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two questions

VictoriaS | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi, actually, I’ve got two different questions. 

I want to add sleeves to a sleeveless dress and I’m not sure how to go about it. 

Also, I’m considering making a shrug out of lace and it calls for a lining.  I think if it’s lined it will mute the fabric I’m using.  Is it possible to not line it and it will turn out alright, or do I have to line it?


  1. kjp | | #1

    Question about your second question -- are you using stretch lace?  I definitely think you could leave off the lining, assuming you don't need the warmth and that the lace has enough body.  Do you have a serger?  If so you could do a nice rolled hem.  If not, a narrow hem or baby hem might work (guessing sight unseen of course).  Another thought - Would self lining work?  Or a contrasting fabric to bring out the color of the lace? 


    1. VictoriaS | | #3

      See, I have my heart set on it with a lining or self-lining, because I was semi-inspired to make the shrug after seeing this cute one in a catalogue that had no lining and it was just the lace by itself.   My fabric is brown and black, and it's more like an open knit, so I don't know. 

      Oh, and about the serger question, I don't own one.  I do like that option of a narrow hem, that you suggested in place of a serged hem. 

      1. kjp | | #5

        Good luck - it sounds like you don't need the lining & it will be beautiful!  karin

  2. suesew | | #2

    Yes you can add sleeves to a sleeveless dress. Do you have a pattern from which you are borrowing the sleeve? Use that same pattern to superimpose the armhole (armseye) shape onto your sleeveless pattern and it should all fit together nicely.

    1. VictoriaS | | #4

      Oh, I forgot about just interchanging the sleeves from another pattern.  That's much easier.  For some odd reason I was thinking more complicated and kept thinking I had to draft a new sleeve for the dress and was wondering how I was going to do that.

      1. mem1 | | #7

        I had this querie too a week or two ago and discussed it with a friend of mine who is a very accomplished dress maker.This is what she said . First you need to raise the bottom of the arm hole a little and also widen the shoulder as they are both different in a sleeveless top . Then she suggested using a sleeve from a pattern from the same company as they tend to use the same sleeve sloper for all their patterns and just vary it .You should measure the length of the armskye and the top of the sleeve and make sure that they approximate each other depending on how much ease you want in the sleeve head I have certainly switched sleeves between patterns in the same company and that works fine as long as they are basically the same type of sleeve

        1. VictoriaS | | #8

          That's a very good idea.  I actually was going to just switch sleeve patterns, after comparing my other top patterns by outlining the the front and back arm sections on paper and finding one almost identical.  I didn't know the shoulder and armhole would make a difference, since I didn't sew it in yet.  Just curious, though,  did she give you exact measurements about how much to raise the armhole and about widening the shoulder?

          1. mem1 | | #10

            She mentioned about a centimeter at the bottom arm hole and similar at the shoulder. I would measure both sleeve and armhole length and see if they are about the same and also look at where your shoulder point is in relation to the tops shoulder seam width.

  3. cjc15 | | #6

    Hi, one thing I have found that always works for me in linings is silk organza.  It is sheer so does not interfere with the design of the lace or print, and you can get it on line or in the stores.  I comes in a very pale fleshy beige, white and other colors.  It is very easy to form around curves and has a wonderful feel to it, will not change the drape of the primary fashion fabric.  It can be pricey, so it would pay to do a test run.  Hope you enjoy your wrap.

    1. VictoriaS | | #9

      Hmmm, I suppose, I could try it both ways: one with a lining and one like the catalogue, like I was wanting to do.  Silk organza does sound nice, though. 

  4. user-205255 | | #11

    Hi Vicki

    Shrugs look great! To save lining what about french seaming and a rolled hem in rayon thread around the edges?


    1. VictoriaS | | #12

      That's a good one.  I was thinking of already doing one of those, but not both. 

  5. Merryll | | #13

    Vicki, I second the suggestion of using silk organza.  I keep yards of it for just such purposes.  Remember to wash it first (hanging it to dry), and after pressing out, it will be quite drapey. It's also sheer enough so you'll be able to appreciate the lace pattern and has enough body to stablalize it. Depending upon the lace, you could do narrow French seams, treating the lace and organza as a single fabric.


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