Inside Look at the Dress that Nearly Killed Me!

Many of you requested to see the inner workings and details of things I had mentioned but did not show pictures of for my shirtdress. I am more than happy to comply! Yay!

First of all, the whale print flannel that interlines the skirt. I’m quite sure that its a baby print. No matter. It adds some warmth to this little ditty of a dress. Apologies as it does look a little worse for the wear – the indigo dye from the denim did bleed a little as I was working on it and I’ve worn this dress about 5 times since its first appearance in my closet last week! I also used the flannel as the interfacing too. It was used in the collar and the buttonhole placket.

For the placket that contains the buttons, I used petersham ribbon to stabilize. I’ve seen this before on RTW garments and thought it would be a fun touch to add here. It’s just a strip of the 3/4″ petersham, that runs the length of where the buttons begin and end. I think for my next dress I’m going to use it for the whole length of the placket though. It just adds a little pop of something unexpected. There’s petersham also in the hem, where I used my handy dandy tutorial for hemming a garment with petersham.

Let’s see, I think that about does it as far as the details you didn’t see. I’m actually trying to up the ante on inner construction details this year. I’ve been scouting out some RTW techniques and I love seeing sweet contrasts like piping, ribbons, interlinings and the like on the inside. It makes wearing the garment even that much more fun, I think, plus its a great way to use up scraps. What do you think? Do you think inner construction details count?



24 thoughts on “Inside Look at the Dress that Nearly Killed Me!

  1. What a great idea to stabilize the placket that way. I love seeing the inner construction of garments. Just one question… Do you find that the flannel interlining makes the skirt of the dress stick to your legs, esp. when wearing tights? Do you wear a slip?

    1. I do wear a slip – one I made with silk charmeuse, so nothing sticks. I was worried about it initially, but the slip takes care of it perfectly. I think too, the fact that the skirt floats away from the body helps. Pencil skirt styles are more prone to do this for me than fuller skirts.

  2. I love inner construction details like this! The unexpected pops of color & texture make me really happy 🙂 I try to do stuff like that with my garments – finishing facings with pretty bias tape or lace, adding lace or ribbon at the hem, etc. Lately I’ve been putting labels in my garments as well – not those cute little pre-printed ones that everyone else has, but a big honkin’ square of muslin with my HANDMADE stamp. I love looking at my little army of clothes with their tags lol.

    1. Ooohhh this is something I’ve thought about as well, especially after seeing yours! I’m going to start hand embroidering a handful of labels to put inside my garments – its just that extra special touch that makes it so sweet!

  3. Inner workings definitely count! A great way to elevate home sewing, and they’re such a point of pride. The whale print is too cute, and I dig the petersham placket detail.

  4. Oh my, a dress with whales on the inside!!!! And I really love the idea of stabalising the button placket with petersham. I haven’t seen this on RTW, so I’m going to keep an eye out for it. Gorgeous.

    1. I’ve only seen it a handful of times, but everytime I have seen it I’ve thought about doing it for myself on something like this. It’s just another trick to do instead of using an interfacing!

  5. i love seeing the insides of garments! while i seldom shop clothing stores to actually buy something, i frequently look at the insides of garments to see how the thing was put together! i try to pick up little tricks here and there as quality interior construction adds to the longevity of a hand made garment. and i love the whales!! super cute. 🙂

  6. I love this lining, it’s so fun! and the button placket is also a cool detail, I will keep it in mind!
    I love inner contrusction details and embellishments. On RTW that’s when you know the quality is a tad better than the rest. I which I had patience to add such embellishments but I never have the right notion on hand or I just want to get on with the garment and finish it. I always try to keeo my seam allowances clean though!

  7. I love seeing the inner workings. to me the inside counts almost more than the outside as it is the place where quality “workmanship” is visible or…not. that is what tells me if a garment will last or not. i love the hidden unexpected fun things, they make me smile 🙂 By the way, what kind of seam finishes did you use? i imagine that between the fabric and the print flannel you must have had a bit of thickness going on.
    Also, is there a post in the future about sewing that back vent on the pencil skirt? I am addicted to your tutorials (blushing) they are so WELL explained and detailed. Thank you for taking the time to write them. They help A LOT!

    1. Thank you! I agree! The inside can tell so much about a garment and definitely how long it was meant to last.
      For the seam finishes on this dress, I serged the bodice and in the skirt I pinked and graded the seams to better facilitate the thickness. It seemed to work pretty well especially as concerns the thickness because it was very thick!
      About the sewing for the back vent on the pencil skirt – I will definitely be finishing that up soon! So sorry! I’ve had many questions about it and I think its time to whip out a skirt and show you all how to stitch it up. Thanks for asking!

  8. Inside details absolutely matter! And I’m definitely on the bandwagon of sewistas that are trying to incorporate some of those better tailoring and finishing techniques into my own sewing. I honestly think that it improves the quality and longevity of my finished clothes!

    I’ve never seen that ribbon facing detail before– love it!

  9. I love seeing the insides of garments. Yours is especially nice with that cute whale print 🙂

    Some day, when I have the patience level to outweigh my urge to just-finish-the-thing, I’ll have pieces that are as cute on the inside as they are on the outside, too!

    1. I completely understand because I do that too. Its something that I actually have to think through just as much as I do the outside. And sometimes, even though my intentions are good, I get lazy and just want to rush to the finish as well. My patience has definitely gotten better over the years though!

  10. I really like the petersham button placket idea, I wonder if that would work on the button plackets of shirts vs. interfacing that seems to make it stiffer than I want. I would have to hold some in my hand and try it on a scrap first though…..

    I personally don’t do too “beautification” on the interior of a garment, though that’s mostly because I’m lazy and just like to use a serger. However, I think that a person should do whatever makes them feel happy (as long as it’s legal, obviously!), and if pretty insides make you happy, then by all means, do it! 🙂

    1. That’s exactly where I’ve seen the petersham ribbon before, on a shirt button placket. The petersham is not as stiff as some ribbons I’ve encountered, but adds some weight and thickness that is good to give a little strength and durability to buttons.

  11. Totally in love am I with that flannel! I’d love to make a whole dress in that. A really grown-up, maybe shirtwaist wiggle dress in an unexpected, whimsical fabric like that baby whale flannel. Heaven.

  12. I’m so glad that you shared the inside of the garment with us, Sunni! It’s so interesting to see how others finish their work. I love the whales – such a darling touch.

  13. I love seeing innner construction details! My sewing goal for 2012 is to up the quality of my pieces-inner construction included. I’m going to focus on seam and hem finishes (such as incorporating more French and bound seams, and ribbons on hems and plackets), and learn how to line. I love it when garments are as beautiful inside as out, and when the details are fun and unexpected, it’s even better!

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