I am about to release a new shirt pattern that has a front placket detail so I wanted to do a tutorial on how to insert a placket.
I have used white thread intentionally in this tutorial so it is easier to see my stitches. Ordinarily I would match the thread to my fabric so that the stitches would be hardly noticeable.
On the FRONT reinforce the inner corners of 'V' neckline by stay stitching along seamlines, pivoting at small circles.
Apply interfacing to left and right plackets.
Pin left placket to left placket facing.
Stitch 1/4" along placket edge. This would also be a good time to finish the edge of the lower edge of the left placket and facing. If you forget, which I did in this tutorial, you can finish it later, but it is easier if you do this now!!
Using a tailors point presser/clapper will help a lot with pressing the plackets.
Press seam open.
Bring wrong sides together and press.
Pin placket to left side of V neckline, matching circles.
Stitch 1/4" seam, ending at circle. Back-stitch. Clip shirt fabric ONLY diagonally to your stitches. Press seam towards facing.
Turn facing to inside of shirt. Fold long raw edge of facing along seam line (1/4"). The next step requires us to stitch the facing into place by stitching 'in the ditch' created by the seam. Pin facing in place, being sure to catch the edge of the facing.
Notice that my pins 'catch' the facing on the inside.
'Stitch in the ditch' from the right side to circle.
Do not backstitch. (This is personal preference, but I think it looks cleaner if you eliminate back stitches on the right side of the shirt.) Pull the thread to the back of your shirt and tie off. Leave the ends and bury them into the placket later.
See how my stitches 'caught' the edge of the placket facing. This will hold the facing in place and finishes the edge at the same time.
I did my stitching in WHITE so that you can see how my stitches are in the 'ditch' created by the seam. If my thread matched the fabric ground color you would hardly notice them. It gives a very clean and professional look. (Alternatively you could edge-stitch or top-stitch on the facing if you prefer, but I prefer the 'stitch in the ditch' method.)
Pin right placket to the right placket facing.
Stitch 1/4" along the placket edge, pivot at circle, and stitch along the bottom and up the other side to the circle. Back-stitch.
Trim the corners.
I use the tailor point presser to help me press the seams open.
Turn the placket so wrong sides are together, and press. This finished bottom edge of the right placket will create a 'tab' once applied to the shirt front.
Pin placket to the right V neckline matching circles.
Stitch to the circle. This will require you to open up the lower end of the placket as you near the circle. Back-stitch.
Clip shirt fabric ONLY diagonally to your stitches. Press the seam towards the placket. Turn facing to inside of shirt. Fold long raw edge of facing along seam line (1/4"). The next step requires us to stitch the facing into place by stitching 'in the ditch' created by the seam. Pin facing in place, being sure to catch the edge of the facing.
See how my pins catch the edge of the facing on the inside.
'Stitch in the ditch' from the outside to the circle.
Do not back stitch. Pull your threads to the wrong side and tie the ends. Leave the ends and bury them into the placket later.
My white stitches show here, however, when you 'stitch in the ditch' the stitches practically disappear if the thread color matches the fabric.
On the wrong side, notice how the stitches caught the edge of the facing to hold it in place.
After clipping the shirt diagonally to the circles on both the left and right corners of the placket, it leaves a little 'flap' of fabric along the bottom of the 'V' neckline. Tuck this flap along the stay-stitching to the inside of the shirt.
The bottom edge of the left placket should also be on the inside of the shirt.
The pin is pointing to the little 'flap' of fabric that I have folded to the wrong side.
The left placket overlaps this flap.
With the right side up, place the right placket over the left placket, with the finished bottom edge of the right placket on the right side of the shirt front. Pin the right placket in place, through all layers, placing your pins 'just' below the stay-stitching line, being sure to catch the small flap of fabric of the V neckline, and the left placket.
Stitch through all layers. Do not back-stitch. Pull threads through to the wrong side and tie off.
Using a sewing needle, I bury the ends into the inside layers of the placket, and then clip.
I ran the bottom raw edge of the left placket through my serger being VERY careful not to cut my shirt fabric by mistake. I did this now because I forgot to finish the edge earlier. It is easier if you finish the edge in the earlier step, but it can be done now as well, if you forget too.
This is what the placket will look like when one side is folded down.
That's it! Clean. Professional. Finished.