new fabric on.  With chiffon it’s just too translucent and slippery to make the finished piece look good…but just gluing contrasting fabric on to your collar is a great option when it’s not a see-through fabric.  (It’s what I did for this DIY Leather Collar Blouse for instance.)  So I chose in this case to attach the fabric by opening up the collar and inserting it between the two collar pieces, then sewing the collar closed again.1. For my blouse I needed to first fit it to my size, which I did using the same method for re-fitting a man’s shirt to your size that I’ve shared before here.  (Removed the sleeves, cut away the fabric at the shoulders, finished the armscyes in a narrow rolled hem, and then sewed the sides of the shirt smaller.)2. Place your shirt collar flat on top of your contrasting fabric, right side of shirt to wrong side of fabric.  Pin down.  Sketch around the collar on the top and side edges with your chalk.3. For the part of the collar that connects to your shirt, push pins through the shirt right at the join, into the contrasting fabric.  Peel away the shirt slightly, and sketch a line of best-fit between the pins.4. Cut out the contrasting fabric leaving a 3/8″ seam allowance around your lines.5. Use the seam ripper to cut the stitching that holds the shirt collar together at the outer edge (not the side edges yet).6. Tuck the contrasting fabric inside between the two collar pieces at the outer edge, pinning the seam allowance on the inside.7. Use an iron to crease the contrast fabric at the edge of the collar.8. Use the seam ripper to pull apart the side edges of the collar.

9. Tuck the side edges of the contrast fabric inside the collar at the edges, again using the iron if necessary to set the crease.  Leave about 1/4″ or so untucked at the side bottoms where the sides connect to the shirt.10. For the outer corner points, I found it was easiest to use a tiny bit of fabric glue to glue down the collar fabric insides, and the contrast fabric seam allowances, together, as I folded and tucked the extra fabric inside the collar pieces.  It was a little fiddly, but the glue really helps.11. Once the outer and side edges have been pinned together, topstitch at about 1/8″ (or less) to close up that collar again, pivoting at the outer points.12. Finally, tuck under the bottom of the contrast fabric piece, lining it up with the seam that connects the collar to the shirt (or collar band, depending on how your shirt is constructed).  Topstitch down.13. Apply the iron at the edges to fix the creases.
  You’re done!  Fiddly, it’s true…but the results are amazing, and look like a brand new shirt!


Happy DIY’ing!



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