Placket placket placket placket placket. It’s been rolling around in my head for a week now. Placket. I guess I’d heard the word before, but honestly, I didn’t know a placket from a jacket before I read the pattern for Nate’s new monster shirt. Come to find out, a jacket could in fact have a placket. But this is a polo shirt, not a jacket.
The spring issue of Ottobre arrive with an adorable photo on the cover and I’ve been wanting to make it ever since. It’s a golf shirt, a polo, I always call them three button shirts. It looks nice, fancier than the t-shirts Nate lives in but still very comfy for an active little boy. Nice for back to school. I’ve never tried a shirt with a collar before and the neck opening with the snaps looked intimidating too. Those snaps and that neck opening, those would be the infamous placket.
Nate picked out this adorable fabric and I whole heartedly approved. A pretty ironic choice for a little boy who’s terrified of monsters, don’t ya think? It was a real pain to find though, because this particular color way was sold out everywhere I looked. Perseverance paid off in the end. I decided to use a coordinating solid as well since it’s a busy print, here are my pieces all cut out. One collar piece and the placket are fused with a light interface.
The first part of the pattern is the placket challenge. I had no idea how to do it and the instructions were not helping to clarify for me at all. I found a great tutorial online and I’m going to create my own here for self reference and for anyone else who can use it. I’m not sure it’s the way the pattern intends, but it worked and I’m going with it. Worth noting, this method will produce a placket that shows the same fabric inside and on the front of the shirt, I haven’t figured out how to do it differently . . . other than possibly seaming a strip of the front fabric to one side of the placket piece. That will make more sense in a minute.
Step one, align markings on placket piece and shirt front. Pin and sew on the lines creating a 1″ wide channel. Interfaced side is UP right sides of placket and shirt front are together. Then slash opening through both layers with diagonals into the corners. If you don’t cut close to the stitches the corners will pucker on the shirt front.
Next, turn the placket piece through the slashed opening to the back of the shirt and press it well. I remembered at this point to serge the raw edges of the placket, you could zigzag them too, but in my opinion turning them under adds a lot of bulk to the area. Once turned and pressed it will look like this
Now, fold open the left flap and re-fold it so that it covers the opening. check it from the front and adjust. Pin and press if you wish.
Repeat for the right flap. In my photo the flap is not folded narrowly enough. it should cover the raw edge on the right and I later re-adjusted this.
With everything carefully pinned, flip your shirt front to the right side and roll up the bottom egde until you can see the bottom of the placket. OK, now it’s finally time to sew something! Sew across the tail of the placket to keep all your layers in place. you don’t want the to shift now since you have them all folded exactly perfectly, right?
Now, still worknig on the right side of your shirt front, stitch in the ditch to secure your front placket flap. Take note of the back placket flap, it’s moved to the left and out of the way so it doesn’t get sewn in too by accident! Trust me, you don’t want to do that . . . unless you’re makeing a “mock placket” that doesn’t really open. Or perhaps you just enjoy ripping out stitches. But if you do like ripping . . . sit tight, that part comes up soon. Back to the flaps, open the front flap towards you, (fold it down) and then stitch in the ditch again to secure the rear flap. Congrats! You’ve made your placket!!!!!
At this point you may wish to stitch a small rectangle on the bottom edge to secure things further. Mine came out a little wonky.
The next part of the pattern was creating and attaching the collar. The instructions for this part were also very confusing to me, so I went into my husband’s bountiful polo shirt collection and took a close look. It appears to me that the ends of the collar piece get inserted into the placket facings, so I got out my trusty embroidery snips (which are the BEST thing in the world for ripping seams) and I opened up 2cm on each flap along the edge where it attaches to the shirt front. I guess in theory you could plan ahead for this and not sew from the top in the first place, but I’m not sure how well I’d get it all lined up if I tried that method. So I’m sticking with ripping for now. After it was ripped I folded 1cm of the raw top edge to the inside. You’ll get another look at this in a second when the collar goes on. Don’t stitch yet, just pin.
Ok, over to the serger now. Cut some clear elastic for the shoulder seams and serge shirt front to shirt back at both shoulder seams over the elastic tape which helps them not to get all stretched out and wonky. Besides, it’s in the RTW (ready to wear) stuff too and it gives me such a charge when my stuff looks professional. If you like, topstitch the shoulder seams.
Now it’s time to prepare your collar pieces. Right sides together, sew them together leaving it open along the bottom edge where it will attach to the shirt. Snip your corners. Turn to the right side and press well. Now topstitch the collar close to the edge and baste the bottom opening as well, make sure your basting stitch is within the seam allowance so it won’t show later.
Ok, find the center of your shirt back and of your collar. Match and pin. Pin along the sides as well if you like and at the front, line up the collar edge with the end of the shirt front piece you ripped open earlier. Before you serge this on, take care to ensure the folded placket piece does not get attached too!
Now serge the collar on. Once it’s on, turn the serged edge into the shirt and down towards the bottom egge of the shirt. At the front edges, turn the edge into the opening of the placket flap as shown. Now sew them up closed again securing the edges of the collar inside the edges of the placket. Voila!
Finally, to finish the collar, add a bit of bias tape to the serged edge and sew the top and bottom edges. This will hide the seam and once again, give it a professional look and feel.
At this point the rest of the shirt is very straight forward. Attach your sleeves, attach your ribbing to the sleeve cuffs, serge the side seams and coverstitch the bottom hem. Dont forget to add a few cute snaps to that placket and . . . DONE. Congrats, you made a polo with a placket, don’t you feel like you’ve conquered something fabulously complicated (but not really! ) It’ll be our little secret.
Oh, I loved the fabric so much I digitized one of the mosters into an applique and added it to some matching sweat pants. Here is the finished outfit.