Turning a shirt collar - before and after

Time to turn a collar

In days gone by turning shirt collars was a normal part of working-class thrift along with darning socks. This topic was the subject of an interesting conversation I happened to overhear on a bus journey a little while ago. The two ladies chatting were probably in their 70s. One lady was explaining she had recently turned the collar of the blouse she was wearing. Then the conversation turned to lamenting how most people don’t bother mending things nowadays but simply throw them away when they become a little worn.

Being the kind of person who will always mend something rather than throw it away, turning a collar is something I have found myself doing from time to time. I recalled that overheard conversation when I discovered a growing rift in the collar of a very much-loved shirt belonging to one of my sons. Hence I soon found myself explaining how I could mend this most-precious-of-garments.

Collar-turning tool-kit: stitch ripper, pins, needle and matching thread, scissors
Collar-turning tool-kit: stitch ripper, pins, needle and matching thread, scissors

Turning a shirt collar means literally unpicking the collar from the garment, turning it over and then restitching it in place … but with the worn part now neatly hidden underneath and the upper part looking as-good-as-new.

I’ve added a step-by-step Turn a Shirt Collar tutorial to my How to … pages. So the next time you find a worn patch on a favourite shirt collar, try turning it – you can have that shirt looking as-good-as-new again in no time.

J Peggy Taylor

2 thoughts on “Time to turn a collar

  1. I’ve never heard about this before! I do think people throw away things so easily and materials aren’t made to last anymore. Shame.

    1. Oh indeed,too many things are thrown out when they could easily be mended or recycled. I find a use for all kinds of ‘rubbish’ – upcycling it into new things if it’s not a mendable thing.

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