Learn how to sew a placket. A placket is a type of opening for a garment. Did you know that this kind of opening has a couple of different styles including shirt plackets and skirt plackets? Plackets are also featured in cuff openings and the back or front opening of a blouse. There are also various other types of placket including a French placket, concealed placket, pop over placket, and a standard shirt placket belonging to men’s shirts.
Types of Plackets
The overall look of a shirt placket is entirely up to you and your lifestyle. The only placket that seems to have a definite purpose, based on its appearance, is the concealed placket. It is the ultimate style for formal occasions to be worn with a tuxedo or a groom’s suit – the smart black-tie look.
Here is a definition of four different shirt plackets:
This is a visible placket down the front of a shirt. The shirt fabric is folded back over the front of the shirt and stitched to create a strip running down the front of the shirt. The strip can be added on like a facing or part of the pattern and folded back. This placket finishes off the shirt smartly and makes a great formal fashion statement.
French Front Placket
The French placket, also known as the ‘no front’ placket, has the material of the placket folded towards the back of the garment. This modern style gives a clean neat look to the shirt.
Concealed Placket or Hidden Button Placket
This is a very dressy shirt with the buttons hidden under the front centerpiece of the shirt. The buttons are concealed by an extra layer of folded fabric stitched like a flap and hides the buttons completely. The concealed placket gives a very dressed-up appearance for a dress shirt. It is the ideal shirt to show off a bow tie for a smart occasion.
Pop Over Placket:
The pop-over placket is the most casual of the four plackets. It follows the same pattern as the standard placket but has only three buttons attached at the top and stops short of the end of the placket at the bottom. It is a similar look to a polo shirt.
In the ladies' department, plackets are used as openings in many of the above styles. In addition, skirts, in particular, may have placket openings. The openings of a simple blouse and the opening at a cuff are other places where a placket is used.
How to Sew a Placket
The following four placket versions can be used to close skirts, sleeves and the opening on a blouse. They are adaptable and the steps to follow apply to any placket opening you choose to use.
How to Sew a Placket - Continuous (Bound)
This is an easy placket and can be made on a seam or using a slash in the garment for the opening. It is used on children’s clothing and on sari petticoats for example. The bound placket is not suitable for bulky fabrics.
How to Sew a Placket that is Bound:
- Cut a piece of fabric on the lengthwise grain of the material about 1½ – 2” wide and 1” longer than twice the length of the opening on the garment cut to form the placket.
- Pull back the placket strip and about ¼” from the edge start to tack the placket edge to the strip as you work in a straight line from the top to the bottom of the opening.
- Machine stitch over the tacking and stop at the midpoint of the placket with the needle in the fabric. Lift the presser foot and move any fullness out of the way before continuing to sew to the top of the placket opening. It is important to keep the placket open and follow the stitching in a straight line with no creases or tucks along the way.
- Press the seam edges towards the placket strip and fold the free edge of the strip under to neaten. Press then fold this edge over the seam edge of the placket strip. Press again and hemstitch this to the machine stitching of the placket.
- Press and fold the placket to meet together and lay flat at the back of the opening. Remove tacking stitches and attach fasteners.
How to Sew a Placket - Zippered
Adding a zipper placket can add style and decorative additions to the garment.
How to Sew a Placket with a Zipper:
- Choose the size of the zip you require.
- Cut an opening in the garment for the zip to fit into.
- Cut two diagonal slits ¼” wide at the end of the opening. This creates the width needed for the zip to fit into the placket opening.
- Turn all three raw edges to the wrong side and press and tack.
- Use a small square piece of tape and stitch its raw edges, then attach the tape to the end of the placket opening. This is the neatening for the end of the zip opening.
- Insert the zip and stitch the edges of the placket to the edges of the zipper allowing the zip clasp to move up and down. Tack first and then machine sew.
- Make another square of tape to finish the zip end on the other side. This secures the tape and the zip and prevents the zip from running away from the teeth of the zip. Always open this zip opening with care.
How to Sew a Placket - Miter or Tailor’s
The miter placket serves a decorative, as well as strengthening purpose. The strips can be made in a contrasting color. The miter placket looks especially good on men’s shirts and tailored blouses to fasten the sleeve opening with a cuff.. The opening of the placket is finished with a wide band of fabric. This band is called a gauntlet.
The miter placket is made in two separate sides. One is the under lap or the bias binding and the other is the overlap or the gauntlet. The under lap is narrow and the gauntlet is wider and adds a decorative finish.
How to Sew a Placket with Mitered Corners
- Cut a 1“ bias strip for the underlap binding.
- Sew the underlap binding and neaten to finish at a ½” width. The end of the placket will be finished off with the square or pointed end of the overlap strip.
- The right side of the overlap strip faces the wrong side of the garment. Machine stitch along the opening and fold the overlap to the right side of the placket.
- Turn under the seam allowance and adjust the strip so it will overlap the underlap of the binding side.
- Topstitch the strip to the garment upward and along the edges. Then around the point at the end of the overlap to hold the overlap in position and enclose the raw edge of the underlap at the bottom of the placket.
How to Sew a Placket - Facing Opening
The faced placket option looks like a slight V in the fabric stitching. The facing is a neatened square of a matching fabric. It is stitched and neatened before being inserted.
- Prepare the facing piece and mark the space it should cover to neaten the opening. Pin in place.
- Cut a slash in the fabric and the facing ready to sew together. The slash would need to be the length required for the opening. Add on some extra at the top to allow for the seam allowance for a cuff or neck facing after the placket is complete.
- Stitch the opening to the tipping point of the V. Lift the presser foot and pivot the needle to stitch up to the top. Make sure the bulk of the fabric is moved to allow the needle and stitching to sew to the tip of the opening.
- Press the facing towards the inside of the opening. Fold and press a second time so the facing lies over the stitching and is flat against the wrong side of the fabric.
- Stitch a small triangle shape at the tip of the facing to secure the bottom. Secure the edges of the facing with some slip stitches to prevent them from flapping.
How to Sew a Placket - In Conclusion
Placket openings are very versatile and it is interesting to note the part they play in both men’s clothing and women’s clothing. Did you know that in a woman’s clothing the placket’s right side overlaps the left? But in men’s clothing, the left side overlaps the right. That might just be a piece of trivia you could find valuable at the next family quiz night. Have a look around and see if manufacturers are following the rules.