The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

I may be exaggerating, but I'm stuck and I don't know how to proceed.... I am currently (trying) to work on 1940s Simplicity 4651. The fabric I want to use is a bit sheer and the dress will need to be fully lined. This tutorial previously showed me how to line a bodice (but I omitted cutting the lining pieces smaller and understitched instead).


My dress has a side zipper that is placed 9cm (3.5") from the edge of the short kimono sleeve. The photo below shows the bodice front with the dart pinned.

I can't quite figure out how to insert the zip in this way and fully line the bodice. The lining technique I know requires one whole side to be left open to allow you to turn it all around the right way again. If I did figure out some way to turn it round the right way and then sew 9cm down the side of the lining and the bodice fabric as directed, I imagine getting the zip in would be quite tricky.


I tried to think of other ways to get around it but shifting the zip up to the edge of the sleeve wouldn't work and I can't put it in the back instead as it is a six gore skirt and there is no centre back seam. 


Has anyone come across this issue before and figured it out? Does anyone know of any books or tutorials that may help me figure it out? Or do I just need to use different fabric that doesn't require lining?

Views: 28

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hmm...could you insert the zip in the bodice fabric as directed and then hand stitch the lining to the inside of the zipper, or is the fabric too transparent?  Or else you might want to do a little bias facing for the sleeves or the neck, so as to leave the lining free to turn?  Forgive me if I make no sense!

If nothing else, you can do loops and covered buttons on the side seam for a really vintage look.

Good luck!

I would think inserting the zipper between the lining and the fabric would work best- as Morgan suggested.  You could just leave that seam unsewn in both lining and fabric, then insert zipper sewing through both layers maybe?

I know some of my vintage patterns suggest snap fastenings or hook and eye closures, you could try that instead :)


Thank you for this post. The whole lining thing throws me for a loop and then the thought of a zipper completely perplexes me! I like the solutions you received as well as the suggested tutorials, very insightful! In other word I personally have absolutely no idea what the answer is but like the suggestions.

On another note (don't laugh too much), I ordered two Colette patterns today. we'll have to confer on how we adjust the patterns to fit us.


if the fabric is very sheer, then it's best (not to mention easier!) to treat the lining and outer fabric as one,  so that you won't see the zipper tape through the outer fabric.

If you're not bothered by the seam tape showing through and you want a clean finish with the lining on the inside, then I'd suggest hand tacking the lining in this instance would be easier than trying to figure out a machine method.

To machine finish this is a test of spacial thinking! But I do believe there is always a way! (I mean china does not hand stitch when mass producing!)  I think you would stitch just a couple of cm of the underarm seam beneath the armhole - both lining seam and outer seam, leave the rest undone,  then use you're above tutorial to insert the zip... then finish the underarm seam of the outer fabric. If you can't find a way to contort it to machine the rest of the lining seam, it would still be a much smaller hand stitch job than finishing around the whole zipper. whew! that's hard to put in words. Hope I make sense.

The tutorial you link to shows a method that nicely finishes the neckline and sleeves.  You can still do this with your project, but don't sew that side seam where you want the zipper to be closed.  What you can do is 'flat line' that side seam.  Flat lining is simply layering the fashion fabric on top of the lining, and sewing the edges together.  Now they will be handled like a single layer of fabric when sewing.

Following the tutorial, turn the fabric to the right side, but leave the zipper's side seam unsewn and open (both front and back pieces).   THEN down that side seam on both front and back bodice pieces, layer the fashion fabric to the lining, matching up the cut edges and sew the layers together about 1/4" from the edge.  You can trim that raw edge with pinking shears.  Now sew the front and back bodice side seam together at the underarm with a seamline per your pattern instructions, and insert the zipper.  This method will allow you to press that underarm/side seam open, so the zipper will fit in nicely.

Flat lining is another method for sewing in lining when your fabric is sheer.  It is so easy, because after you sew both the lining and fashion fabric together, you can assemble your garment as usual.  This method does require neckline facing. (I have some photos that might help you here:


© 2024   Created by Mena Trott.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service