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A Close Look at the Stitching Inside 2 Dior Garments

For her article “An Unexposed Zipper“, Threads #174, Claire Shaeffer sent us two of her Dior originals with this same zipper application, but there was so much more beautiful stitching going on inside these garments that we decided to share a closer look with you.

The top dress label tells us this dress is from 1966. Sadly, the silk has started to shatter, so we carefully captured some of the hidden details of these dresses.

The coatdress has belts or tabs with bound buttonholes. This shows one wrist tab with the buttonhole from the right side.


The top tab was finished by hand, as it is the extension of the collar and has no other access to the buttonhole. Both the second and third buttonholes are topped by a seam to finish the buttonhole’s wrong side. This seam minimizes bulk in the belt by eliminating the edge seams. This construction provides the perfect backing for the buttonhole. The third buttonhole and belt is backed by an ultrafine kid leather.

From the inside, you can just barely see the tiny hand stitching that secures the zipper, the lining, and the sleeve lining. The small lingerie guard keeps straps discreetly and securely in place.

Here’s a closer look and the hand-sewn zipper insertion. 

The seam edges have a silk organza Hong Kong seam finish. All of the raw seam edges are hand-overcast, and the zipper bottom is left free, to eliminate any possible puckering. 


These scalloped edges are used instead of clipping curved seams. The raw edges are finished with hand overcasting.

A delicate layer of silk organza underlining supports the dress and makes the binding for the hem.

The second dress uses the same zipper technique on the back. Other finishing touches include a hand-sewn lining and pickstitching for the neckline understitching. 

Do you own any vintage designer garments? If so, what details or techniques are you most fascinated by? When sewing, do you incorporate couture sewing techniques?


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  1. User avater
    StinaP | | #1

    I do love to pickstitch the neckline understitching - it's me and Dior! ;)

  2. User avater
    kneedlez | | #2

    Lovely and the benchmark to which a serious sewist aspires. I love the entire Threads site and appreciate so very much the expertise shared by its contributors.

  3. User avater
    eussiwel | | #3

    Just beautiful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. User avater
    couture_academic | | #4

    Absolutely stunning. I'm always amazed at how a fell stitch can be nearly completely invisible even on a shiny lining fabric - expert hands... :)

  5. ronica | | #5

    Is the zipper fell stitched in only or does it have pick stitches. I could not tell from the photo.

  6. user-205433 | | #6

    What keeps the zipper from rolling to the outside? Are there some kind of almost invisible stitches on the right side of the garment that we can't see in the photos?
    What is a fell stitch?

  7. User avater
    Quincyblake | | #7

    What aaaaaaa Creativity.

  8. User avater
    Antonsantiago | | #8

    Super lovely coatdress

  9. User avater
    Antonsantiago | | #9

    Its really creativity coat dress

  10. User avater
    ErinGoodwin | | #10

    Nice info, it's awesome to know how the greats did it. You learn some quality techniques this way.

  11. User avater
    Laceylac | | #11

    much more beautiful garment

  12. User avater
    ScotBest | | #12

    Great and Perfect outfit

  13. User avater
    Brianlawson | | #13

    I love the gourds too

  14. BobbieN2564 | | #14

    I try to use as many couture techniques that I can. My goal is to have the inside of the garment look as nice as the outside. I have not pick stitched the neckline under stitching. I will try this the next time.

  15. User avater
    MillieNicholls | | #15

    Definitely a creative one, love Dior.

  16. User avater
    Jilly09 | | #16

    Love to see examples of couture work. The one technique I have used is to hand-stitch a zipper and which I did for my wedding dress.

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