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Topic: To line a dress or not to line a dress.  (Read 991 times)
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« on: April 12, 2012 07:03:46 PM »

I'm doing the coffee date dress from burdastyle's website.

I fixed the patterns to my plus sized dimensions. I cut the pattern pieces.
I"m using quilting cotton, it seems like medium weight quilting cotton. Do I have to line the dress? I don't really want to, but I want something that can stand up to wearing. I"m thinking this will be a spring or summer dress.

How do you know when you should line a dress? Or do you always line your dresses? How do you line your dresses? Sew the right sides together then flip around and iron? I can never tell in pictures if other people lined their dresses or not.

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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2012 06:10:47 AM »

That's a cute dress!  I almost always line the bodices of my dresses.  Mostly because it makes the cleanest edge.  Even if I have a pattern that calls for facings, I'll often sub in a full lining because I loathe facings.  At the same time, I practically never line the skirt of a dress, unless it's a super sheer material.  That's a lot of fabric and time to devote to something when a slip will usually do just fine, if it's necessary.

I usually use the pattern instructions to install a lining, changing only enough to allow me to machine stitch as much as possible.  It usually involves sewing the neck edges together, clipping curves, and then understitching.  The understitching is hugely important, to get a nice finished look.  You should never have to top stitch, unless it's decorative.

Sewers are for ninja turtles--seamstresses are for sewing Wink

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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012 05:18:02 AM »

I have never fully lined a dress but that's mainly because I've mostly sewn summer dresses and I am not going to add to the layers unnecessarily. If they're too sheer I'll wear a voile slip under them. The thought of lining a silk/linen/cotton dress in a synthetic material seems to defeat the purpose of wearing that fabric to begin with. Structured winter clothing is another matter though - the lining adds warmth and also helps to preserve the structure of the garment. I have lined dress bodices for the same reason as Aislynn - to get a clean edge around necks and armholes (sleeveless dresses). If you don't line it, you need to figure out some other way of finishing off those edges - facings, bias tape etc., just turning it over and sewing it down does not give a good finish on curves on a woven fabric.

When I line a bodice, I sew the dress together at the shoulder seams, leaving the centre back seam and side seams unsewn. Sew the shoulder seams of the lining together. Then I sew the lining to the dress around the neckline (centre back to centre back) and around each armhole (side seam to side seam). At this point the side seams and centre back are still unsewn on both the dress and lining and you've got the right side of the lining facing the right side of the dress. Then you turn it all inside out through the shoulders. Once it's inside out you can sew up the side seams of both lining and dress as well as the CB seam. Ok, that probably doesn't make a lot of sense but a web search will probably come up with a zillion tutorials with pics.

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