Hopefully these are simple instructions for how to covert a jersey poloneck to a clerical collar, you can then wear as is, or make a bibstock/crop top for under dresses & tops.

I’ve done most of this tutorial using the red top and black stitching for better contrast -it means occasionally it looks pretty naff! Matching thread of course looks much neater, so if you’re sewing in anything other than black, try & match the thread up as closely as you can -its really worth it.


1)Spread out the poloneck collar and cut off what you don’t need. On these Primark cotton lycra polos it is approx half, but you need roughly  twice  the depth of your collar insert plus about 1 cm spare.

2)finish the cut edge with a zig zag, or better still overlocking ( mine’s currently poorly)  then cut a strip of iron on interfacing slightly wider than the collar insert and about 1/3 longer than the circumference of the poloneck. Iron it to the inside bottom section of the neck, stretching the jersey as you do so, When you release the tension the interfacing will look creased. That’s fine, but it means you retain some stretch in the neck!

3)Mark on the poloneck (Ive used sharpie, tailors chalk is best!)1) the centre point of the neck,  2)the foldline (just fractionally more that a collar insert width up from the neck seam)

Then mark where you want the slits for the insert. These need to be placed equal distances from the centre point but that distance is your choice depending on how much white you want to flash!



4)Now sew two ” buttonholes” where you have marked the slits. They should go right to the bottom neck seam, and up as far as the fold like you marked. If you have buttonholing on your machine, that’s ideal. otherwise, small close zigzag lengths close together, topped & tailed with stitches will work. Remember that the inner line will be hidden, whereas the outer one will be the edge on show against the white collar. If your buttonholing uses reverse this often doesn’t look quite as neat, so take that into account!!

5)Now carefully use a stitch ripper or small

sharp scissors to slit the buttonholes

6) Now fold and  press down the top half of the neck to  the wrong side, along the fold like you marked previously. Make sure your finished edge overlaps the neck seam line at least a little, it doesn’t matter too much if there is some spare!






7)Then on the right side, using a straight stitch, sew ” in the ditch” ie in the line of the existing neck seam, so  you fasten down the back of the collar
and, that’s it! press again, and add your

collar insert…









If you want you can top stitch the top and bottom edges,  or leave as it is.


Other variations :

chop sleeves to the length  you want – sleeveless works well under dresses or V neck sweaters – and zigzag /overlock the edges. If you want a more cropped version, cut the body to the required length  plus a hem allowance, using that to make a channel for some 15cm wide elastic  to stop it riding up.



2 Responses to “Collared”

  1. Nice one, Angi!

  2. bridget Says:

    This looks great, thank you! I’m getting ordained next summer, and already dreading the shirts – never having been a wearer of mannish shirts. But I am a sewer, so this looks like the answer – hooray!

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