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It’s the third day of the French Navy Morningside Dress and Shirt Sew Along!! Today we are sewing the button holes and completing the placket that we started yesterday!

It’s so exciting to see you joining me in making your Morningsides!

If you’re still thinking about it, it’s not too late. The whole make has been broken down into very achievable chunks. You can catch up or just go at your own pace.

If you still need the pattern, you can pick it up here. Be sure to head to my Sew Along Announcement post first to get your 25% discount code!!

Also, if you haven’t heard yet, there is a giveaway at the end of the Sew Along. Yay!! All the details are at the end of this post.

Sewing the Placket

So let’s finish off the placket!!


This is the best time to do your buttonholes. The back part of the right placket will become difficult to access the more we attach.

The pattern recommends five 1cm (3/8″) buttons. However the pattern piece is only marked with four buttonholes so I went with four and decided I’d see how it sat, and could adjust it if needed for my next make.

Since we are all blessed with beautifully unique bodies, if you already know what works best for you, go ahead and adjust the placement and number of buttons! If you’re not sure – now is another good time for me to plug the benefits of making a muslin!

To be honest I rarely make a muslin purely for fit. I go the ‘wearable-muslin’ route. I dig a fabric out of my stash that I’m not worried about sacrificing if it doesn’t turn out wearable, and if it does I get a bonus garment in my wardrobe!


I lay the pattern piece over the back of the right placket, aligning the straight edge with the bottom of the placket piece and just used my erasable pen to pierce straight through the paper and mark my button holes on the fabric.

I then folded the placket in half to check my marks were centered.

I went with a 1.4cm button because that’s what I had in my stash. As long as the button sits nicely on your placket I don’t think it really matters. The larger your button the higher the chances are that you’ll see it in the concealed placket when wearing it though so I wouldn’t go too big!

On a side note, if you have some buttons you want to show off as a feature Sarah says you can just do two left placket pieces and have an exposed placket. Let me know if you want a quick tutorial on this too!

automatic buttonholes

If you have an automatic buttonhole function on your sewing machine, the two key marks are the starting point of your buttonhole and mark to align the direction of the buttonhole with.

Each machine is likely to be different so I’d encourage you to refer to your manual or you tube for your particular machine but I’ll walk you through how it works on mine. I sew on a Husqvarna Viking Ruby.

I measure the size of my button on the handy little ruler at the bottom of my machine. Mine was 14mm.

I attach the buttonhole foot and select the buttonhole style I want on the touch screen. Then set the length (14mm) according to the size of my button.

A buttonhole foot like this is quite common. You place the button in the end and the foot can measure the length of the buttonhole automatically.

Make sure the front of the right placket is out of the way so you don’t accidentally sew through everything and have to get that seam ripper out! Pinning it to the side, on  the bodice, and placing the pins a little away from where your button holes will be so they don’t get in the way is a good idea!

Align your needle with the horizontal mark that you made eariler for the start of your button hole.

(For my machine, the red wheel you can see in the pic needs to be ontop of your fabric so it can judge the length of the buttonhole as it moves so I actually ended up flipping my fabric over so the majority of the fabric sat on the other side of my machine as I sew)

Note that the start of your buttonhole will be the bottom of the buttonhole as your machine will stitch backwards first.

Press start!

Manual buttonholes

If you are doing your button hole manually you will want to mark the start, end and direction of your button hole according to the length of your button. Add 1/8″ (add more if your button is chunky!) to make sure your button will fit through the hole.

If you have a satin stitch presser foot use that as it’s clear and allows you to see what you’re doing. If not, a standard foot that can do a zig zag stitch is fine too! (Foot C you can see in the pic above is the buttonhole foot that comes with my machine)

Adjust your stitch length and width. The best way to work out what you want is to experiment on scraps first! I went with 3.5 for stitch width and 2 for length (the lowest on my machine).

If you have a buttonhole stitch, select that. Otherwise use a satin stitch.

Most machines will come with a buttonhole lever like this. Locate your buttonhole lever and pull it down the whole way. This is what tells your machine to start with a bartack and then stitch backwards.

The Husqvarna Ruby that I sew on uses the buttonhole seeting on the touch screen instead of a lever.

Align your needle with the bottom of the buttonhole mark you made earlier.

Start stitching.

When you get to the end of your buttonhole, click the buttonhole lever towards you (I press reverse on my machine instead) and it will tell the machine to bar tack and come down the other side.

If you can’t find or don’t have a buttonhole lever, you can do a  buttonhole freehand! Just use a larger stitch width for the bar tack, a narrow width for the buttonhole side, do another bar tack at the end of your buttonhole and turn around to compelte the second side!

The key to beautiful buttonholes is practice, practice, practice. So grab some scraps and have a go! You’ll never regret doing this, but you might regret not doing it.

open it up

Pop a pin at the end of your button hole before the bar tack. This will prevent the tears when you rip straight through the end of  your freshly sewn buttonhole!

Using the points of sharp scissors or your seam ripper, cut open the inside of the buttonhole. Be careful to avoid any of the stitches and just cut the fabric in the middle.

The left placket!

Mark fold lines and seam lines on both sides of the the left placket piece with a washable fabric marker.

Fold and press the unfused seam allowance towards the wrong side of the placket.

Pull the right placket to the wrong side of the garment. It’s a good idea to pin this out of the way so it doesn’t accidentally get caught up in the following steps.

Pin the unfoled edge of your left placket piece, right sides together to the left side of the bodice. Again, placing a pin at the exact point where the stitching creates a corner at the bottom.

Carefully stitch exactly to the pin at the corner.

This isn’t in the instructions, but I would press your seam towards you placket here for a clean fniish and to help you in the following steps.

Fold the placket back, wrong sides together. Press so that the edge is just slightly overlaping the previous seam line. This will allow you to catch the fabric when you stitch in the ditch later.

Flip over to the right side of your fabric. Place a pin at the exact end-point of the stitch line sewn. Pin through all layers of the placket. On the inside be sure to secure very close to the folded edge you first created.

Stitch in the Ditch to the exact point of the pin.

This is what the inside looks like – your stitches will catch the edge of the folded placket, securing it in place.

If you don’t want to fiddle with stitching in the ditch you can swap it out for edge stitching. Stitch about 3mm from the seam to secure all the pieces together.

Connecting the placket

Pull the bottom of both placket pieces and the unfinished flap in between them towards the wrong side of the garment.

The right placket (with the button holes) should be towards the front of the garment, then the left placket (just attached) should be closest the wrong side of the garment. Make sure it is properly aligned and pin in place.

Line the placket edges up with the unfinished flap.

Makre sure there are not puckers and stitch carefully between the corners.

Finish the raw ends. My serger had dark thread on it so I just used an overcast stotch on my sewing machine. A zig zag would work nicely too.

Flip it to the right side and press.

And that’s it for day 3!! You have now finished the most complex part of this make and have a complete placket!

If you’ve come across any stumbling blocks – don’t let that stop you. That’s what I’m here for! I’ll be popping onto Instagram live each day to talk through the steps and answer any questions you have. So catch me there with anything you want to ask or send me a message/leave a comment!

Next we will sew the yoke and your shirt will start to take shape!

Happy sewing!


Did you hear? There’s a GIVEAWAY!

Not only will you have a brand new garment the end of the  week – you could be in with a chance to win a pattern of your choice from French Navy!

Sarah, is generously contriubting two PDF patterns that will go to two separate winners at the end of the sew along!

To enter all you have to do is:
1. Follow me @indybindyfabrics 
2. Follow Sarah @frenchnavynow_
3. Comment on my Instagram post yesterday announcing the giveaway and let us know you’re taking part in the sew along
4. Tag both of us in the caption of a post of your Morningside dress or shirt pants (complete or in process!) The more posts you tag us in the more entries you get!
5. Be sure to include the hashtags #sewitwithindybindy and either #morningsidedress or#morningsideshirt so we can keep track of all the entries and see your gorgeous makes!!


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