So I kind of told a lie... I may have said, in the last post, that Placket Week was officially over (with just a quick and very brief mention of the possibility of another placket tutorial). But I realised there was just no way of avoiding it. A shirt needs a placket, and this short series just cannot go on without one too.
So without further ado, welcome back to Placket Week (or should I say fortnight?)!
As you may already know, a placket is a way to finish a slit or opening in a garment, which is normally there to help you get in or out of a garment.
Like the button placket down the front of a shirt.
Or a placket in the back (or front) neckline that helps your head fit through.
(This is a sneaky peak at a piece that has not yet made it onto the blog).
Or, in the case of this post, a cuff placket, which helps your hand into the garment.
The process of drafting a cuff placket is quite a straightforward one... Once you know how to do it.
But sometimes the 'knowing how to do it' bit can be the problem.
When it came to drafting the placket for this shirt cuff, I could not for the life of me remember how to do it. If I was back home it wouldn't have been a big deal to find the answer. I would have grabbed a pattern making book off the shelf, or gone back to one of my reference folders from university. But here in good ol' London Town I don't have those kind of luxuries (well I do have the 'Pattern Magic' series, but they are not so good for standard technical things like a placket!), so dilemmas like this one often leave me trawling the internet.
It wasn't a very fruitful search, to say the least (although I must admit I do not have much patience when it comes to this kind of thing). The tutorials I did found gave steps with prescribed measurements, which I didn't find very useful at all. These kind of tutorials will show you how to make a placket, but not the information to know why the pattern is how it is, and therefore won't give you the knowledge to make your own adjustments to the pattern. Not my kind of "how-to!"
So after frustration got the better of me, all I could do was take the information I had I found, along with the shirt I was copying, and spend some good quality time working it out.
Which I did!
If you have never sewn a placket onto a shirt before, I would advise that you have a look at a tutorial about how to do it, before starting this tutorial (this one is worth a look). Having an understanding of the process, will help the pattern drafting process make a lot more sense!
For this tutorial you will need:
A small piece of pattern paper.
And a pencil and eraser.
To get started, draw a horizontal line along the bottom of your piece of paper. This doesn't need to be an exact measurement, as it is just a guideline to get you started. Something around 15cm should be fine.
Label the endpoints as points A and B.
This line will be the part of the placket that joins to the cuff (you can label it as the 'cuff line,' if it helps).
Decide how long you would like the opening in the sleeve to be (this is called the 'slash line' because you will 'slash' it open to attach the placket to the sleeve). I took the measurement from the shirt I was tracing (which was 13.5cm), but it is somewhat up to you. The slash just needs to increase the wrist measurement enough that your hand can fit through.
If you are making the placket for a neckline, consider how much wider the neckline needs to be to fit your head through, and then go from there.
Around the centre of line AB, draw a perpendicular line (the length you have decided the opening will be) and label the endpoint as point C. You can label this as the 'slash line.'
Now add seam allowance either side of the slash line, as well as along the top edge. I suggest around 1cm.
Mark these lines as broken lines, as this three-sided rectangle (I am not sure you can call a rectangle three sided, but I have decided to just roll with it) will be a stitch line.
Label the columns either side of the slash line with numerals 4 and 5.*
*After putting this tutorial together, I realised that it can get mighty confusing with discussion of all these different parts of the placket! To save complete and utter confusion (hopefully), I have opted to label each "column" with a numeral, as well as a description of what it is. I hope this makes the tutorial easier to follow! The reason I started with numbers 4 and 5, and not 1 and 2, is because I will be working either side of these two columns - eventually getting down to 'column 1' on the left hand side, and 'column 8' on the right.
Labeling the different sections should also help if you decide to come back to the pattern to make changes to it. You will be able to quickly and easily identify what's what and make necessary changes to the correct sections.
From point C, draw two diagonal lines outwards, to meet with the corners of the stitch line.
These lines will be cut at the sewing stage, to help you get a tidy finish.
Next, we will draft the 'underlap' (the bit that lies under the 'overlap').
Before we can do that, we need to determine the width of both the overlap and the underlap.
The length of the underlap will be the same length as the slash line, and half the width of the overlap.
The width of the overlap is somewhat up to you. I once again took the measurement from the shirt I had traced (which was 2cm), but I would suggest that anything from 1-4cm is okay.
Starting at the left hand edge of column 4, mark a point, on line AB, the distance of the width you determined (width of the underlap) towards A. From this point, draw a perpendicular line the same length as the slash line, plus 1cm (the extra centimetre is for seam allowance).
Label this new column as 'underlap 1', and mark with a number 3.
The underlap is made up of two columns: one that lies on the exterior of the shirt (although hidden by the overlap), and one on the inside, that finishes one side of the opening. We have just drafted the first part, and now will have to draft the second part.
Draw another column, for the second part of the underlap, by drawing a column the same length and width as the first.
Label this column with a number 2 and name as 'underlap 2.'
Add seam allowance to the left side of the placket, by adding one more column, left of column 2. This needs to be the width of your seam allowance (I suggest around 1cm, although it must be the same width - or less- than the width of your underlap) and the same length as the underlap columns.
Label this column with a number 1, and name it 'seam allowance.'
Now onto the overlap.
The 'overlap' is the part of the placket that neatly conceals the slash in the fabric.
You should have already determined the width of the overlap earlier, but you will now need to consider the height of the overlap.
It should be at least 3cm longer than the length of the slash line, so that you can get a clean finish.
We are now working on the right side of the slash line.
Mark a point, on line AB, the width of the placket, measuring from the stitch line of column 5, towards point B. From this point, draw a perpendicular line the height of your overlap plus 1cm (this extra centimetre will be for seam allowance).
Mark this column with a number 6 and label as 'overlap (underside).'
Like the underlap, the overlap is also made up of two columns. One is on the outside of the shirt, and the other on the inside of the shirt, binding the other side of the opening.
Form the second side of the overlap, by drawing another column, the same length and width as the previous one (overlap - underside).
Label this column as the 'overlap (top side),' as well as with the number 7.
Draw a guideline in the centre of the top side of the overlap (column 7). Make sure it is the same length as the lines either side of it. This will come in handy later.
Enclose column 7 with a horizontal line across the top.
Before we can complete the top of the placket, we will need to add seam allowance to this column.
Add seam allowance to the right side of the placket.
Label this column as number 8 and add the description 'seam allowance.'
Draw a line across the top of columns 1-6, and then continue it onward, so it cuts through columns 7 and 8.
Add seam allowance to the left side of the overlap.
Mark the part of the line that divides the seam allowance and the underside of the overlap as a 'cut line.' This will allow you to fold the seam allowance, back behind the overlap.
The top of the placket will be folded to make a 'little house' shape, which ensures a neat finish.
Mark in the fold lines, by drawing diagonal lines on the top rectangle, from one corner to the other, intersecting at the middle guideline.
That is the placket pattern done.
But before you get sewing, you will need to transfer the slash line from the placket, onto the shirt pattern. This will ensure that you put the placket in the correct place.
Take your sleeve pattern and identify the front and back of the sleeve (your notches should be able to help you do this).
Take a tape measure, and measure the wrist line. If your pattern has seam allowance, make sure you only measure the stitch line, and not the whole edge.
Take the wrist line measurement, and divide by four. Take note of the result.
Mark a point, this distance (quarter of wrist measurement) in from the side seam, at the wrist line, on the back section of the sleeve.
Take your placket pattern and lay it onto the sleeve pattern, with the longer end facing the sleeve front.
Line up the slash line of the placket, with the notch you just marked on the wrist line of the sleeve.
Take a tracing wheel, and transfer the slash line from the placket, onto the shirt pattern underneath.
And there you have it... a sleeve and placket!
If you have made it to the end of this post and are feeling utterly bamboozled, or too lazy to actually draft your own placket, you can download a full scale version of mine by clicking on the image above. If you want to make changes to it, it should be easy as all sections are still labelled and numbered.