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Why not bundle up this winter in your very own designs? Grab your bodice slopers or even make your own and check out this step-by-step guide for drafting one of the most popular collar styles for jackets and coats!

A notched collar is a signature feature on many blouse, jacket and coat styles for both men and women. This type of collar looks stylish and sophisticated no matter how you sew it!

Photo patterns: Wool Long Coat; Mini Trench Jacket; Navy Pea Coat; Short Peplum Coat.

Drafting a notched collar can be a little tricky, but follow these steps and you’ll be sewing your own notched-collar garment in no time! We’ll start off with some basic collar terminology:

The neckline edge: the edge of the collar that gets sewn to the neckline of the garment

The collar edge: the outer edge of the collar

Collar stand: The height of the collar from the neckline edge to the roll line
Note: The height of a collar stand is relative to the neckline. A round, close fitting neckline will have a higher collar stand, while a collar will lay flatter on a wider neck opening

Roll line: the point at which the collar folds over towards the shoulders

Top Collar: The upper, outermost layer of the collar

Undercollar: The layer of the collar that is hidden, laying against the body

Drafting a notched collar:
 photo tech_101_large_zpsbd33c99e.jpg

Start by taking your personal bodice slopers and measuring the length of both the front and back necklines. Record the measurements.

 photo measureneckline_zps735e639c.png

Step 1: Trace out your front bodice sloper onto a large sheet of paper. Draw a line parallel to the center front on your bodice pattern to create a button extension. The width of the button extension can vary. End the line at the point where you want the fold of the collar to end. This point is called the “breakpoint.” In the technical illustration above, the jacket’s “breakpoint” is just above the top right button.
 photo collardraft_zpsd6a96f20.png

Step 2: Make a mark 1” out from the front neck-shoulder point. Draw a straight line from the breakpoint, passing through the 1” mark. You can call this line A.
Step 3: Mark a point on the front shoulder measuring ¼” in from the neck-shoulder point. Label point B. Draw a line from this point, extending from the shoulder, running parallel to line A. You can call this line C.(Note: You will also need to remove 1/4" from the neck-shoulder point on the back sloper pattern so that the shoulders will still line up when sewn together.)
Step 4: Measure up line B and mark the distance of the back neck measurement. Make another mark ½” from this point, towards the shoulder. Label this point D.
Step 5: Connect Point D to point B with a curved line. Re-measure the curved line to ensure the length matches the original back measurement.
Step 6: Line up the straight edge of your ruler with the curve, drawing another line at a precise 90 degree angle from the curve. Draw this line to measure the desired width of your collar. This will be the center back seam of the finished collar.
Step 7: Draw in the collar edge. You can modify this line to create your own collar shape.
Step 8: Measure down the center front line, and mark how low you’d like your neckline to be. You can call this point E. (In this example draft, point E remains at the original center front neckline point.)
Step 9: Draw a line from point B that passes through point E. This line should blend smoothly with the back neck curve, and continue several inches past the center front.
Step 10: Draw a line from the outside collar edge to meet the new neckline. Make a notch on the bodice pattern marking exactly where the collar piece touches the neckline.
Step 11: Draw a curved line from point F to meet the breakpoint.
 photo collarpattern_zps5cc9c5df.png
This draft will now be divided into separate pieces. The left and right front, the upper collar, and the undercollar. The under collar is cut in 2 separate pieces, on the bias grain.
 photo collarpieces_zps6bd86c3d.png

Step 12: You will also need to draft a facing for your collar. Measure out 2” from the center front hem, and 2” out from your new neck shoulder point. Connect the lines to form your facing.
Note: You always want to taper (reduce) your undercollars and facings by ⅛” along the outer edge to ensure that they roll to the underside of the garment and are not visible from the right side.
Instead of reducing ⅛” from your undercollar pattern piece, you can also make your top collar ⅛” larger. Add ⅛” to each edge, excluding the back neck and center back seam. (Only along the collar edge).
The notched collar facing is tapered a little differently than a regular facing, as the center front edge and the collar edge are connected:
Since the facing piece of a notched collar rolls outwards at the breakpoint and is seen as the right side of the garment, you will want to add ⅛” to the facing pattern piece along the collar edge, stopping at the breakpoint, so that the bodice front will roll to the underside. At the breakpoint the facing will be turned inwards and the front bodice will be seen as the right side once again. Along the center front, from the breakpoint to the hem, you will now taper the facing inwards by ⅛”. (See grey outline vs red line of center front below).
 photo collarfacing_zps3fcbeb25.png

When you are ready to cut out your pattern pieces,
Fabric: Cut 2 Fronts, 2 Front Facings, 2 Under Collars, 1 Top Collar
Interfacing: 2 Front Facings, 2 Under Collars or 1 Top Collar

When you have your own sloper, the options are endless when it comes to drafting collars, designing jackets, coats or any other garments! If you want to learn more about working with slopers, and even create your own set of made-to-measure slopers, check out this upcoming course: Draft and Develop your Own Personal Sloper Library! You’ll learn how to draft your own skirt, pant, blouse, sleeve and knitwear slopers from scratch, so you can start sewing garment with that flawless fit every time!

You can also check out the convenient, ready-made slopers in our pattern store here!

Happy Drafting!


  • Me_large

    May 7, 2018, 11.15 PMby diamondmarine

    it took me forever to finally get to a great visualization of a notched collar, thank you for this

  • Missing

    Jul 20, 2017, 03.31 AMby Nefertiiri

    Overall some great info, but some steps are skipped or mislabelled. (For example, step 4 refers to a Line B that doesn’t exist. I think it refers to Line C in the previous steps). It would be great to have this reviewed and reposted.

  • Image_large

    Nov 25, 2014, 04.16 AMby christen reinglas

    Great stuff!

  • 10885472_10204601100900759_1419300186004226175_n_large

    Nov 24, 2014, 09.53 PMby Amy Moore-Szemkus

    I want to make all of these!! I need more hours in the day! sheesh!

  • Img_0867_large

    Nov 23, 2014, 02.57 AMby cur-jargon

    Ooo, thank you so much!

  • 03003e1f_2_large

    Nov 21, 2014, 01.35 PMby sewing fanatic

    helpful stuff here

    • This is a question
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