Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How to Sew a Perfect Placket

A new year is almost here, and many of us are busy thinking about what goals we'd like to accomplish in 2014. For sewists, these resolutions often include trying our hand at learning new sewing techniques or perhaps mastering those we haven't quite perfected yet. The placket is one area of a garment that seems to cause trouble for novice and advanced sewists alike. In the following how-to, designer Debbie Glenn shares step-by-step instructions for her unique folded placket that eliminates all visible raw edges. This tutorial originally appeared in our January/February 2007 issue of Sew Beautiful.

NOTE: This placket may only be used on fabrics with no apparent wrong side. And, you'll need to add 2-1/2 inches to the back skirt width for a 1/2-inch-wide finished placket.

1. Pull a thread and cut along center back the desired depth of the finished placket (9 to 13 inches at neck, 4 to 6 inches for a skirt). At lower end of center back, cut clip perpendicularly 1/2 inch to the right and 1/2 inch to the left (Photo 1).

2. Press right cut edge under 1/2 inch (to wrong side), turn left edge up 1/2 inch (to right side), leaving a 1-inch opening at bottom of placket (Photo 2).

3. Fold left side up 1/2 inch again (encasing left raw edge), leaving a 1/2-inch opening at bottom of placket (Photo 3).

4. Pinch up fabric at base of placket so right single fold touches left double fold, leaving no opening at bottom of placket. Secure this little tuck with a pin (Photo 4). TIP: Make sure fold of this little tuck doesn't extend beyond far left edge of placket or it will be visible.       

5. Finally, fold right side under 1/2 inch again (encasing right raw edge), lapping right side over left. There will be a double pleat with a tiny tuck inside at end of opening, pressed to left (Photos 5 and 6).

6. Secure placket edges by hand or machine using a straight or pin stitch. To stitch by machine: Un-pin tiny tuck and flatten out this area, temporarily un-lapping right and left sides of placket; refer to Photo 7. TIP: For easier pin stitching, cut scant 1/2-inch strips of Sol-u-Web and use "water-soluble fusible mesh" to secure right and left folds. Stitch from right side from top edge down securing right fold, adjusting width of pin stitch so left swing of fingers catch fold underneath (L=2.0-2,5; W=1.5) (Photo 7).

7. At bottom, stop with needle down 1/8 inch below clip at end of straight stitch series, re-lap placket, pivot 45 degrees, stitch finger stitch in and out into same hole, pivot 45 degrees then stitch across bottom, stopping just beyond fold; refer to Photo 8. 

8. Pivot and continue stitching up left side being careful not to catch right placket edge in stitches (Photo 8).

9. There will be raw ends exposed between the layers at bottom of placket (Photo 9). To enclose these raw ends, press placket flat, then stitch just above raw ends to form a small rectangle (Photo 10).

Be sure to check out our Sew Beautiful collection CDs to learn more great techniques! Each CD includes digital versions of six complete issues of Sew Beautiful.

Sew On, Sew Well, Sew Beautiful,
Cyndi and Amelia


  1. This is my most-used issue of SB. I use this placket method as often as I can and it is *wonderful.* I love it!

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