Elizabeth Stewart Clark & Company

Dressing Girls Sew-Along: Adding A Chemise Placket

DressingGirlsWith the tucks in place, it’s time to create a center front placket in the chemise. This is an option outside of the Girls Linens pattern, so we’ll walk through step-by-step here. You can also use this technique on adult chemises, as it’s a common feature!

Side-Bar Session Three

There are several historical ways I could handle a center front placket on these chemises.

This chemise, from the MET collection, has an embellished, shaped yoke, and the placket below the yoke is a simple narrow-hemmed slit.

This one, with an interesting faggoted double band, appears to have the placket with one faced edge, and one narrow-hemmed edge.

Here is another with a faced-and-overlapped placket, where the placket forms a bit of a pleat at the base. This is the style of placket I’m leaning toward, as it will take a bit more abuse than a simple hemmed slit, and gives a functional spot for additional buttons and buttonholes if desired, if you plan the center gap wider than I did!

One thing I’ve noticed when looking at chemises with a faced placket is that the placket is often installed, and then the neck band attached and finished. This two-step process is fairly easy to replicate.

I’ll zip through the steps, and let you view the images as a slide-show again.

I measured down about 6″ (this is fairly arbitrary, but it will expand the neckline edge a whole foot for donning/doffing, and my 11yo is not a very large person), and cut a slit in the center front. Then, perpendicular cuts at the base, half-way across the gap in the middle (about 5/8″, in this case.)

Press each flap back, tuck the raw edge under, and press well.

Remove to the machine, or hand-stitch a hem on each pressed edge. Then it’s a quick “stack-em-up”; I folded the extra fabric in the base into two layered pleats, and pinned everything neatly. One pass of stitching just at the base of the folded placket, and another about 1/4″ below that, across the folded extras, and we have a tidy little placket all done!

(Well, actually TWO little plackets, all finished in one 20-minute sewing session!)

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About The Sewing Academy
With a focus on the 1840-1865 era, The Sewing Academy is your home on the (internet) range for resources to help you meet your living history goals!

Elizabeth Stewart Clark has been absorbed by the mid-19th century for over 20 years. She makes her home in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, four children (from wee to not-so-wee), far too many musical instruments, and five amusing hens.

Email Elizabeth Or call 208-523-3673 (10am to 8pm Mountain time zone, Monday through Saturday)
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