How to Make a Precision Placket
Download this pattern for a perfect placket and learn how to make this classic sleeve finish in this article from Threads #161.
Design is all about details, especially when it comes to a classic garment like a button-front dress shirt. Many shirt patterns, however, leave off one small detail that can make all the difference between a homemade and a professional look: a sleeve placket. It's been replaced by a continuous binding that finishes the vent, but lacks crispness. On the rare pattern where a placket is included, it is often too short and too narrow to handle easily.
You don't have to make do with an inferior vent finish. I'll show you how to add a classic sleeve placket to any shirt. My placket pattern and method make it simple to get professional-looking results. The pattern adapts easily for each wearer, and its 1-inch finished width gives enough room for buttons.
I recommend making a few sample plackets for practice. The payoff is a polished, refined sleeve finish.
Mark the sleeve and prep the placket pattern
Make a practice placket first, and use a fabric with obvious wrong and right sides to eliminate confusion. Precise, on-grain cutting ensures the placket's foldlines crease crisply and accurately. Carefully mark all foldlines, clipping lines, and stitching lines.
* Download the full-scale placket pattern now - Set your printer to "Scaling: None" for correct pattern size.
1. Cut the sleeve according to your pattern. Mark the sleeve head's front and back. Mark the vent line. To determine the correct placket length for your sleeve, measure along the vent marking from the sleeve's cuff edge to the sleeve head. The placket length is 1⁄3 of this measurement. Lengthen or shorten the placket pattern as necessary from its bottom edge.
2. Use this pattern to cut the placket on the fabric's straight grain. Make tiny clips in the fabric to mark the foldlines, stitching lines, and the slash line. It's helpful to draw and number the lines on your first placket sample with a fabric pen or pencil to ensure accuracy.