Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

join shoulder seam in sleeveless dress?

Autumn_Color | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi everyone, I am a newbie here with questions and I hope that your can help shed some light on it.


1. How to join the shoulder seams on a sleeveless dress without collar but with lining?

2. Which part should I start sewing first? The shoulder or the armhole and neckline?

Thank you very much.

postman pat



  1. Elisabeth | | #1

    One way to do this is to first sew the side seams in the lining and the fashion fabric. Then put the fashion fabric and lining right sides together and sew the neckline seams and armhole seams all the way to the shoulder. Turn this right side out and press and the tricky part is reaching up between the lining and fashion fabric and inserting the back shoulder edges into the front and pulling that through enough to get to the shoulder seam which will be a circle to sew together with the fashion fabric and lining.

    It is much easier to show that write in words, I hope this makes sense.

  2. mimi | | #2

    postman pat:   Sew the side seams on both fabrics.  Essentially, you will have a dress made out of lining and a dress made out of dress fabric at this point.  Press.  With right sides together, match up the side seams and pin the armholes together; sew a continuous seam from front to back in the armhole.  Sew the front of the neckline and the back of the neckline.  Clip into the seam allowance about 3/8 of an inch to ease the fit, every 1/2 in or so.  Do not clip through the thread of the seam!  Press.  Turn right-side-out.  You might want to give the dress a pressing on the right side now.  A tip for shoulder seams:  Press the seams under 5/8 inch, this will help you sew them.

    At this point the dress is attached everywhere but at the shoulders.  Stop and admire your work, you are almost done! 

    To finish the shoulder seams:  Pin the front of the shoudler to the back of the shoulder, right sides together.  Sew the seam and press.  To finish the seam of the lining match up the pressed seams and pin.  Sew with a slip-stitch (hemming sticth).

    To hem a lined dress, cut the lining at the bottom about 1 inch shorter than the dress and hem each layer seperately.  Lining has a tendency to stretch over time.

    I hope this makes sense to you!


    1. Autumn_Color | | #3

      Hi Elisabeth and Mimi,

      Thank you very much for the reply. Just in time for me to sew the dress.

      postman pat

  3. Lizothelake | | #4

    Ah, now I'd go at it from the other end!

    Sew the shoulder seams on the dress and on the lining, sew any darts etc. Leave the side seams and the CB seam open.

    Match and pin the dress and lining around the neckline and armholes and stitch. Trim the lining SA to 1/2 width, clip SA on all curves. Now pull the hem of the dress and the lining at the back up through the shoulder 'tunnel' on both sides. If your clipping was adequate you can now finger press then iron press the lining to the inside around the neckline and armholes.

    Now match the armhole seams at the under arm, pinning so the 'dress' SA's are together and the 'lining' SA are together from hem through underarm to hem. Stitch, press open, clip if necessary, and fold the lining to the inside and press the under arm area.

    Now insert the Zip in the CB of the dress, and complete by hand stitching the lining to the inside SA down the sides of the Zip.

    OR    Stitch around the neckline and down the CB to where the zipper ends, trim the top corners.  Press the lining to the inside once you have turned the dress/lining through the shoulder tunnel, stitch the CB Seam on the lining and on the dress, take care to match the rows of stitching from hem to end of zip with the rows from neckline to end of zip. Now pin and stitch the zipper in place.

    Finally stitch the hem, and maybe stitch the under arm seams together for 1" below the under-arm.


    Liz O'the Lake 

    1. AussieMaid | | #5

      Confirming your method of joining shoulder seam in a sleeveless dress, a much easier and neater method than trying to stitch the shoulder seam last.  Sometimes this seam can be as little as 1-2" and far too fiddly to get neat.  Your description was very clear to follow and a beginner sewer would be able to get it right 1st time!  AussieMaid

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All