Space to Sew UpdateBlog

18 August 2012

Jodie's Placket Nightmare

From time to time we plan to invite some of our other students to write a little about their own sewing journey, complete with highs and lows. Jodie Castree, one of our very regular Club members, is an avid reader of sewing websites and blogs and couldn't wait to volunteer her 'services'.

As well as being an ideal choice because of her web/sewing/reading expertise, I need to add that Jodie is an incredible inspiration to me and, in terms of sewing prowess, the complete opposite. She started sewing properly last March when she first joined our Evening Sewing Club. She has made a huge number of garments since then, some good, some not so good, some great. Often she uses the first as a kind of 'toile' to practise on and then goes home and whisks up another version (sometimes two!) in a week. She's no stranger to unpicking (none of us are!) but she has an undaunted sewing spirit and nothing seems to dampen her resolve to keep learning - and to just keep sewing! Jodie, you really are amazing and we're so grateful to have you in our midst!

Here, told in her own words, is a story about her experience with an item that many of you may not have heard of, but will now, no doubt, never forget: The Placket!

Over to you Jodie...

"Let me start this at the end: I purchased a pattern recently which was my first attempt at an intermediate pattern. Having got 3/4 quarters through it, I was thinking that I was getting on well. Nothing seemed particularly "intermediate" and I was nearly at the end of the pattern! Then I got to the placket... I first googled the word, as I always do when I get stuck on something. However where on beginner patterns this had always served me pretty well, this time I was not so fortunate.

What I did have was Space to Sew. I knew that I could take my placket along with me and have someone with me who would offer the guidance I need and reassurance that no I was not such a terrible sewer: plackets are hard to sew. I had this, plus advice on where else I had gone wrong but not noticed. With the information gained and with advice of "make a start, BUT come back next week to finish off" I went home. This advice I did not take and next time I had some sewing time I gave it a go. Countless unpicks later, the placket had a new name and I had almost lost the will to sew.

Again, even at this point, I knew Space to Sew would be there for me and anything could be achieved. 2 hours of Club time, and although the placket was probably not how it should look, I knew where I had gone wrong and where I needed to make changes to make it right on the second attempt. That's where I am at now: still a placket nightmare but with the help of Space to Sew soon to become a placket dream.

The point of this post is that without Space to Sew being there every week for me with help , advice and friendly atmosphere I would not still be sewing. Blog posts, books, you tube videos are all very nice but sometimes having someone standing next to me talking me through or physically showing me whatever dilemma I have has no substitute. An added bonus is the wonderful friendly atmosphere and free cake. Jodie "

Domini again, because I feel the need to add this postscript: I'm not a great one for testimonials on folks' websites as they always look like a put up job to me. This was really written by Jodie with no request on our end to promote Space to Sew. I actually still think that despite the encouragement of our wonderful tutors, it's Jodie's sheer dogged perseverance that will turn her placket into a 'dream'. A perseverance I truly wish I had! But thank you so much, lovely Jodie, for your kind, kind words. Our tutors are hugely encouraging and supportive and they do deserve your praise.

Note: What is a placket? You might ask!!!

Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia:

"A placket is an opening in the upper part of trousers or skirts, or at the neck or sleeve of a garment. Plackets are almost always used to allow clothing to be put on or removed easily, but are sometimes used purely as a design element. Modern plackets often contain fabric facings or attached bands to surrounds and reinforce fasteners such as buttons, snaps, or zippers.

In modern usage, the term placket often refers to the double layers of fabric that hold the buttons and buttonholes in a shirt. Plackets can also be found at the neckline of a shirt, the cuff of a sleeve, or at the waist of a skirt or pair of trousers."

In Jodie's case it was "the double layers of fabric that hold the buttons and buttonholes in a shirt"!

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