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need knit polo shirt placket tip

wlstarn | Posted in General Discussion on

I’m in the process of making KwikSew 3532 11 times for a dance group, and cannot seem to get the bottom of the placket to go in smoothly.  I’m using bamboo/spandex organic knit, mostly because it is the only stretch knit I could find in the right color (for some reason tan and khaki are out this year).  I ripped the placket out at least 4 times and it still has a small pleat on the shirt front at the bottom of the placket, where you turn everything and sew the shirt front to the placket on the inside.  Fortunately, I have enough fabric to replace the front, as the last ripout left a tiny hole, but I’d like to do the rest right on the first try!  The fabric is very stretchy, so I’m thinking that a small piece of fusible interfacing on the shirt front at the placket bottom area would probably help.  I haven’t made this type of shirt in probably 25 years, and this fabric is much thinner and stretchier than anything I used before.  I do not have a serger, just a zig zag machine.  Anyone have any helpful hints?


  1. soie | | #1

    A first suggestion would be to use a scrap piece of fabric to practice your placket before going into your real fabric, so you can work without any risk.  If you don't have enough of the actual fabric, use some other knit scrap if you have it just to refine the technique.  The sample doesn't need to be full size, just enough to recreate the bottom 3" or so of your placket, I'd say, and then you can do the real shirts more confidently. 

    The fusible is a good idea.  I would use the tricot rather than a woven or non-woven. Probably it could be extended 1/4" beyond the borders of the placket stitching lines.  Also fuse the two placket pieces so they keep their shape.

    Are you using a stay stitch around the sides and corners of the placket?  This helps to align the two overlapping sections so that they fit in properly, as well as stabilizing the placket shape.  Also, measure your sections carefully and be sure your seam allowances are precise, because a little over or under can throw the placket off.  Basting can't hurt either, if the fabric isn't stable enough after fusing.

    It seems that a straight stitch should be usable on this, since the placket itself should not need to stretch after sewing. 

    Hope some of that is pertinent to your project!

  2. User avater
    CostumerVal | | #2

    Staystitch and clip the opening, then iron the seam allowances to the inside so that the opening is open.  Lay your placket down under the opening so that the edge is perfectly aligned and pin the bottom.  Then fold the shirt open (in half so the seam allowances show on the placket)  and stitch along the pressing line on the shirt front.  Disregard following the seam allowances, it's almost impossible to get them right.   Iron the seams and they'll tighten right up for you.  I only interface the placket pieces, not the shirt.   Val

    PS  How do you like the feel of that bamboo?  I read that it's softer than cotton but susceptible to tearing when wet.  Haven't found any locally yet.

    Edited 9/19/2007 7:05 am ET by CostumerVal

    1. GailAnn | | #5

      This past issue of Creation magazine had a big artical about Bamboo and it's many, varied uses.  I had NO idea!  Totally amazing!  Soft things like yarn and t-shirts, but also an ancient building material, examples of which are still standing today!  Gail

  3. DONNAKAYE | | #3

    I presume you stay stitched all the way around the placket and clipped into the corners to the stitching line.  You can certainly press the fold, but I prefer not to.

    When stitching the seam allowances at the corners, stitch a hair short of the corner; drop the needle into the fabric; pivot 45 degrees; drop the presser foot; take one or two very tiny stitches right at the corner; raise the presser foot, pivot to 90 degrees of first seam allowance; draw excess fabric away from the new seam allowance by folding it out and back out of the way; new seam allowance should have no tucks or folds of fabric; drop the presser foot; stitch seam across bottom of placket; repeat for other corner, then continue stitching straight up the other side.

    There has to be room for the fabric to turn, for the turn of cloth.  Those one or two little tiny stitches at the corners should give sufficient enough room for the top fabric to make the turn.

    1. GailAnn | | #4

      Donna Kaye, that's what I love about your 'written voice', the phrase "turn of the cloth", so valuable, so discriptive, yet I haven't heard it in about 'a hundred years'!  Gail

      1. DONNAKAYE | | #6

        That is about the nicest compliment one could pay a court reporter.  Words are my living and my passion.  My gratitude to you for thinking of me . . . .D.

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