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2 easy ways to sew a Sleeveless Bodice with lining

Updated on by Sarina

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 

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.

Step 2

Join the bodice pieces at the shoulder seams

This is your outer bodice 

and your lining

Press the seam allowances open (this is important).

Step 3

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

Sew them together at the neckline and the armhole. 

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

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. 


Step 4

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

sewing a sleeveless bodice for a dress

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

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

Sew everything together.

sew sleeveless bodice

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.

Inside everything is neat and finished.


Method 2 

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 : What is lining; Best lining fabrics; Underlining; How to draft a bodice ; What is interlining ; What is underliningFree sewing patterns ; Sewing tips and techniques


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

  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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