How to sew a Sleeveless Bodice with lining (2 easy ways)

Sewing a Sleeveless Bodice with lining

You can never say anything against lining to me – I will never agree with any of it. A lining adds grace to any dress when properly done.

And when the lining and the dress are sewn together, there is nothing like it. No need for any interfacing, or duplicate sewing. Everything is simplified and easy. I cannot ask for more.

Here are two ways to add lining to a sleeveless dress bodice and finish the bodice in one go. 

Method 1 – How to add lining to a dress bodice

This is the method used when there is an opening in the back for fastener (zipper, buttons, etc) and the shoulder part is wide enough. (This method is not suitable if the shoulder strap is narrow)

Step 1

Cut  out the front bodice and the 2 back bodice pieces. Cut out corresponding lining pieces too – in the same dimensions.

One outer front bodice, one outer lining, 2 back pieces, 2 back lining pieces
Cut out pattern pieces for the bodice: One outer front bodice, one outer lining, 2 back pieces, 2 back lining pieces

Step 2

Join the bodice pieces at the shoulder seams

This is your outer bodice 

Join outer pieces at the shoulder

and your lining

Join lining pieces at the shoulder seam

Press the seam allowances open (this is important).

Step 3

Keep the outer bodice and lining bodice together (rightsides touching).

The necklines of the bodices are joined together
Keep the bodices, outer and lining, rightsides to the inside and join at the neckline

Sew them together at the neckline and the armhole. 

Join the bodices at the armholes
Sew at the armholes

Clip all along at the seam allowance – every 1/2 inch or so.

Clip the whole seam allowance every 1/2 inch

Bring the bodice right side out – you will have to bring each of the back bodice parts out through the shoulder and through the front bodice. It may be a squeeze, but you can do it. It is just one half of the bodice. And there is no other way. 

Bodice turned right side out 

Step 4

Keep the bodice wrong side out infront of you – back side up.

The bodice kept wrong side out

Take up the lining layer in front of you to the back.

Lining turned to the back
Turn the lining of the back to the back

The lining layer is now at the back – picture below.

Lining of the back is at the back
The lining of the back bodice is turned to the back

Sew everything together.

Sew the sides together
With the lining of the bodice at the back, sew the side edges together

Do the same for the other side too.

Now bring right side out and your sleeveless bodice is neatly finished and will look like this.

Both the side edges sewn together

Inside everything is neat and finished.

Clean finish inside


Method 2 of Adding lining to a dress bodice

This method is used when the shoulder straps are a little narrow. (And it is not possible to bring the back bodice out through the strap part)

Step 2

Cut out the bodice pieces – outer bodice – front and back and lining – front and back.

sew a sleeveless bodice

Step 3

Join the side seams of the bodices – separately for outer and for lining. 

Step 3

Open them up and keep them rightsides together

sleeveless bodice

Sew the neckline and armholes as in the picture below – Leave some 1/5 inches unstitched.

Step 4

Turn one of the back bodice right side out. 

Insert this through the unturned front bodice shoulder area. Ensure that the lining pieces are together and outer pieces are together as you insert. 

Pin the lining strap pieces together and the outer strap pieces together and sew them. 

sleeveless bodice sewing tutorial


Do this for both the sides

Step 5

Turn the whole thing rightside out. Your bodice will be almost finished, just the strap area unfinished and open.(as in the picture below)


Step 6

Slip stitch the open area with hand sewing needle and thread. Learn how to do a slip stitch here.

Here is your bodice.

Related posts : Clothes lining -basics; Names of lining materials; How to draft pattern of a bodice; What is interlining ; What is underlining

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

4 thoughts on “How to sew a Sleeveless Bodice with lining (2 easy ways)”

  1. These instructions are terrific, I can understand exactly what I need to do. How can I get a printed copy without using so many papers? I need them at my sewing board, and that is not at my computer.
    Any help you can offer will greatly be appreciated.
    thank you.
    Bar turpin

  2. These are the best instructions I have ever seen with the best illustrations and pictures. Thank you so much. I have tried to follow other instructions and it just did not show what you showed.

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