Monday, November 4, 2013

Sweatshirt dress + adding a button placket to any pattern tutorial.

Today I am bringing home my September post for The Sewing Rabbit Creative Team. I am going to talk about this sweatshirt dress and what you can do to change any classic sweatshirt (or t-shirt with raglan sleeves) pattern into something similar.
See kate sew's RECESS raglan knit tee would for example work perfectly.

I am going to give a detailed tutorial on how to add a buttoned placket to patterns that does not originally have it. It is actually pretty easy and only requires basic math - you know the logic stuff!

As you can see the bodice of the dress have the classic sweatshirt dress with the raglan sleeves so no need for changes there. You will have to shorten it though and probably also make your pattern less wide around the belly - in other words take in the side seams a bit.
If the bodice is too long or wide it will change the look of this dress to more of an old fashioned long please make the bodice first and try it on your child before you start making the skirt part. Oh and how do I know what it will look like....yes ahem I might be speaking from experience here...twice did I shorten the bodice after I sewed on the skirt...twice!! I mean....yeah, let's move on! Now don't come back and tell me I did not warn you.

The skirt is just a rectangle that has been gathered to the bodice. Easy peasy. I measured the lower part of the bodice (the waist) and made my skirt double that measurement which I think give the right amount of gathers for the type of dress.

Then there is rib in the neck opening and sleeves - again classic sweatshirt style.

This type of dress does not necessary need the placket and buttons but I certainly think it adds quite a lot to the finished result.
Normally I stay faaaaaar away from buttonholes in knit and uses snaps instead, but this cotton French terry did really not have that much stretch in it so with some fusible interlining along the placket it actually totally worked, phew.
These great orange buttons are from Lots of Buttons.

So let's talk about plackets.

1) First you have to find center front (CF) on your sweatshirt/t-shirt pattern. It will usually be marked by the pattern maker. Most sweatshirt and t-shirt patterns are cut in CF anyway and asks you to cut your fabric on fold and that will be CF. Otherwise you simply fold your front pattern piece in the middle.

2)Then you have to decide how wide a placket you want. This is a design question so it is really up to you. But think about what buttons you want to put in. Tiny buttons in a wide placket is usually not that pretty. So let's work with an easy example: 1 inch/2.5 cm. Now you divide your desired placket width in two....yup, told you it was easy math. Since we want CF to run down exactly in the middle of the placket we are going to add that extra half to CF and now we got the overlap and the fold line.

3)Now since we don't want raw edges running down there, you have to extend CF further with the full width of your placket plus seam allowance.
You do the same with your skirt at CF and you are good to go.

Here is an overview of all the pattern pieces.

That's all for me today.
Thank you.


  1. Sweet dress Mie, thanks for tutorial!

  2. Thanks for the tutorial. Love the colours you choose.

  3. Very nice post and i like this two thumb up for you ^___^

  4. Sew happy for this post I always do a separate placket

  5. This dress is adorable with the buttons down the front! Thanks for sharing this helpful information!

  6. Wauv. It's fantastic and so cool!


I love your comments.
Thank you!