If you know anything at all about me, you should know I love cardboard. Or more accurately, tagboard.This little miracle makes my sewing life so much easier, more professional,and very importantly, REPEATABLE. Get in the habit of making cardboard/tagboard templates in dimensions you use frequently, and then use them to accurately turn hems, shirt placket fronts, and more. Easy-peasy.
Today we are going to use a tagboard “jig” to help make stinkin’ simple shirt plackets.
Sleeve placket jigs
- Cut 1 piece of tagboard 2.5 inches wide x at least 6 or 7 inches long.
- Along both long edges score a line 1/4 inch from the edge and fold toward the center.
- Cut 1 piece of tagboard 2 inches wide X at least 6 or 7 inches long. This piece should fit exactly inside the scored/folded piece. This is for the wide sleeve placket.
- Repeat steps 1-3, but making the larger piece 1.5″ x 6 or 7 inches and the smaller insert 1 inch x at least 6 or 7 inches. This is for the skinny sleeve placket.
That’s it! Now you have the tool that will make perfect sleeve plackets EVERY TIME. And all you had to do was draw a few lines on some old manila file folders, and cut ’em out. Now let’s get to work on the actual sleeve plackets.
Note: skinny placket goes on the underside of the sleeve placket, and the wide placket goes on the top of the sleeve
1. Mark line 6.5 inches long for the cutting line of the shirt placket. I hope you can see the yellow chalk line I drew on this fabric. The tiny snip at the bottom of the sleeve is where the center cutting line is drawn.
2. Draw a line ¼ inch on either side of this “cutting” line, and a horizontal line at the top. Squint. The yellow lines are on either side of the center cutting line – which you can identify by the tiny snip.
4. Cut a strip of fabric 2.5 x 8-9 inches for the wider placket. Put the fabric inside the “wide sleeve placket” jig, place the insert on top of the fabric, and press to create the “turn under” along both long edge. Then press in half to create a 1” wide large placket. Be sure to “favor” one side slightly when you press in half. This will ensure your topstitching catches both the top and bottom of the placket.
6. Slip cut edge into skinny placket, with the slightly shorter edge on top and the slightly wider edge underneath. Align the fold with the chalk line and pin in place.
7. Stitch up to the horizontal cross mark on sleeve, leaving triangle free.
8. Stitch triangle to underside of placket at cross mark and trim to ¼”
9. Slip wide placket onto other side of cut edge and edgestitch just up to the horizontal cross mark.
10. Lay the wide placket over the skinny placket, and fold it straight down on top of itself. Next, fold the wide placket at a 45 degree (right) angle, and press well.
11. Now fold the wide placket back over itself at a 45 degree (right) angle and again press thoroughly. You should have a perfect triangle at this point!
12. Trim the excess bulk away from the triangle.
13. Pin the triangle in place, and mark 2 horizontal cross lines across the wide placket. Note: At this point you will be stitching on the wide placket, securing the small placket underneath with the final topstitching.
14. Stitch around the triangle through all layer: wide placket, skinny placket, sleeve. Be sure to backstitch, overstitch, or take a few stitches at 0 stitch length to secure this stitching.
15. If you did everything perfectly, on the underside of your sleeve one row of the horizontal topstitching will be on the small placket only and one will be on the larger placket.
Doh! Oh well, next time it will be PERFECT, inside and out!
Repeat these steps for the other sleeve. You will get faster with practice. Also, you can decide for yourself how long you want your plackets to be – you don’t need to use my measurements (6-7 inches) or what is called for on the pattern. Your preference! The only thing you should do is measure your second placket to make sure it is the exact same finished length as your first. Now go give this a try and tell me what you think!