How to Sew a Lining in an Evening Gown

Written by stephanie lee
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How to Sew a Lining in an Evening Gown
Sewing a lining to an evening gown allows it to hang better. (woman back in blue dress image by Paul Retherford from

Evening gowns are commonly worn to semi-formal and black-tie affairs. They are typically long-flowing and made with fabric such as chiffon, velvet, satin, taffeta, silk or charmeuse. There are many evening gown styles and silhouettes, including mermaid, A-line or trumpet shape, with options such as spaghetti straps, halter top and sleeves. Including a lining to the design of your dress will allow it to fit your body more smoothly and decrease wrinkles. There are primarily two methods for sewing a lining to an evening gown.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Fabric
  • Fabric pencil
  • Sewing machine
  • Needles
  • Thread
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Lay the evening gown piece flat on the lining and with a fabric pencil, outline around the gown piece. Cut the lining to match the gown, with the exception of the facing and collar. On both the lining and gown, mark notches and centres as well as darts on the lining. Notches are characterised as the triangular shape you see on the pattern and are used to help you line up two or more pieces of fabric. A dart includes two straight stitch lines that connect a fold of fabric and helps the fabric shape to the woman's body, while the centre is the dividing line of the pattern or fabric piece.

  2. 2

    Baste approximately 1/2 inch from the raw edges together as well as through the centre line of darts. Proceed with assembling the dress, working as if the two layers are one.

  3. 3

    Finish by hemming the dress by either pinning the lining the dress to about 1/2 inch beneath the hem fold and running stitches along the edge or by trimming away the hem lining and folding the fabric to hem with your preferred method.

  1. 1

    Cut the lining to match the gown pieces, with the exception of the face and collar. When making the lining, be sure to leave an opening that is approximately 1 inch longer than the dress length for the zipper.

  2. 2

    Continue to assemble the dress, minus the neckline and armhole.

  3. 3

    Pin the wrong side of the lining to the wrong side of the dress along the edges, making sure that all darts, seams, centres and notches match and are in line.

  4. 4

    Slip stitch along the tape of the zip with the edges of the lining turned under. Baste the raw edges of the neck and armhole together, approximately 1/2 inch from the edge.

  1. 1

    Attach the sleeve to the dress.

  2. 2

    Match the markings of the sleeve lining to the arm sleeve and sew wrong sides together. Sew over the armhole seam by turning under the seam allowance of the lining.

  3. 3

    Using the edge of the sleeve as a guide, trim off any excess sleeve lining. Then turn under approximately 1/2 inch of the sleeve living and perform a slip stitch over the sleeve hem.

  4. 4

    Hem the lining of the gown, so it sits approximately 1/2 inch shorter in length than the actual gown.

Tips and warnings

  • Wash the fabric before cutting the pattern and stitching the pieces together. This will prevent any shrinkage that may occur with washings.
  • Cut the fabric pieces according to the direction of its pattern and follow the grain of the fabric.

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