Grainline Archer Sew-Along: Tailored Sleeve Placket

Hey! I meant to publish this earlier in the week. Sorry about that, and I hope I didn’t hold you up on your Archer progress.

Today we are going to skin that sleeve placket a different way, peeps; we are going to man up our sleeves. That is, we are going to make a sleeve placket that is most commonly found on men’s dress shirts. I like this technique when I want a more tailored look for my shirt, and I especially prefer it if I am going to wear the sleeves rolled up at least some of the time.

Remember, you can apply the sleeve plackets before or after you set the sleeve into the armhole, but IMHO it is a bit easier to do it beforehand, just so you have less fabric to deal with.

Grainline Archer by Sew Maris

I use template jigs to press my plackets. You’re not surprised, are you? 😉 The sleeve placket jigs are a little more complicated to make than the front placket “single strip”, but still totally easy. You will make 2 jigs; one for the smaller sleeve placket and one for the larger placket.  For the smaller placket, cut 1 piece of tagboard or manila file folder that is 1.5 inches x 7 inches (shorter is OK) for outer piece, + a second piece 1 inch x 7 inches for inner section. For the larger placket, cut 1 piece of tagboard or manila file folder that is 2.5 inches x 9 inches (shorter is OK) for outer piece, + a second piece 2 inches x 9 inches for inner section. On both of the outer pieces, score a line on either long edge that is ¼ inch from the edge. Now you have your sleeve placket pressing tools!


Next up, cut two rectangles of fabric 1.5 inches wide and at least 7 inches long for the skinny sleeve placket, and 2 more rectangles 2.5 inches wide and 9 inches long for the fatty one. Place a skinny placket into the outer piece of the skinny placket jig, WS facing up, aligning the long edges of the fabric with the sides of the jig.

Grainline Archer by Sew Maris

Place the inner jig section on top, and press. Repeat for the other skinny placket and the 2 larger sleeve plackets.

Grainline Archer by Sew Maris

Finally, press each placket in half lengthwise, favoring to one side slightly.

If you didn’t make the templates (shame on you!), then press the long sides of all 4 rectangles toward the center by 1/4 inch. Also press in half lengthwise, and also doing the favoring-to-one-side-slightly-thing.

Grainline Archer by Sew Maris

Next, using the marking tool of your choice, draw the cutting line for the sleeve vent (as indicated on the pattern) on the RS of both shirt sleeves. Make sure that you are marking the mirror image, meaning both the right and left sleeve. The cutting line is ALWAYS on the back portion of the shirt sleeves, because who really wants plackets on the front of their wrists, right? Also draw a horizontal line across the top that is at least 2 inches wide.

Grainline Archer by Sew Maris

Cut along the vertical line only, and be sure to angle to the corners at the top to create a little triangle.

One dilemna that can trick you up is what side of the shirt sleeve do I put the skinny/fatty placket on???? Easy answer! Fatty placket goes to the fatty (wider) side of the sleeve vent (which is always the front side of the sleeve), and skinny goes to the skinnier side of the sleeve vent. Big:big and little:little- easy to remember!

Grainline Archer by Sew Maris

Sooo, slip the skinny placket onto the “skinny side of the sleeve vent. Make sure the RS of the sleeve and the placket are both facing UP,and the WS of the placket is underneath on the WS of the sleeve. Pin or glue baste the placket in place.

Grainline Archer by Sew Maris

Topstitch on the skinny placket, and only up to the horizontal line. Do not catch the triangle in the topstitching.

Repeat the same process with the fatty placket on the fatty side, and then also repeat for the other sleeve.

Grainline Archer by Sew Maris

Now you can stitch the little triangle to the WS of the skinny placket, and trim the skinny placket so it is only extends about 1/4 inch or so beyond the horizontal line. Press the skinny placket flat and smooth.

Grainline Archer by Sew Maris Grainline Archer by Sew Maris Grainline Archer by Sew Maris

Now you get to make the little pointy part of the large placket. It is easier than you might think. All you have to do is fold down the top/unstitched portion of the placket right on top of stitched part of the placket. Then fold at a 90 degree angle, and then back again on itself at a 90 degree angle. Press well!

ArcherSleeveMensDressShirtPlackets-1-19 Grainline Archer by Sew Maris

Unfold the placket, and trim pretty close to the “X” creases, leaving about 3/16 inch remaining. Refold the placket into the little pointy hoo-hah, and glue baste it in place.

Grainline Archer by Sew Maris

I like to draw a little rectangle right the original horizontal line I drew, so the skinny placket gets caught correctly into the topstitching. I usually start stitching right where I left off on the placket topstitching, continue around the pointy top,down the other side, and finally around the rectangle. This minimizes the amount of visible overstitching on the placket.


That’s it! Nothing hard at all, right? Repeat for other sleeve and admire your lovely topstitching.

Grainline Archer by Sew Maris

And this is the inside view, with the skinny placket end caught in the topstitching of the pointy-thingy + rectangle. No raw edgessweet!

(BTW, in case it wasn’t obvious, I used a variety of shirt sections/sample fabrics to try and make the process as obvious as possible for this post.)

Happy sewing!





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