Friday, October 16, 2015

Placket Obsession

While studying sewing and fashion design last year I really got obsessed with mastering plackets. They always seemed mystical and unachievable. I decided while I was under the supervision of my expert teacher I would design clothes to sew that basically just involved all the things I wanted to learn(not very creative hey?) . I made a striped shirt with a chevron yoke, a placket and a mandarin collar. I drafted the whole thing from the blocks at school and with the help of my teacher. I would definitely call it a popover top. While this top itself isn't prefect, it was however the perfect way to learn about plackets, stripe matching and how to manipulate darts.

But still...I'm not over my placket obsession. I love the utility look of them and how they give garments structure.

And then something happened that was possibly the best buy I have ever made.

I bought an industrial sewing machine!

YAY I don't have to look at my old machine ever again....curse you Janome ! making me suffer with your awful machine for so long.

I am now the happy owner of a Singer 591D 200AF :-)

Plus I also bought an industrial blind hemmer that was being sold cheap if I bought the industrial as a package.

Anyway at the moment I am enjoying working 3 days a week and sewing as much as I can every other day. I have been practicing plackets after drafting a one piece placket template based off a mens heavy cotton drill shirt I own. I made a one piece placket but then I found the image beneath with a better way to do a placket suitable for thicker fabrics, so I need to make a pressing/cutting template for this method as well. p.s I need to pay particular notice to the way the seam allowance isn't pressed even on the ends to allow for the thicker fabric and to prevent bulging uneven corners.....sewing gold that info is !

This is a HUGELY helpful image reposted from

Interestingly the seam allowances are quite wide underneath the placket...I think this is too give stability to the buttonholes or do they use them to line up the buttonhole machine?. the topside of the placket is 3cm wide with 1.7cm seam allowances so, I guess the button hole is at 1.5cm(central on the 3cm topside of the placket) and the 1.7cm seam allowance would give it extra thickness for the buttonholes.

The top stitching is at 9mm and then at 2mm edge stitching, this really gives the cotton drill a utilitarian look as it ages.

I will take some photos and might even draw up the placket for download if I can find a free program online:-) I am also planning on drawing a template for the big utilitarian pockets with their 45 degree corners, big flaps and 9mm top stitching.

This is going to be my go to set of templates for thick fabrics!  might have to try it out in denim cause I think it will looks great!

imagining a ulitarian popover dress with big pockets made out of a beautiful wool is making me wish I could afford enough wool! photo: refinery29 Alexander Wang

Also trying to think of a way of making a raglan dress with contrast wool sleeves as a way of using up my 1m lengths of various plaid wool yardages. contrasting plackets might be a good way to use scraps? or pocket bands? and cuffs? not sure what sort of fabric I can pair the plaid with. Sometimes I really wish I could just go somewhere and purchase what I need! rather than scratch around in second hand stores for pieces of wool that are too small.

The place I am finding the best inspirations is mens vintage work wear, womens 1940's workwear, J. Crew, Toast, Emerson Fry, Lee Mathews, Ralph Lauren (always!)

gorgeous dress from Massimo Alba

NLST S/S 2014

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