Armhole finishing

One of my earlier blogs was a mash up of the Washi dress and Xerea, and in this one I'm doing the dress again but a long, sleeveless version. The main focus of this blog is to show you how to use a lining instead of facings to clean finish armholes and necklines. I hate facings! They never stay inside and I take ages tucking them in before I go out anywhere!


To start, cut 2 of each bodice section, sew them together at the shoulder seams and press seams open. Lay outer fabric and lining on top of each other Right sides together. Sew around the neckline, clip the curve and turn Right Side (RS) out. Press neckline.

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Next, the armholes, I'll explain this as best I can with the photos, but to be honest it doesn't seem right 'til you actually do it! Have a go you'll be suprised how it makes sense eventually!

Lay the bodice down with shoulders to the left and right.

Open out one shoulder piece, so you can see the shoulder seam inside.2016-04-0613.09.00.jpg

Now take this shoulder across to the other and lay it over the top.


Fold the left hand raw edge undeneath the shoulder strap to sandwich the unopened strap inside the opened out one.


Match the shoulder seams and pin.


Pin all along the armhole edge and sew.

2016-04-0613.20.56.jpg Clip into the curve.

Lift up the bodice lining and pull everything out through the shoulder. Mine came out easily because its light fabric, if you're doing this with a thicker fabric like denim it'll just need more coaxing!

Eventually when it's all RS out, finger roll seam and press flat. Repeat for other shoulder strap.


I've also added a pom-pom trim to this dress, using a zipper foot to sandwich it between the pocket pieces and the skirt centre. Then up between the side fronts and centre front

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Continue with rest of skirt section but when you attach the bodice to the skirt lift up the lining and attach it only to the outer fabric. Treat the front and the back the same. I've gathered this one instead of pleating it, just for a change.


To sew side seams, lift up the bodice lining and match at underarm seams for front and back.


 2016-04-0614.53.01.jpg Sew from the top of the lining, all the way down the side seam. backstitch over the elastic to secure it.

Fold the lining down over the outer fabric, Wrong sides together. The lining edge should just cover the seam where the bodice is attached to the skirt.


Slip stitch the lining along the skirt seam, from the WS, or stitch in the ditch if you prefer, on the RS.

Finally hem and press.

2016-04-0615.52.34.jpg Love the sleeveless look of this dress, should be good if we get a summer!

This is a great way of finishing children's dresses as the armholes are too small and fiddly to sew 'in the round'

This tutorial would probably have been a bit clearer if I'd used different fabric for the lining, but I rarely do that because it makes the finish around the neck neater if it matches, so sorry!