Re-inventing the placket


After the megasort:  salvaging a length of fabric which had spent untold years under the stairs.  I wanted a long skirt for winter lolling, but had no pattern, so I made something up.  The first scrunch of the shears is a nerve-racking sound at the best of times.

1 scrunch

Elasticate the waist? but no elastic.  Of course a fitted waist is neater and often more comfortable so I re-designed, but no zipper either.  Then again, zippers make nasty noises:  chalk squeaking on blackboards is nothing to it.  Dredging around in the past, a memory stirred:  the placket.

I was nine when I made my first and last placket, and I was baffled by both the construction and the purpose, as I sewed awkwardly (and bloodily) away under my teacher’s despairing eye.  However, trying not to think but to visualise,  I made a prototype, tweaking and fiddling and trying to remember the trick of turning the corner at the end of the slit.

2 pilot

Preparing to insert the real thing required all the food groups, plus drugs, stimulants and fluids.  Not to mention chocolate.  Thus fortified, I jigged the placket in quite neatly in the end, unlike the facings, which were awkward as I had changed my mind so much when cutting the skirt, and had run out of fabric to cut a second set.

3 food groups

The buttonholes are the letdown.  My technique was never great, and with this soft fraying fabric I made a pig’s breakfast. But they are disguised slightly under the buttons.

Surprisingly, the skirt fits and feels friendly.  Pity I can never tell Mrs Walsby that she didn’t waste all her time.

4 disguise


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