sleeve plackets

One of the great things about learning is it is never ending. This is fantastic for me because learning is my passion. I am an addict for the satisfied high I get from mastering a new skill. Despite my attempts to appear otherwise, this blog is mostly about my role as a novice and my ongoing training, not really what I already know. It was about three years ago now when I first learnt how to wind a bobbin. Since then sewing has proven to be a fertile valley of things I do not know about, thus a rich source of potential skill mastery to feed my learning addiction.

I have lots and lots to learn. Yay!

Last week I tackled a new sort of garment. I’ve been mired in the girls’ clothes for awhile now and I’m overdue for some new techniques. My great hesitation in the past has been button down shirts for men and boys. I’ve been worried about some of the bits on button shirts, namely the plackets. The word ‘placket’ is a bit intimidating – bit of a sharp, bark sound - and a traditional button shirt has not only front button plackets, but big bad sleeve plackets too. Plackets are the folded over bits that the buttons attach to, which isn’t frightening itself, but other parts like the collar and cuffs somehow rise out of the plackets and I haven’t been very sure how it all comes together. My Birdie Boy, though, needs some lightweight, long sleeve shirts to keep him cool this summer while protecting his finicky skin from the sun. And there’s a button shirt pattern in Ottobre (summer 3, 2008) with a sweet little mandarin collar I’ve been thinking about for awhile now which finally spurred me to swallow my fear of plackets (and get a much needed learning fix).

Turns out these placket dealies aren’t so horrible. The front button placket was easy-peasy, and the sleeve placket took a bit of doing but with a hot iron and the children sleeping so I could concentrate, really not too bad. In fact, after doing my first sleeve placket I fancied myself enough of an expert to share how the second sleeve placket came together.

Here is Birdie Boy in his new button down shirt, which happens to match the lamp shade I covered (why not? Smootch matches our tv cozy :D)

(Birdie adores trains, wouldn't you know it, and if given half an opportunity to pull down this lamp he will pull the base of it as close as he can to his body and try to ride the train, saying "ugh ugh ooo! ooo!" Which is 'chugga chugga choo choo!' in mama speak.)

Sleeve plackets:

With your sleeve and corresponding placket cut out, cut the sleeve where indicated on the pattern.

Press a small fold, wrong sides together, on the side closest to the edge (this will face towards the back of the sleeve and be hidden by the placket).

Stitch small hem in place.

Attach the placket as shown in the illustration below, with the right side of the placket against the wrong side of the sleeve.

Stitch the placket to the sleeve, leaving a seam allowance at the very top.

Make a small snip from the top of the sleeve opening to the seam on the placket. You are looking for a cut big enough to smoothly allow the placket to flip over to the otherside without slicing into the top seam allowance. This area will all be covered by the placket.

Pull the placket through the sleeve opening to the right side of the sleeve.

Turn down all the seam allowances, wrong sides together, and press in place.

Fold the placket back so the right side is facing up in a natural position. Press.

Top-stitch from the bottom of the sleeve up the placket along the attached edge, around the top, and back over to form a little pentagon shape.
And that's all! Not scary. I can't wait to make more of this style for Birdie Boy!

This is a free tutorial and I encourage you to use the information in any way you need to (check the disclaimer at the bottom of the page). If it works for you, please consider supporting my etsy shop by purchasing a Little Print Design pattern or toss a dollar or two in my paypal to show appreciation and to encourage me to offer up even more quality patterns and tutorials.

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  1. Cute! This issue of Ottobre is on it's way to me, and now I am even MORE excited about it! (if that is possible)

  2. Cute shirt! I adore the collar! Nice tute too, thanks a lot!

  3. thank-you!!
    just today, I was wondering about plackets (honest!) and thinking it's about time to figure 'em out.

    I've used several of your tutes & appreciate you taking the time to share with the world - in an easy to understand manner - what you have learned.

    happy creating

  4. You never cease to impress me....

  5. I don't know when I'll need this information but I know I will...soon. I can't tell you how many times I've used the tutorials on your blog. Sometimes its the whole tute, other times just a tiny bit. Most recently it saved me from what I thought was a complete sewing disaster!

  6. I find these kinds of details intimidating when I see the instructions in a pattern, but your explanation makes it seem so DOable! I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:

  7. Wow, thanks for this photo how to! I love Ottobre but I had been shying away from this style of placket. Now I feel ready to tackle it :)