This is one of my favorite techniques for sewing a lined, sleeveless garment. I joke that it’s a magic technique because it sure feels like it. The burrito method eliminates the need for tedious hand stitching and is perfect for garments that have a zipper or other seam that needs to be sewn before the armholes are completed. I’ve used this method in several of my patterns like the Piper Peplum Top or the soon to be released Paradise Island Shift Dress which is shown below.
How to Sew a Lined Sleeveless Garment with No Hand Sewing (The Burrito Method)
At this point, I am assuming that you have already sewn your main and lining bodices at the shoulder seams, and then sewn them both together at the neckline. Ready to figure out an easy way to sew those armholes without ANY hand sewing? Read on!
With the dress laying flat and the right sides out, start at one side of the dress and tightly roll both the main and lining together towards the opposite shoulder as shown in the animation above. This step seems a little strange, but hang with me.
Flip the lining fabric on the unrolled side under the folded fabric. You will notice that your rolled fabric is in the middle.
Fold the main fabric on the unrolled side over the folded fabric and align the raw edges with the lining fabric. The main and the lining fabric should be right sides together. The rolled fabric of the bodice should now be between these two layers. Sew the armscye closed making sure to not catch the rolled fabric in the seam allowance. Make sure to clip your curves so your fabric will lay nice when you turn the bodice right side out. Be careful not to clip through your stitching by accident!
Now here is where the magic comes in. Pull the rolled fabric through the bottom of the bodice. The bodice should now be right sides out with one armscye complete. You did it! Now repeat the above steps with the opposite side and you will have completed arms on the bodice!
You are now so close to having a completed bodice. All you have to do is sew up the side seams. Find the underarm seam of both the front and the back on the same side of the bodice. I like to start pinning at the underarm and then continue pinning down each side of the garment. Then, sew your seam starting at the main and continuing on to the lining. And hopefully, you will actually align your fabric edges better than I did in the above picture. 😉
Now finish your garment by adding a skirt or hem. Don’t forget to topstitch (or understitch) your neckline and armholes! Great job!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Are there any other cool sewing tricks you’d like to see on the blog? Let me know in the comments below!
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