Plackets are used to finish slash openings cut into the fabric. Use a placket to finish the back neckline opening for a blouse or dress without a neck facing, an extended yoke opening into the skirt of a little girl’s dress, or the opening of a dress or skirt lining.
The method described is for a sleeve placket, but the same method can be used on other garment openings as well.
Transfer the pattern markings for the placket onto the sleeve fabric using tailor’s chalk or an air-soluble marking pen. The pattern markings come to a point, similar to a dart. To mark the placket location, make a tiny snip at the lower edge of each dashed line and poke a pin through the pattern and fabric at the placket tip. On the fabric wrong side, mark the pin location. Connect the snips and dot for a stitching guide.
Reinforce the placket opening by stitching along the lines with a stitch length of 1.0 mm to 1.5 mm, or 15 to 20 stitches per inch.
Slash down the placket center between the reinforcement stitching. At the point, clip all the way to, but not through, the stitching. If placket seamlines are more than 1/4″ away from the slash edge, trim the edge 1/4″ from the stitching (1).
Press under 1/4″ on one long edge of the continuous-lap strip. This will be the edge on which the final stitching is done; pressing the edge first makes it easier to keep even (2). If the pattern doesn’t include this placket style, substitute by cutting your own continuous strip. Cut a 1½”-wide strip slightly longer than twice the slash length.
Open the slashed edges of the placket. Place the right side of the strip against the sleeve wrong side. Pin only one edge of the slash up to the slash point, placing the reinforcement stitching 1/4″ from the strip’s raw edge. The raw edges won’t line up — they’ll be at an angle to each other. Don’t try to match the edges.
With the sleeve on the top and the lap underneath, stitch just to the left of the reinforcement stitching, using a normal stitch length and stopping at the slash tip; leave the needle in the fabric (3).
Raise the presser foot, and pivot the unstitched side of the sleeve slash so the reinforcement stitching is aligned 1/4″ from the remaining strip edge. Fold the resulting tuck to the upper left of the needle so the remaining section lies straight and flat. Don’t raise the needle; it will prevent you from sewing in a permanent tuck.
Lower the presser foot, and continue stitching 1/4″ from the edge of the continuous lap strip (4).
To correctly position the facing for a faced placket, insert a pin from the sleeve wrong side through the tip of the placket position. Cut a small snip at the sleeve edge, centered between the two stitching lines. Fold the facing piece in half lengthwise with wrong sides together, and align the fold with the pin and snip. Unfold the facing and pin in place.
Press the seam allowance toward the continuous lap, being careful to retain the previously pressed 1/4″ fold (5).
Fold the continuous lap over the seam allowance to enclose the raw edges. Place the pressed fold so it just covers the previous stitching line. Pin or glue-stick the lap in place; edgestitch along the fold (6).
Trim the continuous-lap ends even with the sleeve lower edge.
On the sleeve wrong side, bring the lap edges together, and stitch diagonally across the lap upper end (7). This will prevent the lap from turning into the outside.
The sleeve lower edge has two unequal sections. The wider section is the upper sleeve; the narrow section lies under the arm. Press the placket under on the upper sleeve section; baste along the edge to hold it in place until the cuff is attached. The placket on the lower sleeve section should extend and lie flat. Once a cuff is attached, the placket is hidden by the overlap and sits at the outside of the wrist bone (8).
Sew and press the sleeve seam. Attach the cuff and stitch a horizontal buttonhole on the cuff end attached to the upper sleeve. Overlap the cuff ends, mark the button position under the buttonhole, and sew the button in place.
Finish an opening with a faced placket when the opening edges don’t need to overlap. When buttoned, the placket edges will butt together. To apply a faced placket, mark the placket stitching lines on the sleeve wrong side. Cut a rectangle from the fashion fabric to measure 1″ longer than the opening and 2½″ to 3″ wide. The facing rectangle doesn’t need to be interfaced. Clean-finish or serge the facing raw edges, except for one 2½” edge.
With right sides together, center the facing over the placket marking, aligning the facing raw edge with the sleeve lower edge. Pin in place from the sleeve side.
Use a glue stick for needle-free basting. Allow the glue to dry completely before stitching.
Adjust the stitch length to 1.5 mm to 2.0 mm (12 to 15 stitches per inch). With the sleeve side up, stitch along one line and take a stitch across the point. Pivot and stitch down the opposite side (9).
Cut the placket open, centering the cut between the stitching lines. Clip to, but not through the stitch at the point.
Turn the facing to the wrong side. Roll the seamline slightly to the inside, so the facing isn’t visible from the outside. Press just along the seamline to prevent leaving imprints of the facing edges on the garment fabric.
Blindstitch the facing edges to the garment wrong side. A busy print or textured surface will camouflage the stitching. Otherwise, make even, tiny hand stitches because they’ll be visible from the garment’s right side. If the garment is lined or underlined, secure the facing edges by blindstitching them to the inner lining.
Paste the remaining raw edge to the sleeve or garment edge. Add the cuff or binding to finish. For a cuffed garment, attach the cuff to the sleeve underlap so it extends beyond the opening edge (10).
One- or Two-Piece Cuff
A one-piece cuff is made from a folded fabric rectangle that is twice the depth of the desired finished cuff, plus seam allowances. It will have squared or angled corners at the lower edge.
Apply interfacing to one-half of the cuff, just to the foldline, or cover the entire piece. If you use sew-in interfacing, attach it along the foldline to keep it from shifting. Use an invisible hand stitch at the foldline, picking up only one thread of the cuff fabric about every inch along the fold. Or fuse with a narrow strip of fusible web or a strand of fusible thread. (Test the fusible web on a scrap to see if it makes the fabric stiffer and/ or shows on the right side.)
A one-piece cuff can be edgestitched and/or topstitched. If so, stitch only along the seamline that joins the cuff and sleeve, along each cuff end and the seamline, or along all four sides of the cuff
A two-piece cuff can have a shaped lower edge or ends. Only the cuff outer layer is interfaced. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to attach either a sew-in or fusible interfacing that’s compatible with the fabric.
A two-piece cuff is normally edgestitched and/or topstitched around the entire perimeter. The stitching helps to hold the turned edges in place and is a good treatment for heavier or hard-to-press fabrics. This type of cuff is often found on men’s dress shirts.