You can wear this Collar and Cuffs with Tie Ring over any brightly coloured or shiny clothes to create your Fancy Sailor costume. If you can sew, you can also adapt this design*. However, sewing isn’t necessary to make Carnival costumes, because they are only meant to be worn once, so here we use glue and staples. Costumes are also designed to be viewed at a distance in the street, online, or on stage, so they don’t need to be perfect. * If you are sewing, we recommend using ribbon to create the double sailor stripes instead of foil. The ribbons can be placed away from the edges in the more traditional way – here we use the foil to cover the raw edges of the cotton instead of sewing them, which is why our stripes aren’t off-set.
To make a Fancy Sailor’s Collar and Cuffs with Tie Ring you need:
- An old T-shirt
- Kitchen foil
- A darning needle or cocktail stick
- A piece of card or cardboard about the width of your T-shirt’s shoulders
- A toilet roll inner
- Marker pen or sewing chalk
- Blunt pencil
- Stapler and staples
- Pins (preferably safety pins)
- Glue stick and scissors.
Click on any photo to view it full size.
1) Cut off the T-shirt’s sleeves and put them aside to make the Cuffs later.
2) Cut down each side all the way from the armholes so that the T-shirt is only joined together at the shoulders.
3) Move the back of the T-shirt out of the way, still attached by the shoulders. Fold the sides of the front together and cut up the centre of the T-shirt to divide it into two.
4) Straighten the outside edges of the two front sections by cutting off the fabric that sticks out underneath where the sleeves used to be. Use a ruler or the edge of a packet to draw a line to guide you.
5) Cut down from the shoulders to cut off the collar on both sides. Draw a line again to guide you.
6) Take a moment to trim off any loose threads and straighten edges.
7) Now it’s time to finish the back of the Collar. Push the front sections out of the way. Fold the bottom of the T-shirt in half, tucking it underneath, and pin it against the neck and shoulders to create the Sailor Collar shape.
8) Cut the sides to straighten them, using a line to guide you.
9) Find a piece of card that will fit just inside, trimming it with the scissors if necessary. Insert the card into the folded T-shirt and push it down so that the T-shirt holds its shape.
10) Staple the Collar together from the neck down, working on the inside so you are not scratched by the staples when wearing it.
11) Turn the Collar over. It is now ready to decorate. Trim off a piece of foil that is just a little wider and taller than the back of your Collar. Fold the edges of the foil over to make it fit, and then remove the Collar.
12) Find a smaller piece of card, or a food packet. Use your blunt pencil to mark around it, being careful not to press too hard.
13) Cut out the pencilled shape from the centre of the foil, and add glue to the non-shiny side of the shape you have left. Glue the edges of the front of the Collar and apply the foil.
14) Turn the Collar over and glue the edges of the foil. Fold over to cover the raw edges.
15) Add more glue under the foil at the front if necessary.
16) Take your small piece of foil and turn it the other way round, so it is taller than it is wide. Cut out the centre so you are left with a piece of foil that is the same width as the visible foil on the edge of the Collar. Cut this out and stick it to the the Collar. Turn over the overlapping ends and glue them down on the other side of the neck, shaping the foil to fit the fabric.
19) That’s it! Now you are ready to make the Cuffs while the glue dries. To make the Cuffs, take the T-shirt sleeves and turn them inside out. Make a small hole inside the hemmed edges of each one by the seams – nail scissors are ideal for this.
20) Thread the string onto a darning needle, or tie it to a cocktail stick, and feed it through the hemmed edges, bringing it back out again just the other side of the seams.
21) Pull the string through, and cut it off so you have enough left to tie a bow. Knot the ends of the strings to prevent them fraying. Now your Cuffs are ready to decorate.
22) Cut off a piece of foil that is long enough to wrap around the raw edges of the Cuffs and overlap. Cut this again so you have two wide strips and two narrow strips, one for each Cuff.
23) Glue the non-shiny side of the wide strip of foil, and place the edge of the Cuff on it so that it overlaps. Wrap it around the front so that the whole Cuff is covered. Then fold over the edges to neaten and stiffen them.
24) Glue the narrow strip of foil around each Cuff.
Click here to find out how to make a Fancy Sailor’s Kazoo, click here to find out how to make a Kitchen Carnival Octopus and Tassel and click here to find out how to make a Fancy Sailor’s Ship to add to your costume. Fancy Sailor Hats are coming in July.