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How to Sew Partial Plackets The Easy Way

By Allie

Allie is the co-founder of Indiesew and creator of all things pretty on the site. Follow Allie and receive other Indiesew updates by subscribing to the blog.

Indiesew Sewing Tutorials | How to Sew Partial Plackets

The trouble I have with sewing partial plackets lies entirely in my inaccurate pressing skills. On most plackets, tiny little seam allowances must be tucked and ironed arrow straight for a placket to look finished and professional. If a placket ends in a fancy diamond shape with even fancier topstitching, I’m basically a goner. And if I’m working with anything other than a stable cotton, the process is doubly difficult. 

That’s not to say I haven’t sewn a successful placket in my life. The rayon challis Mila Shirt I sewed up for the 2016 Winter Collection was pretty darn good. But, until now, I just haven’t been able to consistently execute the perfect placket, no matter how many times I try. So I recently came up a new method that, for me, results in straight, clean plackets every single time.
This tutorial applies to partial, non-hidden plackets like on the Mila Shirt and Mercer Tunic, though it can be adapted to any woven blouse or dress sewing pattern. For this demonstration, I’ll be sewing with our Orange and Pink Abstract Rayon and I’ll be sewing up a sleeveless Mila Shirt. Let’s dig in.

1. Cut out your placket pieces and interfacing

The dimensions of the finished Mila Shirt placket are roughly 1.25” wide by 12” long. Kennis, the designer, marks this rectangle on center front bodice so that it’s easy to measure. If your pattern doesn’t offer finished placket dimensions, I recommend using the placket dimensions I use for this tutorial.
For this method you’ll be cutting two rectangles of fabric and interfacing for the placket pieces, instead of the pattern’s placket pieces. Here’s how:
  • Placket pieces
    • Cut two of main fabric
      • Width = width of the finished placket x 3
      • Length = length of the finished placket + .5"
  • Placket interfacing
    • Cut two of lightweight apparel interfacing
      • Width = width of finished placket x 2
      • Length = length of the finished placket + .5"

Placket Piece Dimensions | Indiesew

With the finished placket dimensions listed above, my two placket pieces measured 3.75” wide by 12.5” long. My two interfacing pieces measured 2.5” wide by 12.5” long.

Finally, cut one rectangle of interfacing the same dimensions as your finished placket. Mine is 1.25” wide by 12” long.

2. Prepare Placket Pieces for Sewing

Throughout this tutorial, you’ll notice that I’m using my iron in almost every step. A good steam iron is essential to achieving crisp plackets. If you’re looking to replace yours, mine is a Rowenta Steam Station and I love it.
First, press your placket fabric pieces in half with wrong sides together and long edges aligned.
Indiesew Blog | Press Placket in Half
Lay the placket interfacing on the wrong side of the placket fabric pieces and apply with your iron. I simply eyeball where the interfacing should be placed by centering it over the crease we pressed in the previous step.
Apply Interfacing to Middle of Placket
Now, press the two non-interfaced edges towards the center of the placket folding right where the interfacing ends.
Press Seam Allowances Towards Center | Partial Placket Tutorial
Press the placket in half again. (Hint: This process is similar to sewing a strap for a handbag.)
Press Placket in Half Again |

Repeat the steps above for the second placket.

3. Prepare the bodice for plackets

Fold the front bodice pattern piece in half with wrong sides together. Press a long crease down the front center, starting at the neckline and extending beyond the length of your placket.
Press Crease into Center Front Bodice
Unfold the bodice, and apply the interfacing onto the wrong side of the bodice, centered over the crease.
Apply Interfacing to Center Front Bodice | Indiesew Sewing Tutorial
Sew around the interfacing rectangle with a normal straight stitch, pivoting at the bottom corners and stitching up the other side. This stitch serves two purposes: it acts as a stay stitch and it’s also a guide for sewing the plackets to the bodice in the next section.
Sew Around Interfacing Rectangle
Finally, cut down the center of the interfacing and bodice stopping 1/2” before the end of the rectangle. At that point cut diagonally into the corners of the rectangle, cutting just to, but not over, the stitch line.
Indiesew Blog | Cut Down Center of Interfacing Rectangle

4. Sew Placket to Bodice

Now it’s time to sew! Unfold your placket and pin it right sides together aligning the raw edge of the placket with the line you just cut on the front bodice. I also recommend pinning the other side of the placket out of your way, so it doesn’t get caught under your presser foot as you sew. It should look something like this:
Pin Placket to Bodice | Partial Plackets, the Easy Way
Sew with a 5/8” seam allowance (or with a seam allowance that equals half of the finished width of your placket), stopping right at the rectangle corner.
(Note: You’ll notice I’m sewing with the wrong side of the bodice facing me. I do this so that I can use the previous stitch as a guide for this seam.)
Indiesew Sewing Techniques | Sew Placket to Bodice
Press the seam allowances in towards the center fold of the placket. Flip the bodice over and press that same seam from the other side to ensure everything is laying flat.
Press Seam Allowances Towards Center of Placket
Flip the placket over at the center fold and press again. Edge stitch down this seam to secure the back of the placket to the bodice. (Optional: You can also edge stitch the opposite long edge of the placket.)
Press Placket and Edgestitch
Your finished placket should look like the image below from the wrong side. Look, no raw edges!
Partial Placket with No Raw Edges
Repeat the steps above for the second placket.

5. Join the Plackets at the Bottom

Tuck both plackets towards the wrong side of the shirt. The beauty in this method is that you can choose which placket should show in front. I always place my better looking placket at the front. Your plackets tucked in should look like this:
Tuck Plackets to Wrong Side
With the bodice laying right sides up, fold the bottom half of the bodice up so that the bottom of the placket is visible. Place a pin through the bottom stitch above the little triangle piece. Flip the bottom of the bodice down to make sure the bottom seam of the placket looks straight. | Pin Bottom of Placket
Sew through the stitch above the triangle, joining the two placket layers to the bodice. Make sure the rest of the bodice is pulled away from your presser foot. Finish this seam with a serger or a zig-zag stitch.
Sew and Serge Bottom Placket
That’s it! You just sewed a tucked, partial placket! Use your steam iron to smooth everything out and finish your sewing pattern according to the instructions. Here’s what my partial placket looked like before finishing my blouse:
 Finished Partial Placket | Indiesew Blog
And here’s the finished, sleeveless Mila Shirt with a finished, buttoned placket:
Sleeveless Mila Shirt | Itch to Stitch
If you’re excited to practice your partial placket skills, grab some of this Orange and Pink Abstract Rayon and the Mila Shirt sewing pattern! You’ll find that not only is this method easier to sew, it’s also easier to remember. This will be my go-to method for sewing partial plackets from now on.
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Learn the quick and easy way to sew partial plackets onto your woven garments! |

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