A new placket in an old book

Researching inseam placket openings for 1930’s era skirts and dresses.

Today I received a copy of The Art of Needlecraft by Polkinghorne, circa 1935. It was a quite affordable used copy; I think I paid one dollar plus shipping. I hope this is the book referred to by Norma in a comment at her blog:


I have transcribed the instructions for the invisible placket described on page 405. I made a model using tracing paper, marking the seams with pencil and folding. I use very thin pins to hold the model together. I had a little trouble figuring out how the wide strip fit, but I think I got it right and it does seem to work in theory. The wide strip acts as both a privacy panel and the place to sew on the socket of the snaps.

“A Placket in an Open Seam— Turn in the right side of the opening exactly on the fitting line, and press. Catch-stitch the turnings to the skirt, being careful that no stitches show through on to the right side.

If the material is very thin, put a strip of linen or lining under the fold before you fasten it down.

Now cut two strips of material 1 inch longer than the opening; one piece 2 1/2 inches, and the other 1 1/2 inch wide. On the narrow piece turn under 1/4 inch on each side at at one end. Pin it over the turning 1/4 inch in from the fitting line on the right side of the opening, with the raw edge level with the waist. Fell it neatly into place.

Put the right side of the wide strip to the right side of the left edge of the opening, 1/4 inch in from the fitting line, and the extra length at the bottom. Stitch by machine and press. Turn in the wrong side of the wrap, and fell over the raw edges. Oversew the end of the wrap.

Pin the placket as it will be when the skirt is worn and mark the position for the stud fasteners with pins exactly over each other, on the under and upper sides of the opening. They should be 1 1/4 inch to 1 1/2 inch apart and sewn to the lining.

Work a small loop (explained  under “Fastenings” in Chapter XXVI.) across the seam at the bottom of the opening.”

Looking forward to reading the new old book. Not a lot of illustrations, but if you have some sewing background you might enjoy reading along with the instructions and solving the puzzles yourself.

2 thoughts on “A new placket in an old book

  1. Yes, this is where I saw the instructions. I am going to have to work hard to get the placket right this time.
    Oddly, although there are not many illustrations I was able to teach myself to darn from this book – the instructions were very good.

    Liked by 1 person

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