I love henley tees, and they are great for nursing. I made a maternity tee with a partial button placket that I can wear for the first couple of weeks of post-partum when I’m nursing constantly.
The technique I’m about to show is different than others I’ve seen around. I don’t love the tutorials I’ve found online because I don’t like the look of the finished neckbands. This is a technique I found in an old book from the 80’s that I’ve used for my kids. I like the look of this placket best, but it’s different than ready-to-wear henley tees.
Tee shirt pattern and recommended fabric
Buttons or snaps
Fusible knit interfacing
- Cut out the tee pattern pieces from knit fabric.
- Cut out a knit rectangle 8″ x 10″. Fold the rectangle in half. Fold the front shirt piece on center front. Place the center front over the folded rectangle with the neckline and fold of the rectangle extending 1″. Cut the neckline curve away from the neckline.
- Cut out a neckband measuring 80% of the neckline by 2″ tall. Cut the ends into a curved point.
- Fuse knit interfacing to the last 1″ of the neckband.
- Fuse knit interfacing to the rectangle with cut out neckline.
- Iron the rectangle in half and the iron two lines 1″ away from the center line. You should have three ironed lines.
- Mark two 8″ lines. One will be along the right line on the rectangle. The other will be 1/2″ to the left of the center front of the shirt. With right sides together place the marked lines together.
- Sew with a straight stitch down 1/8″ from the marked line, come to a point, pivot, and come up the other side 1/8″ from the marked line.
- Cut along the marked line, but don’t cut through the stitching at the bottom.
- Fold the rectangle to the wrong side of the shirt. The left side will extend out to the 1″ ironed fold line. The right side will fold along the seam.
- With right sides together sew the shoulder seams together as the pattern instructs.
- Iron the neckband in half lengthwise with wrong sides together.
- The ends of the neckband will end at the fold line on the left and the seam line on the right. Those are where the fabric will fold so the fold will need to be opened up.
- Match the ends of the neckband to the folds I previously mentioned and pin. Evenly distribute the neckband around the neckline and pin.
- Fold the rectangle on the left fold line and the right seam line so that it folds around the neckband. Match up the necklines.
- Stretch slightly as you sew around the neckline at 3/8″ with a stretch stitch. Finish the edges.
- Turn the center front of the neckband and placket right sides out.
- Press the neckband and placket well.
- Stitch with a straight stitch 1/8″ from the edge up the right side of the placket, around the edge of the neckline sewing the seam allowance towards the shirt, and down the left side of the placket 1/8″ from the edge.
- Sew 1″ from the edges on both the right side of the placket and left side of the placket. Add a square and “X” of stitching at the base of the placket to strengthen the opening.
- Trim away the excess rectangle fabric from the inside rounding all corners.
- Add buttons or snaps to the placket to finish.
- Construct the rest of the tee as instructed.