How To Sew Lining Into A Sleeveless Dress

Making A Connection!

Are you, or have you taken part in my Butterick B5602 Dress sew-along?

Have you made other sewing projects that ask to be lined and suddenly feel yourself scratching your head in worried anticipation.

Well, if the answer to any of these questions is yes, then fear not fashion sewers. Let Fashion Sewing Blog come to your rescue.

I have written this post, in part as a response from a Fashion Sewing Blog reader request, in part as the Butterick B5602 Dress sew-along asks for lining to be added, but more so, because as a fashion sewer, we all need to learn how to sew lining into garments.

But Why?

The answer is an easy one!

More and more sewing patterns on the market today require lining to be added. If you don’t know how to do this, then you’ve already limited your choices.

Lining (and in this case, lining in a sleeveless dress) is also used to add an element of luxury to a garment.

It also helps to add shape and support to a garments structure and hides those ‘inner workings‘ of our beloved creations.

A worthwhile fashion sewing technique to acquire I think you’d agree!

How To Sew Lining Into A Sleeveless Dress

Below, you’ll find my video tutorial detailing how to sew lining into a sleeveless dress.

Please remember, if you find this free online video tutorial of use, subscribe to my FashionSewingBlogTV where you can find many more fashion sewing hints, tips and demonstrations.

A Little More Insight

1 – To sew the lining to the dress, ensure the dress is on the right side and the lining is on the wrong side. Funnel the dress into the lining so that they are right side to right side.

2 – Pin and baste the armholes and the neckline.

3 – Machine sew the armhole from the shoulder point to the side seam (front and back).

4 – Machine sew the neckline from the shoulder to the centre front and repeat on the other side. Repeat for the back of the neck line.

5 – Trim, grade and clip the curved seams and then press. The raw edges should now be between the dress and lining.

6 – With the dress inside of the lining, the shoulders now need to be sewn.

7 – Hold one shoulder seam and push the raw edge into itself (enough to be held into position with your finger and thumb) and funnel the other shoulder into it. Sandwich it between your finger and thumb.

8 – Pull the shoulder through creating one piece.

9 – Sew around the shoulder seam (1.5cm – 5/8inch) and then trim and grade.

10 – You can now pull the lining into the body of the dress from the shoulder point. The dress should now fall over the lining.

11 – Press and understitch the lining of the armhole and the neckline.

12 – Slipstitch the lining to the zipper tape.

And You’re Done!

It may seem a little complicated but I can assure you, with a little practise, the whole process becomes an easy one.

So have a go, and no longer shy away from sewing patterns that ask for lining.

If you have any fashion sewing related questions regarding this or any other topic, then please feel free to contact me.

Happy fashion sewing

Colleen G Lea

Colleen_G_LeaAbout the Author: Colleen G Lea is the founder of Fashion Sewing Blog and co-owner of DC Media Productions. Get more from Colleen at YouTube and Google+.
Become a better fashion sewer with our online teacher Colleen G Lea and learn to sew with confidence. Build your skills with clear and concise step-by-step HD video instructions and create amazing projects with our online classes in your own time. New classes added monthly
Visit our eBook Store and pick up a great read. Helping you become a smarter sewer. Fashion Sewing eBook Store
Want to see what sewing project I'm working on or some of my past projects. Click here to have a look. My Sewing Projects

Get Your Sewing Supplies


  1. Karen Mackay says

    Dear Colleen,
    Thanks for this. I think It will help with a problem I didn’t know about yet, but I would have had when making my dughter’s lined, sleeveless wedding dress!
    Just a small question, but do you think its worth paying a bit extra for anti-static lining fabric?

    • Colleen G Lea says

      Hi Karen,
      It certainly is worth buying anti-static lining. There is nothing worse than wearing a piece of clothing that sticks to you. It’s so uncomfortable.
      Anti-static lining is worth investing in, but not all of them work that well.
      Thanks for the comment.

  2. rachael fenton says

    Hi Colleen. Thanks for the great tutorial. I just have one question – would this technique still work if you understitched the arm and neck edges before stitching the shoulder seams?

    • Colleen G Lea says

      Hi Rachael,
      Yes. It would work. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

  3. Carmen Russell says

    Thank you for all the info,I will try to sew a dress just like that using all you did in the video,I use to avoid doing this but I think I can do it now thanks again all the best to you.k

    • Colleen G Lea says

      Hi Carmen
      Thanks for the comment. Good luck making up the dress of your choice. Any problems, do remember the fashion sewing community is always there to help.