How often do you buy a dress pattern, vintage or modern, and wish it had a lining? I love to line my dresses – they sit more smoothly on the body and the fabric holds its shape better, plus it just looks and feels nice from the inside!
My sixties shift dress that I sewed recently came without a lining pattern, so I’ll show you how I made it – then you can give it a go yourself!
- First trace around your dress pattern, transferring all markings like the grainline, darts and zip notch:
- Place the neck and armhole facings in position over the shell pattern, and outline the bottom edge of each facing. My pattern has a back neck dart, so I needed to pivot the facing at the dart apex:
- My facing pattern looks a bit smaller than the shell pattern, but that is because I have trimmed 2mm from the armhole and neckline edges, an adjustment made for cloth allowance so the facing turns neatly to the wrong side.
- The lining will be sewn to the lower edge of the facing, so we need to mark a seam allowance. Mark a line twice the seam allowance you intend to use above the bottom edge of the facing. This will be the cutting line for your lining:
- At the hem, mark the foldline of your shell hem – this is also the cutting line for your lining:
- On the back lining, place an additional notch about 1″ below the zip notch – the CB lining seam will be sewn up to this point:
- Now you are done and you can cut around your pattern on the lining cut lines. I’ve just shown you how to make the back here, but the front is made in exactly the same way. I sometimes notch midway along the facing seam so I can sew those curves together accurately – just draw a perpendicular line to mark where both notches will go:
- Sew lining CB seam up to the notch-below-the-zip-notch. When sewing the shell and lining zip allowances together, match the zip notch on the shell to the upper notch on the lining:
- This causes the lining zip opening to be set 1″ below the zip opening on the shell, and reduces stress at this point. This area often rips as customers try to squeeze into too small a size! Lowering the lining seam stopped this problem for me, but sometimes I also fusetape the area to further reinforce it.
- Hem the lining using a 1cm or 1/2″ double folded hem – this will bring the lining hem to the correct length 2cm or 1″ above the dress hem: