How To Put a Lining in a Dress

Most kinds of dresses need linings, especially the more formal types of dresses and those made with very sheer or light fabric. The following steps use the construction-lining method, which is simple and easy to make.

  • Gather your materials first. You will need some lining fabric, dress pattern or fabric, straight pins, scissors, thread, chalk, a sewing machine, and an iron. Use thread with colors that match the colors of your dress fabric.
  • Lay the lining fabric on a hard, flat surface. Position the side of the lining that faces the dress face up.
  • Lay the dress pattern or fabric on top of the lining fabric. Position it with its right side up. Pin the dress pattern or fabric to the lining fabric using the straight pins.
  • With the use of chalk, trace the pattern of the dress on the lining. Do not include the collar and facings.
  • Cut along the traces you made on the lining. Mark the dots, notches, and centers of the dress pattern on the lining.
  • Baste from the edges going through the center line of darts. The distance you should cover from the raw edges to the center line must be half an inch or13 mm.
  • Prepare the required setting on your sewing machine. Settings will depend on the type of fabric used.
  • Start sewing the two pieces of fabric together. Follow the sewing directions for your dress pattern. Sew close to the edge using very small stitches. Make sure that you are sewing from the inside of the dress.
  • Mark the hem length. Mark it an even distance from the floor and fold the hem. Trim at an even width.
  • Unfold the hem and hand stitch the lining to the dress. Use both long and short running stitches that run half an inch or 13 mm below the hem fold. Or, you can also trim away the hem portion of the lining along the folded line. Turn up the hem portion of the dress pattern or fabric and make small, neat running stitches. The lining should fall within the hem allowance.
  • Check the seams of the dress. Make sure the seams are smooth. If you find bumpy or bunched up stitches, remove the affected stitches and do that section all over again.
  • Iron the lining and the dress fabric. You can do this after sewing together individual pieces of the dress. Then after sewing the whole dress together, iron the finished garment inside out and then right side out. Doing this helps flatten the stitches and the lining.

Linings in dresses are very useful. If your dress already has a lining, you can opt not to wear a chemise or a slip underneath it since the lining would provide sufficient coverage, or at least keep you a little warm when it’s chilly outside.


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