A continuous bound placket is the easiest placket to sew. If you're still struggling to sew them well, I have a secret tip for you! I’ve never seen anyone do it quite like this before, so join me as I show you how to successfully sew a continuous bound placket!
What's a continuous bound placket?
A continuous bound placket finishes the raw edges when you have a slit in a garment. You often find these plackets on the wrist openings of a sleeves; like the sleeves of a button-up shirt. You'll also see bound plackets on necklines and side seams.
Continuous bound placket tutorial
Should I cut my placket on the straight grain or bias?
Your placket piece can be cut on the straight grain or on the bias. You can even cut it on the cross grain. Keep in mind, there are pros and cons to which direction you cut your placket piece.
Plackets cut on the bias will stretch. I recommend this method when binding a slit that you want to lay open. A placket cut on the straight grain won't stretch, and folds over really easily. I like straight grain plackets for wrist openings where one side lays on top of the other.
For this continuous bound placket tutorial, I'm showing you how to make a bound placket that stays closed, so we're using a placket cut on the straight grain.
When sewing this placket at home, use your sewing pattern’s seam allowance and placket width measurement. In this tutorial I'm using a .25” seam allowance and my placket is cut 1.25” wide.
Make the placket longer than you need.
Cut open the slit of the wrist opening, then with the sleeve right side up, point the wrist opening towards the sewing machine. Pull apart the cut opening, and place the cut edge of the left side underneath the presser foot. Line up the cut edge to match your seam allowance. I'm using a .25” seam allowance here. If you're using a sewing pattern, double check your pattern's seam allowance.
Next, take the placket, and make sure it's right side up. Slide it underneath the sleeve piece, aligning the raw edges and the seam allowance at the wrist. If you've cut your placket longer than you need, let the placket stick out past the top of the wrist a bit. We'll cut off any extra fabric at the very end.
With everything all set up, sew 2 stitches and backstitch. Place the needle down in the fabric, then lift the presser foot on your machine. Hold the placket straight and pivot the sleeve just a little bit to the left. The pivot shouldn't exceed .25” at any point along the stitching line. Locate the end of your cut slit, and make sure that it's a scant (slightly less than) .25” away from the raw edge of the placket.
Sew the sleeve to the placket at .25” seam allowance, stopping before you get to the end of the cut slit. Make sure your needle is down in the fabric when you stop.
You want to sew one stitch past the end of the cut slit and just to the left of it. If you sew on the edge of the cut slit or just to the right, you'll have a hole in your placket area. To help ensure you don't sew a hole, you can stop a little early like we've done to take a look and make sure your stitching line is on track. If you feel like you're a little too close to that cut edge, nudge your project over slightly as you take those last stitches.
After you sew just one stitch past the cut slit, make sure you're needle is down again. With the needle down, you can lift your machine's presser foot and reach under the shirt to hold your placket in place. Then, swing the shirt around clockwise so you can align the unsewn raw edge of the cut slit with the raw edge of the placket.
At the wrist edge, align the raw edge of the shirt and the raw edge of the placket so they're both at .25" seam allowance. They probably won't be aligned at the wrist edge because we've cut the placket piece longer than we need.
The unsewn cut slit on the shirt should now mirror the sewn edge.
Continue sewing at .25" seam allowance, and backstitch at the end.
Here's what it looks like after step 3!
Now, go back to the spot where you started stitching at the wrist. Make sure the sleeve is right side up. Pull the placket piece out to the right so that it is wrong side up. You can see your seam allowances from sewing the two pieces together. Finger press the seam allowances to the right, towards the placket.
Here's my pro tip for sewing beautiful bound plackets! We want to understitch the seam allowances to the placket. Sew through the seam allowances and the placket just to the right of the first stitching line. As you're sewing, make sure to gently pull the placket to the right so you're keeping all the fabrics flat.
To finish and bind all the raw edges, fold the placket to the wrong side .25” and finger press. Then take the folded edge and use it to just cover the stitching line from the step 1. Because the placket piece is cut on the straight grain, it should fold easily and neatly.
Starting at the wrist, edgestitch along the folded edge of the placket.
For this process, I like to start with the first 1–2” of the placket and fold and sew as I work my way down.
Take the placket, which is opened flat, and fold it in half to close it. The raw edges of the wrist should align. You can trim off any excess placket if you want, or you can trim it off later.
Because this example is a shirt sleeve, one side of the placket is folded over and sits on top of the other side. You have an overlap and an underlap.
On the overlap side, fold the placket to the wrong side (inside) of the sleeve, and sew the placket in place across the wrist so it doesn't flip out. Sew these few stitches in the seam allowance of the wrist. Make sure the underlap side is moved out of the way so you don't accidentally sew the opening shut.
There's one more thing to sew before we head to the iron.
Make sure the placket is folded evenly in half with the raw edges of the wrists in line. Holding the placket closed, turn back the sleeve so you can see the placket on the wrong side of the sleeve. Sew a short diagonal line at the folded edge of the placket and backstitch across the whole line. Be careful to only sew on the placket itself, not on the sleeve.
And that's it! Take your sleeve for a good pressing. Press around the placket on the sleeve and on each side of the placket. If you still have placket pieces dangling past the wrist, trim them back now.
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