Hi all! Celine here, CCP patternmaker. When researching the Elodie Wrap Dress we immediately had in mind that it could be dressed up or down; an easy and quick linen sew or a formal gown (think wedding dress) in silky fabric or lace. Originally I had two ideas for drafting a lining, depending on the fabric used and the end result in mind. One was a “full bodice” lining to have a clean finish with no apparent topstitching, used if your fabric is quite sheer (you can use the same fabric as lining). The second option was a sleeveless bodice to show off a beautiful fabric (like lace or ajouré) or because you want more support or coverage in the side bust area (more for the big dolman sleeve!), a nice option to go braless as well. But then I started researching and fell into a Pinterest hole! There are just so many options for this dress by just adding layers of fabric. There are some nice lining options for the skirt as well (length, finishes, layers)… let’s say Elodie is the definition of versatile.
All the while I was thinking of that lining I was researching wedding dresses, so here are a few inspirational pictures for how to layer some fabrics and make the best of that lining.
- Just line the front bodice and add a short skirt lining for an elegant sheer dress
- A straight short skirt in a solid fabric to highlight a beautiful see-though fabric
- Coloured full-length skirt lining to create effects of transparency
- Layers of skirt, long or short to had fullness or for a full chiffon effect
- Sleeveless lining and long skirt lining for lightweight fabrics
- Sleeveless lining and midi length lining to show some beautiful lace details
Lining a dress is not like lining a jacket, obviously! For a jacket, the main purpose is to hide the seams and the mess of construction under slippery fabric and make it easier to put on. For a dress, it has multiple purposes, sometimes just mere embellishment. You can choose a see-though fabric, a lace or eyelet fabric or anything that wouldn’t be wearable on its own and then line it. You can decide that your lining is the embellished fabric and the self is silk organza… you’re the designer and Elodie is giving you the opportunity to really go for any fabric you’ve been unsure you could use one day!
You can fully line your full bodice, Front and Back (or just Front) or you can add a sleeveless lining. See below for how to trace it from your Front and Back bodice pieces, for the short or long dolman sleeve.
Fully Lined: Trace a line about 1/8” (3 mm) parallel to Front and Back neckline for turn of cloth. To finish the sleeve hem you have the choice of a clean finish, stitched and understiched hem or a turned hem encasing the lining.
Sleeveless lining: Trace a straight line from the waist and “create” an armhole. The shoulder seam can be adjusted to your liking, mine here is about 2” long. To make sure it fits, I would recommend doing a quick muslin of the lining, mostly to make sure the new armhole is looking good and not gaping and that the created side seam is not too tight. The shape of the armhole and where the new side seam it fitting is totally adjustable to your liking.
Here is what your pieces would look like for a fully lined bodice (notice the neckline is a bit smaller for turn of cloth).
Here is what the lining would look like for a “sleeveless” lining. In this case, you’ll have to finish the arm hole seam. We suggest a tiny turned hem or bias tape. You may need to make the armhole more shallowly curved to get a neat hem.
The same drafting applies to the short dolman sleeve.
The skirt also offers a great deal of possibilities: short, long and even extra long or longer than the self-fabric. It can be flared as the skirt itself or be A-lined or fitted. See the sketch below for drafting ideas!
Trace parallel lines to the skirt hem, in your choice of length. For the center front seam finishing, you can draft it a bit shorter so that you can turn your hem and encase the lining or you can draft it identical to the self front and do a turned hem on the lining as well to keep it loose. You could also draft it 2” smaller if you don’t want the lining to show when walking….
SEWING YOUR LINING
Depending on how you choose to line your Elodie dress, there will be different ways of sewing it. For the bodice, as for the self-fabric, sew the front release pleats and back pleats first. Stitch back seam, shoulder seam and side seams. If you are doing a turned hem at sleeve opening, stitch the neckline first, understitch and then align your self and lining to do the sleeve hem. If you are doing a clean finish on the sleeve opening, stitch the sleeve opening of self and lining first, then press seam toward lining and understitch. You can then sew the neckline and under stitch.
The construction of the rest of the dress will remain the same, the bodice with lining and skirt with lining will be sewn to the waistband.
When drafting a non-identical skirt lining, don’t forget to add back, hip and centre front notches, as well as grain line.
And that’s it! Can’t wait to see all the cool ideas you all come up with and all the beautiful fabrics you can incorporate into the Elodie of your dreams!