I love my knit sundresses, I pretty much wear them all Summer long. They are as comfy as pajamas…but as classy as a dress. Its a total win / win situation. The problem is always finding the right knit fabric though. A good solid knit is hard to find, and the cute designs are always jersey or polyester, and see through. As much as I don’t want to add a lining, sometimes it is just a necessary evil.
How to Sew an Easy Lined Knit Sundress
- 2 yards jersey knit
- 2 yards lining (polyester or other knit fabric)
- 2 yards knit bias tape
- 1 yard 1/2″ elastic
- Basic sewing essentials
- If you have a sundress that you know you like the length on, lay it directly on top of your fabric, on the fold. If not, use a tank top, and measure from your waist down to the floor for length.
- To make the bodice part of your dress, cut around your tank top or maxi dress bodice. Arc out the side seam of the tank top to give you room for a flowing maxi dress. I drew it down on white paper so you could see it better. Stop the bodice approximately 2 – 3″ below your natural waist line. I will be adding a bias tape neckline to mine, similar to the maxi dress I currently own. To do the same for yours, simply stop the bodice top about 2 – 3″ up from the neckline in a point. Cut (2) on fold for both lining and exterior. (For tips on how to get the chevron stripe bodice look, see Steps 4 thru 6).
- Cut around your maxi dress skirt. If you are using a tank top, then starting at the bodice bottom cut down to your desired length, also arcing out slightly on the side seam as you go. Cut (2) on fold for both the lining and the exterior.
- For the chevron stripe bodice, fold striped fabric in half so that the stripes are at a 90 degree angle from one another.
- Place your bodice pattern on top of the fold and cut (2).
- Cut bodice in half down the center, and match up the stripes so that they have the chevron pattern desired. Sew up the center.
- You should now have your front and back bodice for both the lining and the exterior.
- Place lining bodice front and back right sides together and sew up the side seam. Repeat for skirt lining front and back, sewing up the side seam.
- Place the top of your skirt along the bottom of your bodice, right side together, matching up the side seams. Sew. Repeat Steps 8 thru 9 for exterior fabric.
- Slip dress lining inside of exterior dress, wrong sides together, matching up all side seams. Pin around the neckline and baste stitch.
- Sew knit bias tape to front and back of neckline.
- Sew a 23″ length piece of bias tape shorts ends together, creating a circle with it. Sew bias tape around the armsyce, extending beyond the top of your bodice front and back, creating ‘straps’ with the bias tape as you sew it closed. Repeat for other side. (You may need to fiddle with the length of your bias tape for this step to get the correct strap length).
- Pin the lining and exterior together, 1″ above your waist seam, all around the dress. Sew around. Repeat this step, on the actual waistline, leaving a 1″ opening. You are creating a casing for your elastic.
- Measure your waist, and cut elastic accordingly. I like to cut a piece approximately 2 – 3″ less than my waist measurement. Using a safety pin attached to one end of the elastic, slip into the waistband casing and thread all the way around. Once the elastic is all the way around, sew elastic ends together using a zig zag stitch, and sew waistband opening closed.
- Hem as desired, and you are finished! As you can see from my photos, I did the bias tape around the neckline after I did the waistband – but either which way you do it – you will be fine. I also embellished with a faux waistband tie sewn directly onto the front of the dress. I made it a fake tie mainly because my kids always like to undo my waist ties, leaving me with a bulky drooping waist. The elastic prevents that from happening!
I hope everyone is enjoying their Summer vacation so far!
Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…