Here’s a fun plaid-matching challenge: can you match the plaid on the sleeve placket to the sleeve?
(image from our tailored placket tutorial post)
Yes! You totally can. You just need to figure out what part of the sleeve placket piece is the one that shows on the right side.
This is for the plaid Granville shirt I’m sewing – read previous posts here:
- Sewing A Plaid Granville Shirt: Deciding What to Cut on the Bias
- Cutting the Granville Shirt in Plaid Fabric
Cutting the Plaid Sleeve Placket
First, read our tutorial here to ‘watch’ the sleeve placket construction in action. You can see that it’s the wider part with the pointed top that forms the wide tower placket, and of that section, it’s the outer half that ends up on top. My first instinct was to line up the centre of that part, between these two lower notches, on the same plaid line as the placket cutting line. Let’s see if that is correct.
This is our plaid sleeve, and the pin marks the top of the placket placement line. It falls along the very thin navy stripe that’s in the middle of the yellow stripes.
So then, the placket will be centered over this line like so:
If you’re wanting to match something complicated, and it’s hard to puzzle out in your mind, make a mockup and walk yourself through the construction with basting or pins. If it’s a small piece like the placket, it’s easy to recut if you guessed wrong. It’s just fabric and often the learning lesson is more valuable when you work through the problem in three dimensions.
Sewing the Plaid Sleeve Placket
To sew the placket, follow the tailored sleeve placket tutorial here, with some additional guidelines on doing it in plaid:
When laying the placket on the sleeve piece, make sure the lines of the placket are parallel to the sleeve plaid lines. In the photo below, I’m lining up where the green line meets the navy line on the placket, to the very thin navy line between the two yellow lines on the sleeve. I’ve lifted up the placket piece to check, and as I position the placket piece, I make sure it’s lined up all the way to the hem. It looks wrong, as the plaid isn’t matching from placket to sleeve, yet.
When sewing, make sure you’re sewing straight along the plaid lines. It’s almost easier than sewing along markings in a way, you don’t need to draw in the lines if you can use the plaid lines as your guide. Along the top edge, I’m aiming to keep the stitching just inside the navy part, and along the lower edge, I’m stitching just outside that thin navy line.
Moment of truth: in order to check, I need to slash the opening. Ok, I’m prepared to redo it if it looks bad. Here we go…
As the placket part is turned back, it lines up with both the horizontal plaid lines and the vertical plaid lines. Success!
It even matches on the smaller side of the sleeve placket, less important but still very nice to see.
What is smart to do though, is make sure you know how to cut your second placket if the first one works out. That’s one benefit of always photographing your work for tutorials – you can look back at the photos to cut the second one the same! I cut my sleeve plackets one at a time, but used the photo reference to cut the second one.
So there’s a tip: photograph your first placket, even if you aren’t writing a tutorial, so you can cut placket #2 the same.
When you edgestitch the placket, use glue to keep it in place. I got confident and started sewing without basting! The presser foot can pull the layers apart, making them not line up, if you’re not careful. Glue prevents that from happening. More on glue-basting here.
When you press the point of the tower, make sure it’s centered over the middle plaid line. (Like this photo below, but better. My yellow lines at the top tip look like they’re off a little, I think it’s just the 3D nature of the placket and if it was pressed flat they’d like up. Either way, make sure yours do!)
Definitely glue-baste the tower side of the sleeve placket. That’s the one that will show.
Here is our finished, plaid-matched sleeve placket!
What do you think? Pretty good!
It’s not 100% at the tower end but then again, we are looking at it extremely closely. I’d be impressed if someone else had sewn it or if I’d seen it on a ready to wear shirt. Now, the goal is to sew the second one exactly the same or better!
Would you bother matching a sleeve placket? Impressive, or a waste of energy? (You know what I think. I just love little fiddly details like this, I find them immensely satisfying when they work out.)