Typically made from smooth fabric, a dress lining provides a more comfortable feel and makes the dress easier to put on and take off. A lining can also help maintain the dress shape over time. Luckily, this project is simple and easy to do.
Choose a lining fabric that is lightweight, smooth and pliable. Synthetic fabrics made specifically for linings are available at fabric stores. For a more luxurious feel, use taffeta, satin or china silk.
Trace your dress pattern onto the lining fabric with the marking pencil. Some dress patterns come with patterns specifically for the linings; if yours does not, use the dress pattern pieces, but leave off the facings. You don't need to cut linings for the sleeves, as it's more common to leave them unlined, so that's up to you. Cut out the pieces.
Stay-stitch the armholes and neckline.
Attach any facings or edge finishings.
Assemble the pieces and sew them together the same way you did with the outer part of the dress. Leave all outer edges unfinished.
Slip the lining over the dress with the wrong sides facing each other. Pin the layers together at the shoulders.
Line up the armhole layers so that they're even, then baste in place.
Fold the edge of the lining's neckline inward and slip stitch it to the neckline of the dress.
Press darts in the lining in the opposite direction from the darts in the dress to reduce bulk.
Hem the lining separately from the dress. The lining's hem should be 1 inch shorter than that of the dress.
If your dress has a zipper, fold the lining inward at the seam allowance along both sides of the zipper tape. Slip stitch the lining to the tape. For a sleeveless dress, be sure to finish all major seams with a sewing machine. For a quick way to line a dress, cut the lining pieces using the same pattern as the dress pieces. Layer each individual lining piece over each corresponding dress piece, baste, then sew the dress as normal.