Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Lining a dress

A few weeks ago Helen Chaffin asked for some advice about sewing a fully lined sleeveless dress on the Monthly Stitch facebook page.  While I’ve done this several times I had great difficulty explaining it.   

I’ve been sewing up a new working wardrobe in preparation for the (hopefully soon) day when I get a job, and it includes a dark green sleeveless dress, so I thought I’d try and explain the process with pictures. 

I sew up the dress, and another dress out of lining.  At this point I don’t sew the shoulder seams, or the back seam.  I will be putting a zip in the back seam.  If you’re putting the zip a side seam then leave this seam open instead. 

I have two dresses that I can lay out more or less flat.

I then lay them right sides together and stitch up the neck seam, the two underarm seams and the back neck seams.   

The shoulder seam is left open 

I trim my seam allowances and clip where necessary, but I don’t understitch yet, nor do I press it.I just turn it the right way out.

The shoulder seams, with the unfinished edges, are still open.

The next bit is really hard to explain, so I’ve tried a video.  This comes with several disclaimers:
a)   I am not an experienced videographer, in fact I had to read my camera’s instruction manual to find out how to take video.
b)  I didn’t tidy up my sewing studio, or even myself, before taking this
c)   I have no idea how to edit video, so this is as it comes out of the camera.
With that disclaimer, here it is!

So long as your shoulder isn’t too narrow you should be able to sew all the way round with the machine.

So when you turn it the right way in again, it’s all neatly sewn up.

I hope that this helps someone, because I’m pretty sure that my explanation on facebook was more confusing than clarifying.


  1. I'll be pinning this info, bound to need it. thanks for sharing :)

  2. I'm delighted to hear that people undeerstand it. I really couldn't think of anyway to explain it without video.