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How to Make a Hidden Button Placket

Threads magazine - 168 - Aug./Sept. 2013

A hidden button placket can be used on a variety of garments. It may be placed anywhere on a garment’s front, including off-center. In this tutorial excerpted from “Fastenings Go Undercover,” Threads #168, Susan Khalje explains how to create such a placket. (Don’t miss helpful techniques like this. Order a subscription to Threads magazine. Print subscriptions come with free access to our tablet editions.)

The example shown is a button-front shirt pattern with 5/8-inch-wide seam allowances. Choose buttons that are smooth and flat so they fasten easily and remain undetectable under the placket.

1. Create a new right front pattern. Tape tissue paper to the pattern front, extending about 6 inches past the pattern’s front edge. Trace the center-front line. Measure 5/8-inch to the left of center front and draw a vertical topstitching line. Measure 5⁄8-inch to the right of center front and draw a vertical foldline. Then draw three additional foldlines 1 1/2 inches to the right of the first, spaced 1 1/2 inches apart. Draw a cutting line 5/8 inch to the right of the last foldline. Number the foldlines 1 through 4, working toward center front. True the pattern’s edges on the tissue. Mark the buttonhole placement 7/8 inch to the right of foldline 3.

2. Create the buttonhole placket. Cut the garment’s front right half; transfer all the markings. Fold the extension to the wrong side along lines 1 and 2, and press. Sew vertical buttonholes as marked on the flap created by foldlines 1 and 2.

3. Accordion-fold the front extension. Fold the extension along line 3, right sides together, so that line 4 aligns with line 2; press. Fold along line 4, wrong sides together; press. Turn the buttonhole placket away from the garment along line 4; maintain line 4’s alignment with line 2. Pin between the buttonholes through all three placket layers. Sew a horizontal row of straight stitches between the buttonholes, stopping 1⁄4-inch to 3⁄8 -nch from foldline 4.

4. Turn the extension back in place along line 4. From the garment’s right side, sew the topstitching line, making sure to catch the placket’s edge in the stitches. Sew the button placket as usual on the garment’s left half; mark and sew on the buttons.

What garments have you applied a hidden button placket to? If you have any tips, please share them below.

If you’re looking for more placket techniques, check out Pamela Ptak and Annina King’s tutorial on sewing a sheer placket and learn how to shape a sleeve with an easy fold-over placket.


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  1. MarjorieT | | #1

    I really like hidden buttons on shirts/blouses, especially when you have a fabric that needs to really show itself off and doesn't need any distraction like buttons. This will be a very handy tutorial to have if I should have the need. Thank-you!!!

  2. user-2657171 | | #2

    I've done several, including a full length coat with regular buttons at the top yoke and hidden buttons the rest of the way down the front. I didn't have enough material to go through all the folding etc. on the right side or any instructions so I simply attached an extra fold of material which I top-stitched onto the lower part of the right front. Worked and looks great.

  3. user-939132 | | #3

    My youngest son was passionate about Anime, the Japanese animation films and television programs, and used to go to a yearly festival at Melbourne Uni. This required a costume. One year his friend also asked for a costume, a coat and a shirt with a placket button finish. I was surprised at the detail in the drawings (or rather the lack of detail as this meant less buttons to draw in). I found a blouse with a button placket and copied it. Both costumes went down well that year.

  4. user-1058697 | | #4

    I have used this technique once for a special machine embroidered blouse for my Mom for Mother's Day. It turned out beautiful. I also loved the pink asian style jacket shown in Threads Magazine #168 with princess style seaming. Would love to know how to create this effect when you have a wide front panel as this jacket did.

  5. lindacarlson | | #5

    I was ready to take apart a garment with a hidden placket until this issue came out. I used this on two or three lightweight children's jackets I was making for Lutheran World Relief and was very pleased with the results. Really appreciated this article.

  6. velvetribbon | | #6

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I am planning to make a long sleeve blouse for winter. So, I will give a try a hidden button for it.

  7. User avater
    yourwildestseams | | #7

    I used a similar technique for adding pocket flaps to a shirt for an electric company worker. For obvious reasons, they can't have anything that might catch onto wiring, like buttons/buttonholes. Our inspiration was the closure of an army fatigue jacket and they turned out beautifully if I do say so!

  8. User avater
    kayle9 | | #8

    I've used this method for backs of costumes that require lacing, only I put plackets on both sides and use grommets instead of button holes. Tucking in a 4" flap of fabric into the fold on one side allows for the expansion of the costume without having to let it out for the next person.

  9. heidelat | | #9

    Can you tell me what jacket patterns were used for this article? Thank you, Heide L.

  10. heidelat | | #10

    I was curious as to which jacket patterns were used for the jackets shown in the article...Thank you for a great article.

  11. User avater
    Amanda133 | | #11

    I read about shirts made in UK that keep shirts from gaping with extra buttons in a hidden placket - I want to mind the gap too

  12. User avater
    juliahaley | | #12

    Thanku so much for sharing it..

  13. gimpyoldbroad | | #13

    You don't mention interfacing. A strip from line 3 to line 1?

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