Twin Spruce Dress: Inside Out

I had a few requests to see the inside of the Twin Spruce Dress, so here are some inside-out shots! It’s like school – ‘Show your work, Tasia!’ Although I agree, there are so many pretty projects on the internet, with beautiful photos, and sometimes I’m curious see how it all came together on the inside too.

And especially since Heather herself asked to see photos of the inside, how could I say no?

So, here is Diana, modelling the inside-out dress!And a view from the back:EL and Gail wanted to see the inside of the hand-picked zipper, so here’s a close-up shot. This is a much clearer way to explain what it looks like! The zipper really does sit on top of the dress on the inside.Those large-looking handstitches are the inside part of the backstitch. It’s hard to believe they are strong enough to contain a zipper but it feels very secure! Here’s another zipper shot:It’s really quite pretty with the navy grosgrain ribbon, the red lining and the printed facings. Did you notice I even switched to navy thread when sewing on the grosgrain waist tape? Because I did!

It’s almost as nice on the inside as it is on the outside, wouldn’t you agree?You can see how the facings are nicely catchstitched to the underlining – there’s no way they will accidentally flip out and show. (Don’t you hate when that happens? It’s like those rubber hanger loops, when they escape out the armholes – embarassing!)So tidy! The armhole facing overlaps the neck facing, I catchstitched the facings together where they overlapped. So there you go! Inside-out dress photos for all of you who asked. (Good thing I changed my serger thread to match or I’d be very embarassed right now.)

Are you ever curious what the inside of people’s finished garments look like? Do you try and make your inside as nice as your outside… or are you only concerned about the outward appearance?

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45 Responses to Twin Spruce Dress: Inside Out

  1. Patty October 26, 2010 at 6:15 am #

    Yay! It looks so awesome! I can see the benefit of underlining so! And the waist stay is so cute!

    I am a complete nutjob for inside finishing. It goes back to when I learned to embroider. My embroidery looks the same from both sides. Ther’s something in it that appeals to the OCD in me! I think there’s a practical side as well, nice finishing = more secure thread tails, everything lies nice and neat. General better workmanship!

    This dress is so adorable!

  2. Miss Shigatsu October 26, 2010 at 6:24 am #

    i feel like i’m still learning how to fit things and really how to sew at all so my insides are all a mess. i’m starting to get better about my finishing work but my older stuff is downright embarrassing to turn inside out.

  3. Paunnet October 26, 2010 at 6:30 am #

    Wow! Awesome!
    I was wondering, how did you stitch the black grosgrain without it showing on the right side? By hand, perhaps? And is it the waist stay you talked about?
    Great job, anyways.

  4. lap October 26, 2010 at 6:40 am #

    Your dress looks just as lovely on the inside! I always look at the insides of garments, in manufacturing and design school we even went on a field trip to a department store specifically to look at the finishing and compare between the high and low ends..

  5. Gertie October 26, 2010 at 6:43 am #

    Pretty! I’m also curious about how you sewed the grosgrain. Do tell! Did you sew it to each side of the seam allowance? It’s such a pretty waistline finish.

  6. G October 26, 2010 at 6:46 am #

    I try (stress that: try) to make the inside look good too but I’m without a serger so it’s a lot ot french seam and sometimes Hong Kong finish. Meet the master in beautiful inside finishes, though:

  7. Liara October 26, 2010 at 6:57 am #

    Wow! It really is as nice on the inside as it is on the outside. No wonder everything you make turns out so beautiful. You clearly take the time to do excellent work (can you tell I’m also a teacher???)

  8. Nancy October 26, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    The inside of your dress looks nicer than the outside of most of my dresses.

  9. Clare October 26, 2010 at 7:26 am #

    Wow, it’s so pretty from the inside! I don’t like producing things that don’t look nice on the inside, even if I’m the only one to see them. It’s odd because I’m a really messy person but I like the insides of my garments to be neat.

  10. Karin October 26, 2010 at 7:41 am #

    It looks fantastic- pretty inside and out!

  11. Suzie October 26, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    Oh-my-god! That is SO neat!!!! Oh how I wish my sewing could be even half as neat as that!!!!! Excellent job, your dress is gorgeous and I’ve really enjoyed reading the step by step process of how you made it :)

  12. Tasia October 26, 2010 at 8:09 am #

    Hi everyone and thanks for all of the comments! About the grosgrain ribbon – I’ll do my best to explain in words, but I will do a detailed post soon when I make this dress again!

    It’s sewn to the waistline seam allowance by machine. Imagine you’ve just sewn your dress bodice to the dress skirt. As you sewed that seam, you had the seam allowance under your presser foot with both dress layers to the left of you. All I did was sew the grosgrain tape to the seam allowance only, edgestitching along the bottom ribbon edge. It’s as if I was about to bind my seam allowance in ribbon. It’s so much easier to explain with photos! Proper tutorial coming soon, I promise! :)

  13. Darci October 26, 2010 at 8:18 am #

    Just gorgeous inside, Tasia! You really did the job right. Very, VERY impressive and quite lovely. Thanks!

  14. Darci October 26, 2010 at 8:19 am #

    No kidding! She TOTALLY rocks on construction. And with a new baby, no less! SO impressive.

  15. Seersucker Sally October 26, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    Thanks for the zipper pics. I still struggle to make those look neat and clean- on the inside or outside. Know any good tutorial for inserting invisible zippers?

  16. Tasia October 26, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    Hi Sally! I find Sherry’s tutorials to be super clear, here is a link to her invisible zipper tutorial:
    I hope that helps!

  17. Catherine October 26, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    GREAT post! So very helpful on a few levels and what a beautiful finish inside, especially with those facings! I aspire to these levels of greatness :)

    As I was looking a the pictures I was pondering, “Now where does this sit exactly, which seams, and is the bulk of the seam allowance pressed up or down… up would make sense…” so I can’t wait for a tutorial on the grosgrain finish at the waist!

  18. Ms.Cleaver October 26, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    Wow. That is a nice looking inside. I’ve definitely gotten better about seam finishes, etc. as I’ve progress, but I don’t think I’ve gotten that good yet! :)

  19. Jessica October 26, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    It looks great! I try to make things look nice on the inside, with mixed success I think. I almost never buy matching serger thread, just try to get close with what I have. I hate having all those cones rattling around, and they aren’t cheap! I admire your facing finish – usually I stitch in the ditch to secure them, but I will have to try a catchstitch!

  20. Irene October 26, 2010 at 10:12 am #

    Looks beautiful. Even though you are the only one who knows (unless you have rude friends, like some of mine, who try to sneak a peek), doesn’t it just feel wonderful to wear something that’s so well finished?

  21. Mav October 26, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    ohmygod, it looks really nice even inside out!! so neat…it looks so professional!!!!! wow!!!!

  22. Shannon October 26, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    Hi Tasia, I don’t know how I missed the post of the dress right side out! It’s beautiful and the fit is fabulous. It really turned out so nice and I still just love the print. So now it’s great to see what you did on the inside. It really does look nice. Unfortunately, I don’t always take the time to complete the inside nicely on all my projects. But this definitely inspires me. Enjoy that lovely new dress!!!!

  23. ~Sherry~ October 26, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    Beautiful inside job Tasia!
    I think it is a great goal to have it looking nice on the inside and it is something I always aspire to as well – it’s so nice when you put it on (and take it off!)

  24. Greta October 26, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    I am curious about the facing. I was thinking that I would have used the lining itself to finish the edges of the neck and armholes (tho’ armholes would be trickier), and left off the facings. Can you explain the benefit of the facing? Thanks!

  25. Tasia October 26, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    Hi Greta! I needed the facings because I underlined the dress (treating the two layers as one) instead of lining it (sewing two layers together after constructing them separately). So I needed the facings to finish the raw edges of the neck and armholes.

    If I had lined the bodice, I could have used the lining to finish the edges! Some people would still use facings together with lining for extra support – simply cut away the facing amount from the lining fabric, add seam allowance, and then attach the facing-lining piece to the bodice. Whew! That sounds confusing. Sounds like I should do more tutorial-type posts on facings, linings and underlinings…With pictures so it’s easy to see!

  26. CGCouture October 26, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    The dress is super pretty, inside and out! I don’t worry as much about the inside personally….and my serger thread doesn’t match unless I’m making something black, beige, or white! LOL! So the zipper is really sturdy? Crazy! Because there are just a lot less stitches than I see on ones inserted by machine, and I’ve had more than one zipper come out, and I H.A.T.E. fixing zippers. If they really stay in well though, I might have to give it a try. :-)

  27. Tasia October 26, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Hi CGCouture, I will wear it a bunch of times and report back on the zipper sturdiness! I’ve had no problems with my other dresses and have worn them multiple times though! Surprising, isn’t it? I’ve also read that handstitching is more flexible and moves with the fabric better than machine stitching, maybe that’s part of it!

  28. Angela October 26, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    It totally looks wonderful inside and out!!! You did a fantastic job!

  29. Paunnet October 26, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    Thanks for the answer, I look forward to reading the tutorial! And sorry I wrote “black grograin”, I totally skipped the line where you said it was navy!

  30. Rachel October 26, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

    It looks great Tasia! Thanks for showing the zipper in such detail — I’d often wondered about the stitches other seamstresses use for a handpicked zipper – I thought mine would never last. The grosgrain ribbon looks fantastic – I’d love to see a tutorial on how you did it too!

  31. Funnygrrl October 26, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    I suggest you wear it inside out one day and see if anyone notices!
    Beautiful job. Love the grosgrain ribbon waist detail.

  32. Cassandra October 26, 2010 at 4:45 pm #

    Is it wrong to say: I like the inside-out version better? Just love the red/white/navy contrasts. And the darts look pretty cool.

  33. Haylee October 26, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    You sew so dang perfectly! I swear every stitch is perfectly straight and precise. I’m very impressed.

  34. elise October 26, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

    I find it strange that the armhole and neckline facings weren’t combined into one. I’m assuming the pattern came that way, but I think I would have joined them to make one piece. I’m curious what your thoughts are– does it make bulky to have the armhold overlapping the neckline facing?

  35. elise October 26, 2010 at 9:19 pm #

    Oh, should have said this before, but I LOVE seeing the inside of your dress. I tend to be a little bitter as all of the sewists that I follow are constantly putting out new clothes, while I seem to take ages to do anything. I find comfort by telling myself that they just slap things together, and that the inside is probably a mess, but you have proved me wrong. It’s nice to see all the steps you take to make a beautiful dress.

  36. Gail October 26, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    Very impressive. I’m interested in the hand picked zipper. I hate machine sewing zippers – what is the relative strength of this technique?

  37. quietandsmalladventures October 26, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    tasia that’s gorgeous! holy cow i love how beautifully the inside went together and dang you have raised the bar on the inside if my garments now in a wonderful way!

  38. Tasia October 27, 2010 at 5:10 am #

    @elise: Hi Elise, it’s not too bulky! You can see in the close-up shots, kind of, that it’s laying flat.
    That’s one of the reasons I catchstitched the facings to the underlining – because there were two separate pieces, there was a good chance of them flipping out to the right side!
    And I understand what it’s like when you see bloggers turn out one pretty garment after another – and feel like you never get enough time to sew! If it makes you feel better, I don’t feel like I get enough time to sew either :) And I have one or two things that are NOT this pretty on the inside! I swear, blogging has forced me to up my game, I only want to show you the insides when they look nice!

    @Gail: Hi Gail! So far, my hand-picked zippers have turned out just as strong as machine-stitched. I’ve worn the open-back 60s dress quite a few times and it’s still very well-secured. I love the control you have when sewing them in – it’s so easy to line up the seams when you’re hand-stitching it in. Machine stitching is like – step on the presser foot and hope for the best! (Not exactly.. but I do find it harder to control..)

  39. ChickyC October 29, 2010 at 3:43 am #

    I only wish my creations looked as good on the inside as the outside. I am forever cutting corners just to get the job done. It looks so good.

    And thanks for showing the zipper detail, I was intrigued also.

  40. Charlotte / l'Atelier October 30, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    I think that the inside of a dress is the most difficult part of the construction of a garment. I try to make it as good as I can but is is possible without a serger ?! Fortunately, I don’t show inside picture of my clothes on my blog. Your work is really impressive. I wish that on day I could be as good as you are !

  41. Iveta December 10, 2010 at 2:35 am #

    Adorable dress. And many others too!!!!!I gess You tell, but were can get this pattern? I would like to take challange, and make it:)

  42. Sandy December 24, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    The inside of your dress looks super! Do you have any suggestions as to what type dress maker form to get? Not new to sewing but new to clothing sewing. I am researching which dress form to buy, I am on a budget :O). Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  43. Tasia December 27, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    @Sandy: Hi Sandy! I have a Diana dress form, there are pics and some thoughts in a post here:
    I like my adjustable dress form, I’ve gained and lost weight over the years so it’s been nice to adjust her to fit! Another suggestion would be to check craigslist or ebay for deals, I’ve seen people find deals on dressforms, if you’re patient! Also watch for sales at your local store. Good luck and happy sewing!

  44. Kristina Violette June 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    To some the dress looks as beautiful on the inside as it does on the outside but to me the inside is even MORE beautiful. On the inside I can see all of your hard work and INCREDIBLE skill level. I’d give anything to sew as well as you. I’m taking lessions at our local sewing shop and I’m learning a lot. My instructor was the costume creator for Bates College here in town. I do not work so I have a lot of free time to work on my craft. Someday I hope to make a dress half as good as yours!

  45. Zeynep April 30, 2012 at 1:40 am #

    Hi Tasia;
    I recently decide and started to sew my own clothes(!). I’ve never sew before and never attend one class. So I started by reading (mostly blog’s). I manage to made one dress (in ten days, well evenings actually because I have a daily job).It’s OK but the inside is NOT. Can you please tip me on how to sew the facing (my best guess by looking at the pictures is by hand) and also the lining is a total mistery to me. I read a lot of instructions from the blog’s but I can not fallow quite well.
    Another issue I would like to order your patterns but I live in Turkey and I couldn’t see if it’s available to download the patterns? With my kind regards.