lining a dress

Guide to Lining a Dress

Hilary Pullen Dressmaking Tutorials, Lining, Pattern Review, Tips & Tricks 0 Comments

Adding a lining is a great way to preserve dress fabric, plus it will stop your dress from sticking to you! What if your pattern doesn’t include a lining? Here are some tips for adding your own!

Lining a Dress Method 1

A drop-through lining is the easiest option: you simply make a second version of the dress using the same pattern pieces for the outside of the dress, excluding any facing pieces. The outer dress and the lining dress are attached around the neckline instead of the original facing. Follow the original pattern instructions for adding a facing, substituting your lining shell instead.

Lining a Dress Method 2

Create a lining that attaches to the facing pieces. This method ensures that any lining which may be a different colour to the dress doesn’t poke out around the neckline as the garment is worn and laundered. The facing also adds additional stability around armholes and necklines.

For this method, you’ll need to create some new pattern pieces. Here’s how:

  1. Lay your facing pieces over the corresponding dress pieces, so, for example, the front-facing is on top of the dress front.
  2. Match up the cut edges of both the facing pattern piece and the outer garment pattern piece as if lining up to sew together.
  3. Draw around the lower edges of the facing pieces directly onto the outer garment pattern pieces.
  4. Using a new piece of pattern tracing paper, trace the garment pattern piece up to the drawn edge of the bottom of the facing. In the example of the two-piece dress, you’ll trace around the armhole, hem, centre front/centre back line up to where you marked, along the curved line you drew in previously up to the shoulder and finishing at the armhole.
  5. You must now add seam allowance to the edge traced from the bottom of the facing. Add 11/4” along this edge. This is the total amount needed to create a new seamline attaching the lining to the facing.
  6. Ensure you transfer all markings from the garment pattern to your new lining pattern (for example, place to fold, grainline etc) and correctly label all the pieces too.
  7. Once the lining and facing pieces are cut out, join them right sides together. Since you’re sewing a curved seam, you may need to ease the two
    pieces together.
  8. Press the seam away from the facing onto the lining piece, this will ensure it sits neatly inside your dress.
  9. Construct the outer dress and the lining dress, and join together at the neckline, following the pattern instructions for attaching a facing.

Tips for cutting out slippery linings

Lining fabric is often more slippery than simple cotton fabric. To make it easier to cut out, try laying the lining on top of a layer of tracing paper, then pinning through the pattern pieces, lining fabric and tracing paper. Cut around your pattern pieces through both the lining fabric and the tissue tracing paper. The tissue makes it more stable to cut out. Don’t worry about damaging your fabric scissors, tracing paper is essentially tissue paper and won’t really blunt your scissors if you cut through it occasionally.


Lena King Babydoll dress

Simple Sew Blogger, Lena added lining to her Babydoll dress, click HERE to read her full pattern review.

Thanks for reading our tips for lining a dress

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