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Lining for a Knit T-Shirt Fabric
Casual But See-thru
Susan C
Susan C  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/12/12 2:05 PM

I'm making my DD a maxi dress out of a striped gray/white cotton knit fabric. Nice fabric but casual. I think it will be see-thru. I don't care if she's 23. I'm not having her wearing that for all to see her itsy bitsy under roos such as they are I was going to line it just using some of that light weight knit lining I've seen. It's kind of a mesh but not the kind with big holes but definitely light. Of course, when I stopped in at Michael Levine's on my way thru LA they didn't have any.

My question is would a swimsuit lining work? It seems much heavier than the lining I have in mind but it's all Joanns has. Any recommendations?


LynnRowe  Friend of PR
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In reply to Susan C

Date: 7/12/12 11:46 PM

I'm thinking swimsuit lining may be too heavy, but more importantly, too warm? I think I'd go with a plain white cotton knit, so the fabrics match in temperament and retain the coolness.

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Date: 7/13/12 7:14 AM

What was suggested to me was to go buy some cheap thin white tee shirts and use the material as lining. I bought the tee shirts, but haven't used them yet .

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Date: 7/13/12 8:25 AM

Does anyone have an online source for that lightweight mesh knit lining? Like what you might see in dancewear?
Tina Lou
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In reply to couturemom

Date: 7/13/12 8:49 AM

I think what you're looking for is called tricot. Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics ( has carried tricot in both white and black - 60" wide, $5/yd. A quick check on her site just now doesn't show that she has any in white, but it wouldn't hurt to ask. It's a lovely fabric; fine and soft with nice body. So far, I've use it to line the bottom half of knit dresses with a waist seam - eliminates the need for a slip. Works like a charm!


quathy  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/13/12 8:54 AM

I think has lots if that tricot. I haven't preferred from them, but I think a lot if people here have.
a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to Susan C

Date: 7/13/12 1:25 PM

How about making a skimpy little spaghetti strap dress to use as a liner? It would give her an extra piece to play with. I've noticed some of the runway looks show sheer longer dresses over lining or slips that end at various lengths in the thigh region.

If you try this in a 'slip' approach, aim to get as close a match as possible to her skin tone to help the slip disappear.

Or, ask her if you and she can do some lingerie sluthing together. I was surprised when I first saw that many of the undergarments made to address these problems have simple cut edges instead of hemmed or trimmed edges to maintain a sleek line.

It will give you ideas on how to address the problem. She may also find something she likes to purchase so you can just sew away on her dresses knowing that she has the issue 'covered'. For you, it may be modesty, but she may be sold on having a sleek line with no seam or strap edges showing through.

It would be good if she wore a little knit dress on your shopping expedition so you could take rear view pictures of her with various underpinning combinations. She might do the same for you.
-- Edited on 7/13/12 1:28 PM --

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wendyrb  Friend of PR
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In reply to a7yrstitch

Date: 7/13/12 2:39 PM

The slip solution is exactly what I did for the semi- sheer knit wrap dress I made. I went to Macy's and found a super helpful sales person. She really understood fit and knew her stock. In no time, she pulled several good slip choices in nude color. I found the perfect one for my dress.

Originally I thought i was just saving my sewing time however, I love that the dress fabric is free to do its own thing unencumbered by an attached lining. There's no bulky joining. Plus, I use that slip a lot with other things. Extra bonus, my shopping foray was with my 21-year old daughter and we had so much fun trying on lingerie.

On my to-do list- make some more in different colors. Besides useful, I could change the look of sheer dresses by swapping the slip.

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GoSewGirl  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/13/12 3:00 PM

I vote for the slip option too. You could make one in a nude stretch knit lining fabric - swimsuit lining, mesh or tricot - and then wear it with other dresses. The slip can be regular dress length even if the knit dress you are making is full length.

I love my nude color stretch knit camisoles. Reading this thread has made me feel like making a nude color knit slip for under stretchy summer dresses & skirts!

BTW, there is a fabric called *Helenca*, which is a light weight, 100% nylon knit fabric that is perfect for this. I also have a piece of fabric that I know I ordered long ago from Lucy's Fabrics (no longer selling fabrics!) called *Whisper* 4-way stretch lining, which was a smoother texture than the Helenca and was a nylon / lycra blend. Very stretchy!

I've done some searches, but haven't found anything for you with these 2 fabrics. Both are lighter weight than the Jo-ann's swimsuit lining. The Jo-ann's lining (at least the piece I've got) is polyester/ lycra which will be hotter than the nylon knits, and as you've noted, it's kind of heavy. If you found a swim lining that was nylon, it would probably be fine and would breathe.

Edited to add: I found the Helenca lining! (Although I know NOTHING about this seller.) Maybe others here have some experience with this one.

Helenca lining source
-- Edited on 7/13/12 3:04 PM --


SheBear0320  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/13/12 3:21 PM

Spandex House Helenka Lining

The linings with HSL at the beginning of their product number are Helenka. It comes in 2 nude shades, white and black; 100% nylon -- I order from Spandex House regularly and use this lining on most of my custom design athletic performance apparel. Have also used it to line some knit skirts of my own and really like it.

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