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What is a Placket in Sewing?

Learn all about the types of plackets you'll encounter in sewing with this guide!

By: Editors at AllFreeSewing.com
Updated June 07, 2022
What is a Placket in Sewing

Placket may not be a term that you're familiar with, but you likely see them daily on your clothes. So, what is a placket in sewing?

Plackets are most commonly used to make it easier to put clothes on and take them off, although you'll occasionally see them used as a decorative feature.

Plackets are made of multiple layers of fabric, doubled over, usually with interfacing between the layers. The buttons on most shirts are placed on a placket, so are the buttons on most cuffs.

The waistband of a full skirt is made of a placket. You'll also see them on the waistbands of slacks.

There are several purposes for plackets. They give support and structure to areas with closures and buttons, so that the fabric doesn't droop.

They also keep the buttons and fasteners from rubbing the wearer's skin and potentially causing irritation.

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Types of plackets

There are several different types of plackets. These include:

Standard placket -- used on most shirts and waistbands. This type of placket is made by folding the fabric and outlining the placket with topstitching.

French placket -- No topstitching is used on a French placket. This type of construction is most often used in men's formal shirts.

Concealed placket -- A concealed placket is used when the shirt buttons are hidden.

Continuous placket -- This is where a single piece of fabric is used for the entire placket, such as at a shirt's cuff.

Image below: DIY Travel Storage Bags
 

DIY Travel Storage Bags

How to Sew a Placket on a Dress

A placket can be used several places on a dress, behind the buttons (on a shirt-waist dress), at the cuffs, or at the neckline closure. Occasionally, plackets are used on a dress as a decorative feature, where a contrasting fabric is "hidden" in pockets around a dress skirt.

Image below: Free Women's Lounge Dress Pattern
 

Free Women's Lounge Dress Pattern

For a placket at the back opening of a dress (that is hooked at the neckline with a hook and eye or similar fastener), cut a fabric square that covers the opening plus at least one inch.

Place the fabric on the right side of the garment and sew along the opening. Gently turn the fabric to the inside, notching the opening carefully, but not cutting into the stitching. Topstitch on the right side around the opening.

Dress Placket Tutorials:

  1. Refashion Toddler Dress Pattern
  2. Girls' Gathered Tunic Dress Pattern
  3. Free Women's Lounge Dress Pattern (shown above)
     

How to Sew a Placket on a Shirt

A standard shirt placket is usually made by folding the selvage edge back under the garment's edge, adding a layer of interfacing, and topstitching the fabric in place.

Note: In women's clothing, the right side of the placket overlaps the left; in men's clothing, the opposite is standard.

Shirt Placket Tutorials:

  1. Easy Breezy Toddler's Dolman Shirt
  2. Not Just Another Tee
  3. How To Sew a Single Placket (shown below)
     

How To Sew a Single Placket

How to Sew a Continuous Placket

A continuous placket is used at cuffs or for decoration. Sewing a continuous placket is similar to sewing a placket at the neckline of a dress. In this case, you'll sew the placket to the edge of the sleeve, add the interfacing and then fold the placket over and topstitch it in place.

Image below: The Placket Pattern & Tutorial
 

The Placket Pattern & Tutorial

Additional Placket Sewing Tutorials

There are even more types of plackets (and faux plackets) to learn, too! Here are a few of our favorite additional placket sewing projects:

  1. How to Sew a Hidden Button Placket
  2. How To Add A Faux Button Placket To A Skirt (shown below)
  3. Shirt Cushion
  4. Barbie Skirt Tutorial (from our friends at AllFreeKidsCrafts)
  5. DIY Link Costume from Zelda (from our friends at AllFreeKidsCrafts)
     

How To Add A Faux Button Placket To A Skirt

Conclusion

Once you know what plackets are, you'll see them on most articles of clothing. They are easy to add to your sewing projects and make your clothes look much more professional.

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