Today is the first day we actually start sewing our Kalle Shirt & Shirtdresses! This sewalong is skipping the cutting stage since I don’t really have anything new to say about that process. I will mention that someone noticed we accidentally included notches on the center front of the bodice for the popover placket – please note when you’re cutting that piece on the fold to not cut those notches, or else you’ll be cutting straight down the middle of your shirt. We are going to issue an errata and will include a note in all outgoing paper patterns.
Okay, Placket Week commences! Kalle includes three placket options for your pleasure. The standard placket is the one you’re probably used to seeing, and it’s the one we’ll be focusing on today. It’s the easiest to assemble and gives shirts that classic “shirty” look.
To start with, prepare your front shirt pieces. The right shirt front (as you are wearing it) needs to be trimmed to accommodate the placket we will sew on in a later step. The left shirt front (as you are wearing it) will be folded under several times along the center front to create a stable base to attach your buttons. Please note that the right and left sides are reversed for a men’s shirt, although honestly, I think gendered shirt plackets are silly and you shouldn’t worry about it if you get it mixed up. It will button up one way or another.
Time to stabilize the left button placket. Cut a 1″ wide piece of interfacing as long as your shirt front, and apply it in between the first set of notches on the left shirt front, on the wrong side of the fabric.
You also need to cut a piece of interfacing half as wide as the button placket and apply it to one side (the side that will be facing outwards). Once interfaced, fold the button placket in half along the notches on either end, wrong sides together.
Once done, the three pattern pieces we are sewing today should look like the following when the wrong side of the fabric is facing up (Top: Left shirt front with interfaced center front edge, Middle: Half interfaced placket and Bottom: Right shirt front, trimmed along indicated line):
To start sewing, place the button placket along the front seam of the right shirt, right sides together. The interfaced portion should be touching the shirt front.
Sew the placket to the shirt along the entire length.
Fold the placket over and press along the seam line, pressing the seam allowance towards the placket (as seen on wrong side of fabric below):
And on the right side of the fabric:
I realized we forgot to show this on the green sample so here’s what it should look like at this stage on another sample:
Fold the placket along this creased edge. Press the raw side of the placket under 5/8″, ensuring that when it lays flat it is even with the stitch line attaching placket to shirt.
If your seams are thick, grade them now, ensuring the seam touching the outside of the placket is left longest. This ensures you don’t have a big thick seam allowance showing on the right side, but rather a gradual “stepping down” of seam that will be invisible from the right side.
Pin the placket into place.
From the right side, topstitch the placket down 1/8″ away from the seam line. Ensure you are catching the folded seam of the placket on the other side with your stitching (you can use an edge stitch foot here for more even results). Topstitch the other side of the placket at the same 1/8″ distance.
When the right side is finished, it should look like this:
The placket will look nearly identical on either side.
To finish the left shirt front, fold the center front in along the first set of notches, wrong sides together. Press.
Repeat again, folding along the second set of notches and press. Pin folded placket in place with pins along the length.
To finish, stitch the folded edge down 1/8″ away from the seam line.
It will look like on either side when finished:
Here is what both shirt fronts should look like. The side that is topstitched twice will lay on top of the side that is only stitched once. If you’d like to add a contrasting fabric to the underside of the placket, you should trim both shirt fronts and sew a placket to each side. The contrasting fabric would be on the bottom placket.
And that’s it! Back later this week with directions on sewing a hidden placket.