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Design with Precision Placket and Vents

Enhance basic tops with a tab-front or side-seam opening
Threads #196, April/May 2018
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Add interest to a simple pullover blouse with a buttoned placket. Pattern: Cutting Line Designs Light & Shadow, modified. Fabric: linen, CuttingLineDesigns.com.

Your favorite top or blouse pattern is the ideal starting point for a fresh redesign with precision placket and vents. Keep the basic silhouette and fit, and revise the closures, collars, cuffs, or hemline—any of these elements can give it a new look.

Consider two details that provide style and functionality: The first is a beautifully engineered tab-front opening that can be casual or sophisticated, depending on the fabric and closures you use. Replace a full button-front opening with this, or add the tab neckline to a pullover top. The second adaptation is a lapped, mitered side vent. This feature is subtle and elegant. Because the opening edges overlap, you can create a deeper vent that allows the blouse fabric to move without revealing too much skin. Once you learn the technique, consider trying it at the side hem of a skirt or pants.

These details are shown on two of my designs, but you can easily apply them to other patterns. Expand your wardrobe creatively without starting from scratch for each new garment.

A tab-front opening

A tab-front shirt has a front placket that extends only partway down the shirt front, similar to the opening on a polo shirt. You can start with a button-front shirt pattern or with a pullover top. Add buttons, topstitching, or other embellishment to personalize your top.

Prepare the Pattern

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