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Sewing How-To: Burrito Roll Method

Jana Harcus

If you have sewn sleeveless dresses and tops with a lined bodice, chances are you have encountered instructions to neatly enclose those arm curves with what is commonly referred to as the “burrito method”.  Many times written instructions with illustrations just aren’t quite enough when you are new to this technique. For those of you who are still struggling, hopefully this blog post will help.  

Posted below is a video walking you through instructions on how to successfully sew a lined sleeveless bodice using the “burrito method”.

This video will be using the Woodland Belle pattern.  This is a gorgeous pattern for a sleeved dress or top in cooler weather, but is equally as beautiful as a sleeveless dress or top for summer.

For those of you who prefer not to watch a video, here are the written instructions:

Lay the bodice flat with right sides facing up.

Starting on the right side of the bodice, tightly roll the main and lining together towards the center of the bodice.

Using the fabric on the left side of the bodice (unrolled side), flip the lining fabric underneath the rolled up section and flip the main fabric over the rolled up section.

Now, the rolled up section will be inside the left side bodice main and lining. Those two pieces will be right sides together.  Align the raw edges along the armscye. Pin and sew along the armscye. When sewing, be careful not to catch any of the right side bodice piece that is rolled up inside.

Trim seam allowance and clip the curves so that it lays nicely when turned inside out. Use a pinking shears if available.

Pull the rolled up section through the bottom of the bodice.  The bodice will now be right side out with the left side armscye complete.

Complete those same steps again.  This time start rolling from the left side and flip the right side main and lining around the left side rolled fabric.

Pin, sew, clip curves, and trim seam allowances. Pull the fabric roll through the bottom and press the bodice flat.

Your sleeveless bodice is almost complete.  Next step is to sew the side seams.  Open the front and back bodice pieces at the sides. Find and match up the underarm seams. Keeping right sides together, align the raw edges of the main/lining front bodice piece with the main/lining back bodice piece. Pin and sew the sides together.

Repeat the above steps with the other side. Now your lined sleeveless bodice is complete.