Do you know how to sew a continuous bound placket? (I say, as though I'm the final authority on the thing.)
I'll show you how I do mine.
First, what is a continuous bound placket? It's a way to finish a cut in fabric with a binding, basically, and it looks like this:
When it's folded closed it's all but invisible.
It's used at the top back of attached skirts, especially when the yoke seam is high, to provide enough of an opening to get dressed. It can also be used at the edge of long sleeves. I'm sure there are other places to use this placket, but since I use them so very much in the back of dresses, that's what I'll show you.
First, draw a straight line, perpendicular to the waist seam, the length of the placket. Sew a "V", starting 1/4" from the left side of the line, pivoting at the end of the line, and coming back up to end 1/4" away from the line on the other side. (If you actually draw these lines also, you might end up with straighter lines than mine.)
Now, cut a piece of fabric from the lengthwise grain (lengthwise grain is the most stable) that's twice as long as your intended finished placket, and 1 1/2" wide.
Press it in half, lengthwise, wrong sides together. Unfold it and press the long edges in to the center fold. You'll end up with this:
Now, cut the along the pencil line on the skirt down to the bottom of the "V", but don't cut through the stitching. Open the placket strip and lay it flat on the table, right side up. Spread the cut in the skirt wide open and lay the stitching along the fold of the placket strip like this:
(Right side of the placket to the wrong side of the skirt)
You'll notice that the seam allowance on the skirt starts out being 1/4", tapers down to nothing, then tapers back up to 1/4". That's the plan, don't worry.
Now, sew all along the first stitching, and just a hair to the left. When you get to the very middle point there, where there's no seam allowance, carefully adjust the fabric so that you don't sew in a fold at the bottom of the placket. Holding your tongue between your teeth just so helps a lot.
When you've done that, press the placket away from the skirt. Fold the raw edge of the placket to the center, fold the fold around to the front:
And pin it, making sure that the fold covers the stitching you just did. Pin it like mad.
Now topstitch very very close to that folded edge, making sure all the while that the placket fold covers that stitching.
Press the placket now. This pressing makes the whole thing look sharp and pretty.
Fold the placket together like this:
And sew a little diagonal line across the bottom, to keep the placket in its place. Turn the skirt to the right side, and sew the right side of the placket at the top. The skirt/bodice seam will keep this in place eventually, but I find that if I don't go ahead and sew it down now, I forget that it's supposed to go down at all, and make a mess of things later.
So do this, and gently press the whole thing again, pat yourself on the back, and get on with the rest of your dress!
Other plackets, just for lookin' at: