How to add a lining to the Barcelona Dress | part 1

| the lining pattern |

I had really wanted to include a lining pattern in with the Barcelona but there is only so much I can fit into a pattern and had to abandon that idea, but I decided to keep the idea for a lining tutorial. By adding a lining it means the Barcelona pattern can be made in a wider variety of fabrics, some fabrics just deserve a lining. Adding a lining can protect your modesty if your fabric is a tad sheer, or it can elevate a casual summer dress to a grand gown, just through the choice of fabric! And as you know, I’m all about getting the most use and variety from your sewing patterns.

I decided to make the Barcelona dress pattern in velvet and started to hunt around for some fabric as you do on the internet but was being quite lazy about ordering any swatches, so actually made very little progress. And then I found it – in Ikea! A pair of lovely green cotton velvet curtains – £40 for 5m. I shouldn’t have been surprised as I have bought quite a lot of fabric from Ikea over the years. Now, of course, a velvet dress really does deserve a lining, so a lining pattern was my first task.

Abbreviations |

SA | seam allowance    RS | right side    RSU | right side (of fabric/garment) up    RST | right sides together    CB | centre back    CF | centre front    WB | waistband   SELF | main fabric

TRACE | The first step is to trace off your original pattern and then put it away safely.

You need to trace these pattern pieces, but don’t cut them out yet.

  • front & back bodice (whichever version you wish to make)
  • the front & back skirt
  • bodice zip interfacing

The pocket bag pattern (to be cut in lining), pocket mouth interfacing and skirt interfacing patterns don’t change, so they can be used without alteration. You won’t need the binding pattern pieces!As the original pattern has a bound edge, we need to add a seam allowance (SA) to the neck and armhole to attach the lining. I always use a 6mm (¼”) SA on any seams that will be bagged out, or enclosed. That is a standard industry SA, if it’s bigger you just end up cutting it down again! If you make the lined version without adding any SA, the shoulder will be narrower and the armhole lower.

MAIN PATTERN | On the front and back bodice of your traced pattern add the 6mm SA and cut out the bodice patterns. These will be cut in your SELF (main) fabric to make the outer shell of the dress. Annotate the patterns with the name/LINED VERSION, the pattern piece – state clearly these are the MAIN pattern pieces to avoid confusion when cutting out your dress later, the size, cutting instructions and the date (helps keep track of alterations!). It would read something like this;

LINING PATTERN | Now trace another set of bodice patterns from your newly traced MAIN pattern with the SA, but don’t cut them out yet.

To make the lining roll inside of the dress at the shoulder, the lining pattern needs to be narrower than the main pattern. We are going to reduce the shoulder width by a total of 3mm (1/8″).

Mark the shoulder SA of 1.5cm (5/8″) on the pattern. Now make 2 marks on the shoulder seam, 1.5mm (1/16″) from the edge of the neck and again from the edge of the shoulder.

Then it’s just a case of drawing a new line, joining the marks to the neck and the armhole. You can use your MAIN pattern as a template, place on the mark at the shoulder and pivot it to draw and blend the line in further along the curve.

DART TUCK | Extend the lines of the dart tuck so they intersect with your new SA. The dart tuck in the lining will be pressed in the opposite direction to the one in the main body to keep bulk at a minimum.

SIDE SEAM | As lining fabric tends to have no ‘give’ like most fabrics it’s good to have a little extra ease. That’s why jackets have a pleat at the back, but that’s going to be too bulky for our fitted dress, we need just a little extra ease for movement. A lining that’s too tight is really uncomfortable and can rip quite easily too!

To add a bit of ease, measure out 5mm (or ¼” for imperial users) from the waist and then redraw the SS blending back in at the armhole point.

Repeat for the back bodice.

BACK DART | On the back bodices, the dart will be replaced as a tuck to give a little more movement. That’s not complicated, ignore all the dart markings except the notches along the waist line. The tuck will be made with the bulk towards the side seam, so it sits in the opposite direction to the dart of the main body.

BACK BODICE ZIP INTERFACING | The original pattern will now be too short as we have added a 6mm SA, so just add you SA on, and then check it against your pattern.

CHECK! | Compare your LINING pattern against your MAIN pattern, by laying it on top. The shoulder should be narrower and the waist should be wider.

Now just check your front lining bodice pattern against the back lining bodice pattern. Check the shoulder and side seams are the same length!

ANNOTATE | Remember to write all the relevant pattern info on your lining pattern pieces, especially that they are to be cut in lining!

SKIRT LINING | You can use the original pattern to cut your SELF fabric.

Take the traced skirt pattern and add 5mm at the waist so it will still fit onto your bodice! Blend the line down smoothly to the hip curve. Often linings have extra ease over the hips to allow some ease of movement, but it’s not really a concern with a bias cut skirt.

Move the notch on the CB seam, that indicates the base of the zip, down 1cm.

You obviously won’t need pocket bags in your lining layer, so you can block the lower pocket notch and use the top notch to help match your side seam.

Shorten the lining pattern by 3cm, this will give us a 2cm hem that we can double turn and stitch. This still may need to be shorter if the lining drops more than the main fabric after hanging.

So that’s the pattern done!

Go grab yourself a cuppa and biscuit and then on to the LINING TUTORIAL – part 2!

Not got the Barcelona pattern yet? Click below!

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