Collars in Marvelous Designer

We're going to model several collars in Marvelous Designer. These methods are actually just like the methods that you would use when drafting actual sewing patterns. Even if you don't use MD, you'll want to learn these techniques for making your own real world patterns.

This post is part of a Full Class Set. That means that in addition to the video, you have written step-by-step instructions (listed below) and MD4 garment files.

You'll notice the instructions have been modified slightly from the video. When I made an error or adjustment, I changed the instructions to reflect the correction.

Download the Project Files

Shirt Collar

Sailor's Collar

Peter Pan Collar

Mandarin Collar

Turtleneck Collar

Step-By-Step with Video Time Notations

Explanation of Collars - Video 1:44

A collar is very different from a neckline. Collars are typically one or more separate pieces of fabric that are sewn to the neck of the garment. Necklines are finished edges at the top of the garment. When you are modeling clothing, make sure you show a seam line on collars.

Collar Names

  • Bertha
  • Bowed
  • Button-down
  • Cape
  • Chelsea
  • Collaret
  • Dog Ear
  • Jabot
  • Lapel
  • Mandarin
  • Narrow
  • Notched
  • Peter Pan
  • Pinned
  • Poet
  • Pointed Flat
  • Puritan
  • Ruffle
  • Sailor
  • Shawl
  • Shirt
  • Spread
  • Square
  • Straight
  • Tabbed
  • Turtleneck
  • Tuxedo
  • Wide
  • Winge

Neckline Names

  • Asymmetrical
  • Bateau
  • Blazer
  • Boat
  • Court
  • Cowl
  • Décolleté
  • Diamond
  • Grecian
  • Halter
  • High
  • Hug Shoulder
  • Inset Band
  • Jewel
  • Keyhole
  • Off-Shoulder
  • One Shoulder
  • Pleated Cowl
  • Queen Ann
  • Round
  • Sabrina
  • Scoop
  • Spaghetti Strap
  • Split
  • Square
  • Stovepipe
  • Strapless
  • Sweetheart
  • U Neck
  • V Neck
  • Wide Shoulder

Convertible Collars

In the world of collars there are convertible and nonconvertible. A convertible collar doesn't follow the curve of the garment neckline. It is much more straight, with a slight curve to it. Convertible collars have stands. The stand is the part that is vertical.

You can close the collar with a button, but when you open it, it acts like a spring and spreads outward.

Convertible collars can be made with a built-in collar stand or with a separate stand. Men's dress shirts most often have two piece collars, it has a collar and a stand. It is also possible to just let the collar roll over with a built-in stand.

Nonconvertible Collar

The other type of collar is a nonconvertible collar. The collar follows the curve of the garment neckline. The garment neckline and the inside edge of the collar are the same length. There is no stand, so the collar lays flat against the garment.

Basic Collar Shapes

There are three basic collar shapes.

  1. Flat Collar - lays flat on the garment
  2. Shirt Collar - has a stand, either separate or built-in, that raises the collar off the neckline
  3. Standing Collar - vertical collar, essentially a collar stand without a collar

Shirt Collar Construction - Video 4:04

Collar Method 1 - Add Up Neckline Length & Draw

Make sure you have line length turned on. Display > 2D Pattern > Show Line Length

Get your collar stand length by adding up the necklines. Do do that, using the Edit Pattern tool, shift click all the necklines in front and back. Make sure to select your button overlap pieces, too. If you have drawn the front and/or back pattern pieces with Symmetry, you will need to right click and Remove Symmetry to do this.

Once you've made your selections, look over in the Property Editor. Under Selected Line, it will tell you the total length of all the necklines. Now divide that total in half, because its easier to model half and them unfold it so that all the curves match.

We want to make the stand first. Select the Rectangle tool and click in the 2D window. Enter your divided neckline amount for width and 20mm for height.

We need to add a point to the top of the stand where the collar will connect. The collar will not be as wide as the stand, it will not include the button overlaps. Select the top of one of the button overlap pieces and note the width in the Property Editor > Selected Line. Select the Add Point tool and add a point to the top of the stand in from the edge the amount of the button overlap.

Where the stand meets itself at center front, we want it to be rounded off. Select the corner point of the stand and delete it. The new point that you just added will hold the shape. Now select the Edit Curvature tool and drag the line out to make a nice curved end.

The top of the stand will be straight across, but the bottom needs a slight curve. Select the Edit Curvature tool and curve the one end slightly.

To make the actual collar, draw another rectangle as you did before. Use the Edit Pattern tool, shift click all the necklines in front and back. Don't select the button overlaps this time! Divide the total by two and draw a rectangle with a height of 95mm. With the center line to your right, using the Edit Pattern tool, grab the upper left point and pull it out and up.

Using the Edit Curvature tool, add a downward curve to the top of the collar.

Select what will be the center back vertical line, right click, Unfold both the collar and stand.


Position both pieces behind the model's head in the 3D window. Select the stand and right click, Flip Horizontally. Turn on the Show Arrangement Points and use them to wrap the stand around the model.

Lay the collar down flat horizontally just above the stand.


Now we'll sew it all up. Create a center vertex in the middle of your back neckline. Using the Edit Pattern tool select the line, then right click > Split. Select Uniform Split > 2 in the dialog box and click OK.

Technique - One-to-Many Sewing

First, let's get our orientation. Click on the model's left front and see where the blue dot is in the 2D window. Now do the same thing for the left of the stand and the left back. Watch where the dot appears. Now you know what what you're connecting.

Select the Segment Sewing tool and select the bottom of the stand. Hold down the shift key and select the front and the back that you just selected when orienting. Watch your notches!

After you've made your selections, look in the 2D window and make sure you didn't mess it up. If you did, select the Edit Sewing Tool, select the seam and Delete. Now just do it again. It's going to be confusing at first, but it's worth doing it over and over until you get it. This is a method that is worth learning well. You'll use it a lot.

Repeat the process for the other side of the stand.

TIP: You could have used the Free Sewing tool and selected the entire stand and garment pieces and sewn them all in one step. This can be extremely confusing, so I don't recommend that you try this until you are very familiar with the process.

Now sew the stand to the collar. Remember that the first and last points on the stand are actually the length of the collar, we deleted the original points and curved the ends. The stand is flipped, so if your collar selection is left to right, you'll select the stand right to left. Select the Free Sewing Tool, click the first point on the collar and then the last, then the first on the stand and the last. Double check your work in the 3D window and simulate.

If you're having problems with the simulation and you can't get the collar down, change your collar fabric to something very soft and droopy, like Satin. You can always change it back to something else after it settles into place.

The collar line may look a little chunky, too. To smooth it out, select the collar and stand. In the Property Editor set the Particle distance to 10 or less.

Peter Pan Collar Construction - 24:29

Method 2 - Manipulate Patterns & Trace

The Peter Pan collar is created using pattern manipulation. Select the Transform Pattern tool and click the back pattern piece. Line up the back shoulder point to front. Move the back pivot point to the shoulder and spin the back to form the shape of the neckline.

Make sure the back neck line is split in half, so you can model half of the collar. Use the Polygon tool to trace around the front and back taking broad strokes.

Use the Curvature tool to round the collar to match the front and back curves. Move the collar up to work on it without accidentally selecting other pieces.

Copy the collar and put the copy directly on top. We'll use this copy as our collar and the original to 'remember' the shape we need. Delete the center point (was at the shoulder) on the copy. Use the Curvature tool to create a soft curve at the neckline. Delete the original collar.

Use the Curvature tool to soften and equalize distance all around the outside edge of the collar. Shape the front edge of the collar any way you wish. You probably want to shorten up the corner and round the point.

Right click center back line > Unfold. Recheck the form looking for dips or hard edges.

TIP: You can always adjust after simulating, but strive to make all changes before you unfold to maintain symmetry. If you make changes after unfolding, you may choose to delete one side of the piece, unfold and re-sew it. This will guarantee symmetry and give your work a professional look.


Position the collar in the 3D window. Leave the collar flat horizontally with the right side facing up.


Use the One-to-Many Sewing Technique shown above. Click points in the 3D window to get orientation for sewing. Use the Segment Sewing tool to select one side of the collar neckline, hold shift and select the front and back corresponding pieces. Verify your work in the 3D window and repeat for the other side. Simulate.

Left click and drag in the 3D window with simulation on to straighten things out.

Turtleneck Collar Construction - Video 34:06

Measure the distance around the neck and draw a rectangle that is 120mm high. Refer to the Collar Method 1 above.

Elongate the top edge for the fold over by pulling out the top point. Select the piece, right click and Unfold.

Place an Internal Line where you want the collar to fold over.  In the Property Editor set the Fold Angle 1, Fold Strength 82.

Using the One-to-Many Technique, use the Segment Sewing tool to sew the collar on the garment. Sew the back edges to each other.

Arrange the pattern piece in the 3D window, using the Arrangement Points to wrap it around the neck. Seams in turtlenecks are center back.

You need to reverse the collar so the right side is on the inside, since this is what will show after it folds over. Select the pattern in the 3D window and select either Reverse Arrange Horizontally or Double Sided Surface.

The collar will be inside the model's head when simulating. Just grab the collar and pull hard to pull it out of the head. It will release eventually.

You may choose to remove the Internal Line and use the Property Editor to set the Particle distance to 10 or less. This is a more realistic look.

Mandarin Collar Construction - Video 36:43

Add up the neckline length and draw a rectangle. Refer to the Collar Method 1 above.

Pull in the top point at center back to make the collar hug the neck as it rises. Drag the top point at the center front sideways to make a diagonal line. This will create a V in the center front. You may choose to round the top of the V to soften. Right click the collar and Unfold.

Using the One-to-Many Technique, use the Segment Sewing tool to sew the collar on the garment. Sew the back edges to each other.

Arrange the pattern in the 3D window using the arrangement points to wrap it at the model's neck. Seams in mandarin collars are in the center back.

Sailor's Collar Construction - Video 37:23


marvelous designer md project files