Simplicity 2443 – Part VI

I mentioned what I like to call the “Magic Placket” a couple of days ago. I learned it from Nancy Zieman eons ago and I think it’s been around for some time. It is super easy but works best with lightweight fabrics (like fine shirtings). My linen was borderline too heavy for this technique but it wasn’t anything a couple of whacks from the clapper couldn’t fix. I apologize in advance for all the little threads – I don’t know why I didn’t notice them before I started taking pictures (maybe because I’m too vain to wear glasses…).

Here’s my sleeve pattern. Notice that the placket area is a box. If your pattern is different, just draw your own box. The stitching line would be the finished width (I like 3/4″ to 1″ but you can make it narrower if you like) and then you just add on 1/4″ seam allowance.


How wide to cut the placket piece? You will cut a strip twice the width of your finished placket plus two seam allowances. For instance, if your placket is going to be 3/4″ wide you would cut a piece 2″ wide (3/4 + 3/4 + 1/4 + 1/4). I like to cut the piece longer than what I need and trim off the excess when I’m finished.

Before you begin, turn under 1/4″ on one of the long edges of your placket.


And staystitch the top of the placket box and clip into the corners. I confess that I only staystitch on loosely woven fabrics and don’t usually bother on tightly-woven shirtings.


Now you can straighten out the seam and stitch. I like to sew the right side of the placket to the wrong side of the sleeve so that I can do my final edgestitching from the right side. If you prefer to do it the opposite way, that’s fine too.


Once the placket has been attached, press the seam allowances towards the placket.


Turn the sleeve over and just cover your stitching with the folded edge. Edgestitch and press.


Now for the magic part:


Finally, you can topstitch the placket any way you wish.


Isn’t this so much easier than this?


And, to prove that good things come to those who patiently wait, my friends Jim and Tom found this gorgeous slab (oops, it’s a little wet from the sprinklers) for my bathroom vanity for practically nothing! I had originally chosen a brown granite but I decided that a light countertop would look better on the dark vanity. With sinks and labor, this will cost a fraction of what I was quoted. I just love it when a plan comes together!


Parting shot:

My bottlebrush tree is blooming! This one’s still a baby. I lost my old one during hurricane Wilma (some of you may remember that it crashed into my car) and it took two years to find another one. Every time I look at it, it makes me happy.




Filed under House, misc., Simplicity, Year of the Jacket

24 responses to “Simplicity 2443 – Part VI

  1. Cool! Thanks for sharing this technique, it looks quite simple, but the outcome looks so professional! Great tip!

  2. NancyZ has quite a few tricks up her (Magic Placketed) sleeve, doesn’t she? Thanks for the reminder of this goodie.

    Your tree looks great! I love those too, and all the other still-unusual-to-me-after-20+years-here flora. The really cold winter really did a number on so many of our plants, but I see lots of them are coming back now with little hints of green. It will soon be a jungle again.

  3. For me, that *is* magic. Thanks! I’ve always been curious about plackets.

  4. CGCouture

    Yay! I’m so glad that I asked about how to do this! 🙂 It will definitely come in handy, since I forsee a lot of shirts in my future.

  5. Wow, you make that look so easy!

  6. Lindsay T

    Thank you!! I am up to this exact step in my Cynthia Rowley jacket and I think you have just saved me a lot of time. Gracias!

    • You will have to lengthen the sleeve band a bit because the underlap of the placket is now a little larger. I’m not yet sure whether or not I’ll use the D-rings.

  7. Thanks for that awesome tip

  8. What a great tip! I really like a lot of Nancy’s techniques, but didn’t know this one.

  9. Kaeru

    Great! I always found the sleeve plackets very fiddly and couldn’t get them identical (it’s like that when I have to do a thing twice over: I can never repeat it in the same way). It seems like this would be the magical solution. Thanks a lot for sharing!

  10. Elaray

    That’s a great technique. Thanks for sharing it. I have quite a few of Nancy Zeiman’s books. Is this technique in one of her books?

  11. Summerset

    Love the technique and have used it before – simple and easy, compared to the other choices!

    I remember those trees from FL!

  12. That’s a great tutorial, and excelent pictures. Thank you for posting it.

  13. Thanks for an awesome tutorial.

  14. GiGi…an elgant solution to an irrittating step in blouse making. I love your solution.

    And the bottle brush is gorgeous.
    We almost lost a beautiful bougainvillea “sorpresa’ (the surprise) in hurricane John last year. It has four differnt colors,my gardener propped it up, nurtured it and it is coming back to life.
    I was so sad when I thought I had lost her.

  15. What a great tree! I love that red color. I have my token tropical plants ready to go into their containers as soon as the weather is reliably warm (alocasia, cannas and coleus.)

  16. Karla

    If I’ve ever done a placket this way, I’ve long forgotten about it. Thanks, Gigi.

  17. lauraS

    The placket tutorial is now saved and will be used at the next opportunity.

    I’ve had my eye on the lookout for a bottlebrush tree for ages, but have never found one here in Atlanta. Love yours! May have to head down to Florida(?)to find one. When my 8 year old weeping willow was blown over during hurricane XXX (can’t recall name), DD wondered why I cried.

  18. Gabrielle

    I’ve been having one of the worst weekends in recent memory, and your placket magic just cheered me up immensely. I can’t tell you how much I have struggled with those. I imagine it would work well adapted for the front opening of a shirt, too.

  19. memmem

    Gigi, Thankyou so much for that placket. I have gnashed my teeth over the other way for years and this is so simple and so good . You are a dear generous soul!!!!

  20. I know I am late reading this, but I used this placket method on a silk shirt years ago, along with Louise Cutting’s collar method and won a Sweepstakes in Adult Clothing at the Indiana State Fair. Once you get the “hang” of the method (placket), why torture yourself with the “old” way?

  21. Leslie

    OH My Goodness!!! Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial on the placket. I thought I was just going to come in from work and finish this jacket with a snap and could not understand the placket instructions. Your pictures were a life saver!!