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Placket perfection.

Use your embroidery software to digitize and construct a shirt neckline placket in the hoop. The results are precise, creating a professional-looking placket in a few easy steps.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

MATERIALS

* Basic shirt pattern with plain center front and neckline (such as New Look 6027)

* Fabric (amount according to pattern envelope)

* Buttons (number & size determined by placket dimensions)

* Fusible lightweight knit interfacing

* Fabric-like water-soluble stabilizer

* Matching embroidery thread

* Temporary spray adhesive

* Pattern or tracing paper

* Embroidery software with basic digitizing capabilities

* Double-sided basting tape (optional)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

PREPARE

Note: The placket can be made to any width, but 1 1/2" is the standard. Select 1/2" or 5/8"-diameter buttons. If creating a narrower or wider placket, adjust the button size, spacing and length accordingly.

* Position the shirt front pattern piece right side up on a flat work surface. Position a piece of pattern or tracing paper over the pattern. Trace the neckline and center-front line. Measure from the neckline to the desired placket length, making sure the length doesn't exceed the hoop dimensions; mark.

* Draw a vertical line 3/4" from and parallel to either side of the center-front line. The 3/4" measurement is half the width of the 1 1/2" finished band.

* Add a 1/4" seam allowance to the inside of each long edge. Add a 1/4" seam allowance above the lower edge. Draw diagonal lines at each lower corner from the seam allowance line to the outer edge (A).

* Scan the placket pattern into your embroidery software.

* Position a piece of pattern or tracing paper on a flat surface. Draw a vertical line on the paper center according to the placket length plus 2"; designate as the centerline. Draw two vertical lines 1 1/2" from and parallel to either side of the centerline. Add 1/4 seam allowances to each long edge. Draw lines perpendicular to the centerline at each end to make a rectangle. Measure 1/2" above the lower edge; mark only In the seam allowances. Designate as the band pattern (B).

* To check the patterns for accuracy, cut out the band pattern and fold in each long edge at the seam allowance line. Fold in half along the centerline. Position the band pattern over the placket pattern. The band pattern width should match the placket outer lines.

* Unfold the band pattern. Scan into the embroidery software, set as the background and set the grid to 1/4". Note that software measuring differs slightly. Even though the pattern lines were accurately drawn and scanned at 100%, there may still be variation between the pattern and grids in the software work area. Use the pattern as a guide, but use the grids for accuracy to develop the digitized files. Turn on the snap-to-grid software feature, if available, to create straight lines.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

* Set the stitch length to 3.5mm and use the open object tool to trace the band pattern and seam allowances. Make sure the sections to each side of the centerline measure six 1/4" squares to equal 1 1/2". Use the object properties tool to double-check that the overall length and width are accurate (C). Save the file as "Placket Band."

* Open a new software page and import the placket pattern as the background. Set a 3.0mm stitch length. Draw a continuous line from the right neckline and along center front to create a placement line.

* Select a different line color and a 1.5mm stitch length. Draw one continuous stitching line from the upper center-front line, along the center-front line to the lower edge, and then around the remaining lines, including the diagonal corner lines (D).

* Check the grid at the lower edge to confirm that the distance between the outer lines measures six 14" squares (or 1 1/2"). Save the file as "Placket Front."

* Open a new software page. Select a 3.0mm stitch length. Draw a 1 1/2" x the placket length rectangle. Draw a 1/4"-long horizontal line 1/2" from the lower edge outside the left long edge. Designate as the band placement line.

* Select a different line color and a 2.5mm stitch length. Draw a vertical line 2mm inside and parallel to the left long edge from the band placement line to the rectangle upper edge.

* Select a third color and add the number of vertical buttonholes needed along the rectangle center. Place the lower buttonhole approximately 3/8" above the rectangle lower edge and the upper buttonhole 1/4" to 3/8" below the rectangle upper edge. Space the buttonholes evenly along the rectangle (E). Save the file as "Band Right Front." Note: If the embroidery software doesn't have buttonholes, create them in the software or construct the buttonholes after embroidery.

* Create a copy of the "Band Right Front" file and save it as "Band Left Front." Select all of the design and flip it vertically, placing the band placement line at the top left of the work area. Create a crosshair at each buttonhole center to designate the button placement. Select only the buttonholes, and then delete them (F). Save the changes.

* Load all of the design files onto the machine. Test-stitch the entire placket construction on scrap fabric similar to the type and weight of the finished project fabric. Make any necessary edits to the final design files, especially if the fabric is thicker or thinner to allow for turn of cloth.

* Cut the shirt front from the fabric Staystitch the necklines.

* From the fabric and Interfacing, cut two rectangles 2" larger than the band pattern dimensions. Fuse the interfacing to the fabric band wrong sides, following the manufacturer's instructions.

EMBROIDER

* Load the Placket Band design onto the machine. Hoop a piece of water-soluble stabilizer. Center one band rectangle right side up over the stabilizer, securing with temporary spray adhesive. Embroider the design (G).

* Remove the hoop from the machine and the stabilizer from the hoop. Trim the excess stabilizer and fabric from the design. Fold the band in half lengthwise along the center stitching line with wrong sides together; press. Fold each long edge 1/4" toward the wrong side along the stitching line; press (H). Make sure the folded edges perfectly align.

* Repeat to construct the remaining band.

* Fold the shirt front in half along the center front with right sides together; press.

* Hoop a piece of water-soluble stabilizer. Load the Placket Front design onto the machine. Embroider the first color.

* Remove the hoop from the machine, but don't remove the stabilizer from the hoop. Spray the stabilizer with temporary adhesive. Position the shirt front over the placement stitching, aligning the necklines and center-front lines (I).

* Unfold the front, smoothing the fabric over the stabilizer; finger-press to secure. Embroider the second color, making sure the center-front stitching line aligns exactly with the shirt center-front foldline. Remove the hoop from the machine and the stabilizer from the hoop.

* Carefully cut along the Inner stitching lines and cut along each corner stitching line up to, but not through, the outer stitching line (J).

* Hoop a piece of water-soluble stabilizer. Load the Band Right Front design onto the machine. Embroider the first color. Spray the stabilizer with temporary adhesive. Position one band over the stitching line, matching the placement lines and the band center foldline with the right stitching line; finger-press to secure (K).

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

* Unfold the band, smoothing the fabric over the stabilizer and making sure the band and stabilizer band placement lines align; finger-press to secure (L).

* Position the shirt front right side up over the band, aligning the shirt-placket left corner over the left-band folded edge at the band placement line and making sure the shirt-placket raw edge aligns with the band raw edge. If necessary, use basting tape to secure. Pivot the excess shirt down towards the hoop lower edge to prevent it from getting caught in the stitching (M).

* Fold the band in half lengthwise with wrong sides together along the original foldline, extending the long folded edge just beyond the shirt-placket stitching line (N).

* Advance the machine to the first stitch of the second color, and then lower the needle into the fabric. Check to make sure that the needle will catch the shirt-placket corner, just inside the band (O). If desired, use basting tape to secure.

* Reduce the machine speed to the lowest setting or engage the foot pedal for more control. Embroider the second color, using a sewing stiletto to hold the fabric in placing during stitching.

* Embroider the third color to create the buttonholes (P).

* Remove the hoop from the machine and the stabilizer from the hoop. Trim away the excess stabilizer from the band.

* Load the Band Left Front design onto the machine. Hoop a piece of water soluble stabilizer. Embroider the first color. Spray the stabilizer with temporary adhesive. Position the remaining band over the stitching line, matching the placement lines and the band center foldline with the right stitching line. Unfold the band, smoothing the fabric over the stabilizer and making sure the band and stabilizer-band placement lines align; finger-press to secure. Position the shirt front right side up over the band with the neckline toward the hoop lower edge, aligning the shirt-placket right corner over the left-band folded edge at the band placement line and making sure the shirt-placket raw edge aligns with the band raw edge. If necessary, use basting tape to secure.

* Pivot the excess shirt up toward the hoop upper edge to prevent it from getting caught in the stitching.

* Fold the band in half lengthwise with wrong sides together along the original foldline, extending the long folded edge just beyond the shirt-placket stitching line. Advance the machine to the first stitch of the second color, and then lower the needle into the fabric.

* Check to make sure that the needle will catch the shirt-placket corner, just inside the band. If desired, use basting tape to secure. Embroider the second color.

* Embroider the third color to create the button placement marks (Q).

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

* Remove the hoop from the machine and the stabilizer from the hoop. Trim away the excess stabilizer from the band.

* Position the shirt front right side up on a flat work surface. Position the right front band over the left front band; pin. Tuck the band ends and small placket tab inside the placket lower-edge opening (R).

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

* Select a 2mm stitch length. Fold the shirt to expose the tab. Stitch across the tab upper edge along the previous stitching line. Stitch again along the tab lower edge along the previous stitching line. Trim away the excess fabric below the second stitching line (S).

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

* If desired, topstitch a second stitching line on the placket 1/4" from the lower edge.

* Stitch the buttons on the lower placket by hand or machine at the placement stitching marks.

* Trim the placket upper edge even with the neckline.

* Finish constructing the shirt following the pattern guidesheet. Carefully cut open the buttonholes.

Tip

If desired, remove any basting or foldline stitching lines so they're not visible on the finished garment right side.
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Article Details
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Author:Baird, Ramona
Publication:Creative Machine Embroidery
Date:Sep 1, 2016
Words:1863
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