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My sheath dress project

thimbles1260 | Posted in General Discussion on

I hope you ladies won’t be sick of hearing about this dress before I get it done!  It’s a big learning project for me!

After carefully deciding to purchase 100% cotton for both the dress and underlining, I went to Hancock’s and got a poly/rayon gaberdine and lining fabric!  LOL  The clerk told me that underlining would make the garment too stiff so I should line it instead.  I’m using a McCalls pattern and I believe the actual sewing will be simple enough.  It will be the fitting that will make (or break) the dress.

As for fitting, I’ve located a sewing friend!!  Yippee!!!  She’s experienced and may be willing to help me make a paper tape dress form!  It would be so awsome to have one!!  I think I would feel like I knew what I was doing just using one!

Well, that’s the saga on the sheath for right now.  This project will happen, honest.  I’m just trying hard to get my “ducks in a row” before beginning.  Checking in with you ladies lets me know if I’m on the right track.

Question: Is it advisable to line gaberdine?  The clerk said to just make two dresses (one with lining and one with fashion fabric and attach them at the shoulder covering with the sleeve and neck facings.).


  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    I have made a few lined dresses thus:

    Make dress complete up to (but not yet) sleeves

    Make lining to same level of completeness

    Sew dress to lining at neck (no facing) trim seam, press and turn to inside

    Baste armscyes together (dress to lining)

    Baste and sew sleeves in place; (I usually just serge the seam allowances to finish this seam)

    Stitch lining to zipper tape by hand if standard zipper or by machine if invisible zipper (that is another discussion)

    Hope this helps,


    1. drmck | | #3

      Yes, I use the same technique. Facing on top of a lining is not a good strategy.

      I have had patterns made for me at Unique Patterns Company.  Their website is http://www.uniquepatterns.com/.

      I have a friend help me take my measurements. The sheath pattern was perfect. They also drafted a perfect pair of pants. I think the membership is about $40 and each pattern costs $20.


  2. mem | | #2

    I would get some muslin and make up your pattern not including facings etc and sewn together with a large stitch . Try it on and then make the adjustments with your freind and draw all over the mulin with a B pencil to make notes etc on what you have done . Then pull it appart and CUT off the seam allowances and use you muslin as your pattern. Make sure that you leave nice big seam allownces and cut out your fashion fabric in a single layer making sure that you get Left and right pieces right and then baste around the pattern This will give you your stitching line and then you should be able to sew it all together with little adjustment. I have started doing this and it really works really well . You could use a chalk wheel instead of marking with basting.

  3. SewistKitty | | #4

    I would suggest that you have a light weight press cloth such as a light weight cotton dish towel between the fabric and the iron. I have worked with polyester fabric and wool gabardine fabrics. Gabardine fabrics have a tendency to get shiny with too much heat. (ask me how I know this). It would be useful to take a small piece of this fabric and experiment with ironing temperatures with and without the press cloth. It is much better to know what a hot iron can do on a scrap than on your garment piece.

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