Why Do Plackets Hate Me?

I’ve made progress today. The sleeves are on the bodice. My big ol’ upper arms are comfortable in them and they don’t bind at all. I’ll post more dress photos tomorrow. But mostly I’ve spent a good deal of time today with the skirt’s center back placket…more than I’d like.

I don’t know why plackets drive me nuts, but they do. It’s not like they’re intellectually confusing or hard to understand. I’ve done them before although, admittedly, it’s been a while since I last tackled one. And that’s probably because they never come out looking good. Never. Setting in sleeves is a dream. I can do them in my sleep. And I’d rather tackle a dozen sleeves in black fabric, using black thread, at night…rather that than mess with a single placket.

The first time through was completely my error. I had a moment of visual confusion and cut the placket with the stripes running horizontally. The stripes on the skirt run vertically. As a result, the back would have ended up looking like a confusion of peppermint sticks. Fortunately, I caught it early and little harm was done other than loss of some time.

Second time around I oriented the stripes correctly and went through the application step by step. Slowly. Carefully. I reinforced the pivot point. I clipped with caution. And I still ended up with a pucker. Perhaps I should have clipped it more deeply? It’s such a silly thing, but it annoys me to no end.

At this point, my solution will be to carry my picnic basket behind me, hope my shawl is long enough, and spend a lot of time sitting beneath my parasol.


2 thoughts on “Why Do Plackets Hate Me?

  1. Hi,

    I too have had my issues with plackets. The application that mine were for are heirloom sewing projects.

    I finally figured out that if I used a very narrow zig zag stitch to “baste” the placket strip to the skirt, staying with in the stay stitching lines, I didn’t have as much trouble moving the skirt fabric when I did the “final” straight stitch placket sewing. This allowed me to have hands “free” from trying to hold the pieces together and allowed me to manipulate the fabric of the skirt which is what gets puckered.

    I saw the “moving” the skirt part on a Martha Pullen sewing show dedicated to plackets.

    Feel free to email me if you would like to discuss this more.


    • Aha! I can see how using a zig zag stitch would allow for more play in the seam to get the fabric settled into place without puckers. One of the things I do – to myself 😉 – when sewing reproduction fashions is that I use my straight stitch machine…straight stitch only, no zig zag or other stitches. It’s just a little game I play with myself, since sewing machines with zig zag stitches weren’t available to the domestic market until 1947. Although I may change that to make allowances for my less-than-wonderful plackets. 🙂 Thanks for the info, Laurie. I’ll definitely give the zig zag approach a try and e-mail you if I need help.

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