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Fabric to Line a Sheath Style Dress

Slumberbug | Posted in Fabric and Trim on


This is my first time to ask a question in a forum like this.  To have access to everyone’s opinions and experience is like having a giant set of encyclopedias behind me.   🙂

I have been sewing for years but have a question about linings for sheath dresses.

Usually I use regular poly lining but I am so hot all the time and live in the deep south.  Has anyone ever lined a sheath dress (nice fabrics, wool, etc) with a cotton lining?  

What happens when the lining doesn’t slip?

Thank you!



  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    Ambiance or Bemburg rayon lining my dear! It is non static, and breathes more than poly lining and is slippery, or a silk lining. They are cool too. They will also dry faster than cotton will. That is my opinion anyway. Cathy

    1. Slumberbug | | #2

      Thank you....off to the fabric store I go.

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #3

        You are welcome. I seldom use poly lining. Once you start using the rayon one, you won't want to go back. It is more expensive, but worth every penny in my book. Cathy

        1. Slumberbug | | #4

          Will that make it dry clean only????  Just wondering as here in TX we can usually only wear the dress one time.

          I probably won't care though.

          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #6

            Pretreat the same as you are going to launder the finished garment. The lining really softens after washing. It will look really wrinkled coming out of the wash, but if you hang it slightly damp out of the dryer, or hang while still warm, the wrinkles fall pretty well out of it. CathyPS, I LOATHE IRONING, so I wouldn't use it if it wasn't acceptable!

          2. Slumberbug | | #9

            Great idea....I love to iron. Crazy?  Yes?  I will wash it first.

          3. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #10

            No, not crazy, I know a few people who love to iron. I do not mind to do the touch up stuff, just don't like having to do it a lot. Mind you, I press everything when I sew, no shortcuts there, lol. Cathy

  2. MaryinColorado | | #5

    Welcome to our little forum!  Hope you will enjoy it as much as we all do!  It really is like having an encylopeida set at our fingertips, plus a coffee clatch, and lots of encouragement and support.  Glad to have you join us! 

    I agree with the Bemberg Rayon lining.  Any natural fabrics will breathe well and keep you much more comfortable, and I'm all about comfort.  Mary

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #7

      Yup coffee clatch. I have my am coffee, lunch, afternoon tea, and most breaks online with all my friends here, tee hee. Cathy

      1. MaryinColorado | | #8

        Oh yeah, me too.  Mary

  3. Ceeayche | | #11

    I made a color blocked sheath out of cotton pique for my cousin (she's from Houston) about four years ago and lined it with cotton.  I prewashed the cotton first.  It has worn well and she still looks great in it.  She has it dry cleaned.

    And, I made a full skirt out of a printed cotton voile and self-lined that with a cotton sheeting.  Needed to line it for modesty's sake and wanted to keep a light airy feel to it. I actually love that one... the sheeting feels silky against my skin.  I dry clean that one too-- primarily because it needs to be ironed nicely.

    But, I must confess I do love me some Ambiance.  I've never tried to wash it in a finished garment, but I've used it to make slips and been happy washing it-- I treat it like the rest of my lingerie and wash it and hang it to dry, touching up with a very cool iron (and press cloth on the one I added lace to).

  4. Josefly | | #12

    I love the bemberg rayon for slips and camisoles. But I've also used cotton batiste for underlining straight skirts - never a sheath dress, though. The soft thin cotton works well for me in summer time Atlanta - no problem with un-slipperiness - and underlining gives a very nice body to the skirts, keeps them looking nice after a day of wearing, better, I think, than a separate lining would do.

    1. sewslow67 | | #13

      I agree with your appraisal, and have done the same.  I've also found that underlining with silk organza (pre-shrink it first) works nicely too, as it is cool to wear, easy to handle, and keeps the garment looking unwrinkled and fresh.  Also, you can either wash the garment or dry clean it.  If I choose to wash it, I put it into the dryer for only a few minutes and then let it hang dry.  It usually takes only a bit of ironing then, depending on the fashion fabric.

      That said, I think my favorite lining fabric is Bemberg ...the one that Threadkoe suggested.  It is wonderful, very versatile and can be washed also as long as it was gently pre-washed.

      Edited 10/11/2008 10:42 am by sewslow67

      1. diday | | #14

        Do you happen to have an online source for silk organza?

        1. sewslow67 | | #15

          No, I think I may have gotten it at the Fabric Depot in Portland, OR. which, BTW, does have a website and you can order it on line there.  If not there, then at Josephine's Dry Goods in Portland.  They do not sell fabrics on line, but will take mail orders.  They are great gals there and always very helpful.  Along with d'Lea's in Denver (no longer in business), they are my favorite fabric shop for really special fabrics.

        2. Josefly | | #16

          I was impressed with the prices for silk organza at Dharma Trading Company. If you check it out, though, pay attention to the widths of what's offered. I think they only have it in white and black, though.http://dharmatrading.com/

          1. diday | | #17

            Thank you Sewslow and Josefly. I'll check these sources.

          2. sewslow67 | | #18

            I know Judy quite well at Josephine's, so if you don't get the information you need, please let me know and I'll give her a phone call, and get back to you. 

        3. fiberfan | | #19

          A good source for silks in a variety of colors is Thai Silks.  They have sample sets that are very reasonable price and a bit small in size.  If white or black is okay, Dharma Trading and Silk Connection may have better prices.  I usually check all 3 before ordering.  Silk Connection has large remnants that are less than retail.  I have bought remnants as big as 4 yards.  NAYY with all companies except as a customer.


        4. User avater
          artfulenterprises | | #20

          DenverFabrics.com has many types of silk organzas from plain to wonderfully embellished. Perhaps you'll find what you are looking for there.

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