I don’t know about you, but my babies have big heads. And mommy-made shirts need just a little more stretch for dressing than my fabric/serger combo can provide. Enter the snap placket! You could use this basic construction on a regular shirt with shoulder seams, just by adjusting the length of the placket.
Here I’m going to be using the Grand Slam Raglan by Peekaboo Patterns (*affiliate links). This is one of my most often used patterns, but for my little boy, the neck opening is just a tad on the small side (this isn’t a pattern problem, merely a head to body size ratio that is “off” on the smaller sized little people….once they catch up to their head size, things all work nicely :) ) The snap placket means no fighting with your toddler to yank that shirt over their head!
I’m using some beautiful Birch Organics Elk Grove (similar to this) from l’oiseau Fabrics (*affiliate link) it is so SO soft!
Let’s get started! You’ll need a scrap of woven fabric that matches your shirt, a scrap of fusible interfacing, and some matching thread, pins, sewing machine, etc.
*Please note, these measurement are to create a placket that will nicely fit #20 Kam Snaps. If you are using considerably larger or smaller snaps, you may need to do some fiddling with the measurements
Start by cutting two rectangles in your matching fabric: 1-3/4″ x 4-1/2″ and 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″. Cut your interfacing into two 3/4″ x 4″ pieces and iron on to your rectangles about 1/2″ in from one long edge.
Next up, sew the sleeve seams front and back except for the front left side (from the wearer’s perspective). Do NOT sew up your side seams/arm seams yet!! Add your neck binding starting at one open edge to the other open edge (oh, and don’t be like me and forget to topstitch your neck until after the whole shirt is done. Oops! Do it now!) Are you wondering about that little triangle of green that isn’t in the original pattern? I just cut a little triangle, fused it on, and did a decorative stitch over top. Do this before adding your neck binding.
Take your larger rectangle (2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″) and pin Right Sides Together (RST) to the front raw edge of your shirt (the elk pattern here) with the piece extended 1/4″ above the neck binding. Fold the bottom of your piece up 1/4″. Sew 1/2″ from the edge (the seam allowance for this shirt pattern).
Press your seam allowance open.
Next, fold your other long edge under 1/2″ Wrong Sides Together (WST) and press. Then bring that fold over to the seam you just made previously. Pin in place and press.
Stitch across the top of the placket piece at 1/4″. Trim your excess.
Turn the placket right side out, and poke your corner out so it’s nice and square. Press. Then turn to the back and pin your turned-under seam allowance in place. It should automatically tuck under nicely because of your folding.
Topstitch along the open edge and the bottom. Looking at the front now, this is how the bottom part of your placket should look:
Onto the top! With RST, pin your smaller piece (1 3/4″ x 4 1/2″) to the sleeve portion (the green fabric here) of the shirt, extending and folding over a 1/4″ allowance up over the neck binding and then folding up a 1/4″ allowance on the bottom, WST. (please ignore the fact that I forgot to fold up my bottom bit in this photo….you’ll see it in the next step!)
Sew at 1/2″ seam allowance. Trim your seam allowances.
Now you want to line up the sleeve and shoulder portions of the shirt RST, and stitch from the armpit JUST to where the placket begins.
When you turn the shirt right side out you should see this:
Fold the long side of the top placket piece under 1/2″ and press, and then turn the full placket under WST to enclose the seam allowance and pin.
Mark with chalk or a disappearing marker (or wing it!) at the 3/4″ mark for a topstitching line. Make sure that you are catching the placket underneath (you could sew from the bottom, to be sure, but I like to do all of my topstitching from the top!) Be sure to mark where the top placket piece ends, so you don’t sew past it. Do NOT pivot and sew the short part!
Topstitch along that line. Then arrange the placket in the closed position (how it will be with snaps) and sew up the short end, as directed here, through ALL layers.
Please, don’t try to do the topstitching all in one step. You need to make sure that the seam allowances are all laying flat and the ends of the plackets are caught in your stitching. So do the long side first. Then do the short side
Add your snaps, and you’re done!
*this post contains affiliate links, but the pattern love and opinions are all my own!