Friday, 23 May 2014

Off Grain Opening - Palmer Pletsch couture

Some years ago I bought the Palmer/Pletsch book Couture The Art of Fine Sewing at a Stitches and Craft fair. These fairs are the only time I get to see shelves and shelves of sewing books all in one place. Recently I got around to re reading this one and I knew it was time I started implementing some of the very good techniques that are in it.

For this project, the off grain opening.

The idea is to add a wedge shaped piece to the right front opening that starts at the neckline and swings out 1.5cm at the waist and continues to the end of the garment.

You then put the left front placket on the same grain as your wedge. The photo below shows my new wedge and placket.

Major Edit:     I will add the wedge to both fronts then do the off grain placket to both fronts.

Below, the wedge on the 'cut for right side' line, folded back here. I created the new grain for the placket by laying the wedge on top of it and tracing the new slanted grain.

I could not figure out a way of adding a cut-on wedge-combination-placket to the other side while staying true to the new grain, if that makes sense!

Edit:  The new placket will be attached to both the left and right sides then buttons and buttonholes as per the original instructions.

These alterations keep the fronts from pulling apart at the bottom past the buttons when worn. Sounds like it would make it go more wonky doesn't it? .. but here goes!

p.s. I am using the Archer shirt which already has other alterations, see previous post, mainly for more ease. A reader, Tini, reminded me that I should do a sway back alteration .. but that means a CB seam on the shirt body.. which would, in a way, match what I am doing to the front so..ok deep down I know she is right.

Another Edit: I am putting a dart in the shirt front after all. It's more a 'Regular Bust Adjustment' than an FBA but this is the first time I have done it properly rather than fold n'sew and add a bit to the sides. My shirt is half finished and it is  x fingers crossed x  looking good.

Humble Pie Edit: I am realizing how much I do not know, even though I have been sewing for a long time.                 

Sew something soon,



  1. Ah, now I get it about the front, Val. I really do need to buy a book on sewing techniques, but can never decide which one. Have to get myself along to Stitches and Craft some time. I have the sway back too, and rounded shoulders - a fitting nightmare. Then there is the waist which disappeared years ago... All the more reason to make one's own clothes, though :)

    1. Hi Trish, The danger of being in self imposed (fluey) isloation is that I just bought another book on sewing techniques that looks very good. Will blog about it soon!

  2. I need to revisit this book. Excellent ideas! Spanish snap button holes!

    1. Yes, there's lots of good tips in there, including the correct way to steam a lapel roll...

  3. Some great alterations there. Look forward to seeing the end piece.

  4. What an interesting technique...thanks!