How To Line A Sleeveless Bodice (otherwise known as ‘Bagging Out’)

The dress I am currently making has a bodice with a small grown on cap sleeve. To give the bodice a bit more body and to help with hiding the seams and avoid hemming the cap sleeve I have fully lined it completely bagging it out.

To start with sew the shoulder seams of both the outer and the lining. One good tip is to trim away a small amount, say 2mm, from the neck edge and the armhole edges of the lining. The lining will then be slightly smaller than the outer. This helps prevent the lining rolling to the right side.

Lay the outer and the lining on top of each other, right sides together. Sew the neck seam from centre back to centre back matching the shoulder seams and the centre front points.

start by stitching the neck seam and then sew both armholes

start by stitching the neck seam and then sew both armholes

Before I sew the armhole seams it’s best to understitch the lining of the neck seam. Trim the seam allowance and clip carefully into the curves. On the right side stitch the lining to the seam allowance close to the edge folding both the seam allowances towards the lining.

under stitching the seam allowance at the neck seam

under stitching the seam allowance at the neck seam

Next sew the armholes. Once you have sewn both the armholes pull the back bodice sections through the shoulders so the bodice is now the right way out and press the armhole seams.

pulling the back bodice sections through to the right side

pulling the back bodice sections through to the right side

press the armhole seams well before sewing the side seams

press the armhole seams well before sewing the side seams

The final step is sewing the side seams. Open up the bodice and pin the underarm points so they match together. Sew the seam from the waist of the lining past the armhole point to the waist of the main fabric.

pin the side seams carefully matching the underarm points

pin the side seams carefully matching the underarm points

Give the bodice a good press and you’re done!

side seams completed and bodice pressed

side seams completed and bodice pressed

The bodice is now ready to add the skirt of the dress.

I’m putting an invisible zipper into the back of this dress so I have left the centre back seams open. But if you were having a different type of fastening you can sew the centre back seams before you turn the bodice the right way through.

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14 thoughts on “How To Line A Sleeveless Bodice (otherwise known as ‘Bagging Out’)

  1. Hi Helen,
    Thanks for this post- this has been a ‘Duh’ moment – I’ve always lined my sleeveless dresses like this but it’s alway been a bit fiddly to understitch the neck seam, cos I did it when the dress was finished. Why didn’t I think of this sooner??????

    • Yep! I’ve probably done the same in the past. I sometimes understitch the armholes as well but this can be fiddly as you don’t have much space to work in.

    • Dress is finished and I’ll try and post in a few days. The fabric is from John Lewis. Part of their 150 year anniversary range. It’s an old print re-issued.
      The pattern is a self draft. I find cap sleeves more flattering than completely sleeveless for me.

  2. Pingback: Blog Hop | make & wear

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