Monday, February 7, 2011

How to Cut the Lining Out of a Dress So I Can Wear the Lining as a Dress

A straight dress, such as a sheath, makes the best candidate for lining removal
woman in a black dress image by Cora Reed from
Sometimes that spectacular dress hanging in your closet has seen better days or is out of fashion. Before you donate it or throw it out, take a look at the dress lining. Think about snipping out the lining to wear as a dress. If the quality of the garment is high enough and the lining is applied correctly, it can make a great dress.With a little knowledge, skill and a sharp pair scissors, that dress lining can be your next party frock.
Difficulty: Moderate


Things You'll Need:

  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Zipper

    Assess the garment

  1. 1
    Take a good look at the dress you intend to remove the lining from. If the dress was lined properly -- something usually found these days in higher end fashions -- the lining should only be attached at the neck and the ends of the sleeves, with maybe a little tack or two at the shoulders and waist. In short, the lining should be an exact copy of the dress, but turned inside out. Straight dresses, such as sheaths, make the best candidates.
  2. 2
    Try to snip out a stitch or two from the sleeve edge. Some lining fabrics are very thin and poorly woven, making them a poor candidate as stand- alone garments. The stitches should come out easily, leaving behind only tiny holes where the stitches were, with the fabric none the worst for the wear.
  3. 3
    Check for any holes or irregularities in the lining fabric or rips or tears done in the manufacturing.
  4. Removing the Lining

  5. 1
    Snip loose the stitches at the neck edge.
  6. 2
    Snip loose the stitched at the sleeves' edges.
  7. 3
    Look for any tacks still holding the lining to the dress and snip them away as well. This done, the lining should now fall away from the dress.
  8. 4
    Hem the sleeve edges with a rolled seam or handkerchief hem. Hem the neck edge in the same way. Most linings are already hemmed, so hemming the bottom should not be necessary.
  9. 5
    Install a zipper the proper length in the back or the lining and wear proudly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always baste in zippers first when sewing delicate fabrics such as lining material.
  • Double check any garment you might want to remove the lining from before buying it. In these days of mass produced clothing, manufacturers find it much cheaper sometimes to simply line each garment piece as it is sewn together rather than line the entire garment after construction.