Inside Out - Making Your Dress Look Pretty Inside

Now, no-one can say I don't know how to have a good time - look at me, wearing my dress inside out! Mental!

Anyway, the purpose of this was to show how pleased I am with the finish of my dress. This was only the second time I have lined a dress (the first was my houndstooth New Look 6000) so I am not going to pretend I can offer a definitive view of how to line a dress, only show you what I did.

Is it just me, or is it actually quite difficult to find a good step-by-step guide to adding a lining to a dress? I had to wing it a bit when making my NL6000 using information from a few different websites, and as a result didn't do some things in the best order. This time I used the Colette Sewing Handbook to assist me. It gives a good overview and was definitely a great help, and I would recommend referring to it if you do have the book.

Here's how I added the dress lining - apologies that the photos are either yellow or flashed out:

First of all, put together the bodice with sleeves and skirt from main fabric. Then cut the bodice and skirt pieces from your lining fabric - sleeves are not usually lined.

     Pin the three facing pieces to the three bodice lining pieces, with the wrong side of the facings against the right side of the bodice lining (i.e. the side of the bodice lining that you will see inside the dress). Sew the facings to the bodice linings.

      Pin and then sew the three facing/lining pieces together at the shoulder seams, just the same way as you would normally sew the facings together.

      Attach the bodice lining to the skirt lining.

      Sew the lining/facings to the main dress fabric.

      The way I decided to attach the lining to the main fabric at the armholes was to use bias binding. This gives a lovely neat finish.

      Well, fairly neat anyway!

      Now attach the invisible zip to the main fabric, keeping the lining and facings out of the way. If you are nervous about invisible zips, I highly recommend the Coletterie tutorial.

      Fold the lining seam allowance back.

      It will look like this on the right side. You then need to turn the dress inside out and sew the lining seam allowance to the zip.

      This is how it will then look on the right side.

      Here are a final few shots of the dress inside:

      Bias bound armholes

      Hand sewn hem with bias tape, my favourite way to neatly finish a hem. You can see what a teeny tiny hem I had to use to make the dress the length I wanted - and I had already added 1 inch to the skirt and 1 inch to the bodice...

      Final inside shot with my label.

      Hope that has been interesting and/or helpful to someone!

      K x


      1. lovely, I've always been a bit scared of linings but they do make a much better finish and wearing experience. Must try one soon......

      2. They can be a bit daunting and of course require extra time, but the end result is so much the better for having a lining. Your dress is lovely Kerry, and I bet it feels lovely on.

      3. Both interesting and helpful - thanks for sharing.
        I've never used bias tape for hemming before - I'll give it a go now I've seen your dress.

      4. Thanks for sharing! Your dress' insides look great. I've never tried lining anything (only underlining) but I'm definitely going to refer to this post when I do!

      5. Ha ha ha! Great photo Kerry! I'm going to save this post as a future resource - I'm sure it'll be useful to more than just me. Thank you :-)

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      7. Kerry, I love your Peony. It looks so cosy - perfect for the winter months. Thanks for the lining tips! x

      8. Thanks for sharing this! It's so helpful to see your method. I've only lined two dresses, and it was a total nightmare each time. I'll be sure to refer back to this next time.

      9. You're right, it can be hard to find techniques that fit what you're sewing or if you do something infrequently and need a memory jogger. I use this book a bunch:

        Thanks for the lining tute!

      10. Hi Kerry! Thanks for this post. I am now doing 6000 New Look dress that I want to line inside, and your post has great advice.


      Thanks for reading and commenting - I love to hear what you have to say