Saturday, 4 May 2013

Tutorial: Sewing a lining into a sleeveless dress.

I used to struggle with facings and linings before I discovered this method of lining a sleeveless dress. It also works with dresses that have cap sleeves, or a facing rather than a full lining. The dress I'm working on at the moment has a facing, but the same principles apply. Let me show you how...

First sew any darts in the dress/ bodice front and back and sew together at the shoulder seams. press the seams open.
Do the same with the facing or lining, you can see I've used a facing that covers the neck and armscye and it has been strengthened with interfacing - I don't usually use the interfacing with a lining, but it does depend on the shell fabric.

Pin the facing/ lining to the dress at the neckline edge, right sides together and stitch using the given seam allowance.
Next grade and clip the seam allowance - you need to do this now as you won't be able to go back and do it later!

Press the neckline to the right side and understitch if required.

 You should now have a neat neckline edge.

Now comes the tricky bit. lay the bodice/ dress flat in front of you, right side out, starting from the left side roll the dress tightly until you get to the right shoulder. the tighter the better.

 Now unfold the facing along the neckline edge and flip it over to encase the rolled section.

You are making a tube between the neckline and armscye edge, with the rest of the dress inside it. You can see that the fabric is now wrong side out.

Pin along the armscye, making sure you don't catch the fabric that is rolled inside. and sew your normal seam allowance.
Grade and clip the seam as shown. Now you need to pull the fabric that's rolled up inside out. From the bodice front section, just pull the the rolled fabric through the tube you've created. And press.

You've now completed one side.

Do exactly the same but this time roll the fabric from the right to the left side, flip teh facing over, pin and stitch as before and pull the rolled fabric out.

 Your bodice/ dress should now look something like this.

All that remains is to sew the side seams. make sure you match the seam line where the shell fabric meets the facing or lining.

Sew and press the seam allowances open. That's all there is to it - no more sewing sleeve facings and linings by hand!

I'll post more images of the finish, once this dress is completed. Hope you find this useful, It's made my summer dress sewing much quicker and gives a great finish.

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