THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

June 9, 2006

How to prevent a torn skirt / dress vent

Filed under: Couture Techniques,Els,Tutorials — Els @ 2:57 pm

by Diva Els 

There are several ways to prevent a vent from tearing. For example, sewing an arrowhead or using the bar from a hook and eye set. I prefer to use a piece of lining fabric which is sewn to the seam allowance of the vent. It is invisible, does not add weight and can be sewn by machine.
Mark the beginning of the vent , and cut or tear a piece of straight grain lining fabric about 4-5 cm wide and 13 cm long.

Turn under and press 1-1,5 cm seam allowances on both long sides. Pin the lining piece to the seam allowances only , just 2 mm below the chalk line which marks the vent opening. The finished width of the strip is 2 cm. The ends of the strips are trimmed with pinking shears to prevent ravelling.
Turn under the ends of the lining strip, as shown below.
Attach the lining fabric by sewing it around , starting at the seam allowance edge. Stitch to the vent allowance only.

Repeat on the other the other side.

The reinforcing of the vent is done.

As you can see, the lining piece is attached just a few hairlines below the vent opening and is virtually invisible from the right side. This is a neat and sturdy way to prevent a torn vent.



  1. Thank you, els. Your first kick pleat installment left me with only one question – how strong will that seam-meets-pleat point be on the finished garment? And here’s a very tidy solution. Great instructions, photos and techniques.

    Comment by Karla — June 10, 2006 @ 5:07 am

  2. Very nice! I had never heard of this nor seen it done before now. Makes me want to make a skirt!

    Comment by Mary Beth — June 10, 2006 @ 6:05 am

  3. Brilliant! (as always)

    Comment by Gorgeous Things — June 10, 2006 @ 6:20 am

  4. Thanks so much for this useful tip! I am an inveterate vent-kicker-through-er.

    Comment by Tailypo — June 10, 2006 @ 7:06 am

  5. I have never seen this method before – it’s absolutely brilliant!

    Comment by Gigi — June 10, 2006 @ 9:45 am

  6. Els, you are honestly my sewing goddess! I admire your work!

    Comment by Tini — June 10, 2006 @ 2:36 pm

  7. Els your tips are excellent as always! Thanky you!

    Comment by Anonymous — June 14, 2006 @ 12:59 pm

  8. Now, if I would only get around to using this fine tip! You see, I have VERY few skills, but a few years ago I made myself a very nicely fitted plaid dress. I loved and wore that dress … and then the vent (is that what it’s called) tore. I still have the pattern …

    Comment by Rebecca — June 16, 2006 @ 10:03 am

  9. This is very helpful, but the pictures don’t show! Can you email me the pictures?

    Comment by Mary — November 12, 2006 @ 5:21 pm

  10. Many thanks for this great tip from a skirt-minded girl from the Netherlands.

    Comment by Palma — February 20, 2008 @ 9:04 am

  11. I just today 6-11-09, found this site. Your pleat information is absolutely a dream. Thank you.

    Comment by Lydia Barnard — June 11, 2009 @ 9:52 am

  12. ooh wonderful
    now the tricky question: How do you apply a lining?

    Comment by kitty — February 27, 2010 @ 9:59 am

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