Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Inserting Your Coat Lining

Hey, Sew-Alongers, we're getting pretty close to the end! Before I get to the lining, though, I noticed one thing I needed to fix on my coat. The pockets were drooping down below the hem, and I've heard that a couple others had this problem. All you need to do is tack the pockets in place so they don't sag down. I tacked mine to the hair canvas and the top of the hem.
Okay, on to inserting the lining! How's everyone doing with sewing the facings to the lining? The back facing is a little tricky, because the seam is so curved. Just take your time, pin well, and clip if necessary. Here's what your back lining will look like:

And here it is from the front.
This is where things get bulky! Put the lining on top of the coat, right sides together.
Pin all the way around the neckline and down to the bottom of the front facing. Your lapels will be pinned together, and the collar will be sandwiched between the layers. Then stitch all the way around.
Next, trim and grade your seam allowances. You want the seam allowance that will be closest to the outer coat layer to be the widest. When you get to the neckline, the seam allowances are going to be really bulky. It helps to trim them with your scissors on an angle, "beveling" them.
Don't forget to notch around the lapel!
Flip your lining to the inside.

You'll want to eliminate some bulk from your lower front facing. You can trim off about an inch off the hem, as shown below, but don't let your trimming extend beyond where the facing will fold back.
Now, fold the facing back and pin in place. Angle the hem at the bottom of the facing up a bit, so it doesn't show on the right side. (My lining doesn't cover my hem. Anyone else having this problem? I'm going to buy some wide lace to sew on to cover the hem up.)
Next, you'll press around the edges of the coat, favoring the seams to the side that doesn't show (like we did on the collar). Baste in place as you go, with diagonal basting stitches.
My basting stitches are in light thread below; I hope you can see them!
Do this all the way around the facing edges, where I've sloppily indicated with teal "paint" below.
Press the back facing in. You can also understitch it by hand to keep it in place! Another bonus handstitching thing you can do is to sew a pickstitch in the ditch all up the lining princess seams, attaching them to the coat seam allowances below them. This keeps the layers from shifting around and keeps your coat from feeling too bulky. I'm definitely going to do that on mine. (Perhaps save this until after you've finished the inside of the bound buttonholes, though.)

Here's how my coat's looking now, with the basting still in place. So close!
Up next: finishing the bound buttonholes on the inside and hemming the sleeves. If you're caught up, go ahead and make your belt!


  1. I have learned so much during this sew-along. Your pictures and videos have been so helpful in the tailoring process. I came into this series late, but I will use all your tutorials on my next tailoring project. Thank you for all your hard work.

  2. Wow, it's looking great! I'm hopefully buying my material to make mine when I get paid at the end of the week, and I can be a very late sew-a-longer, ha ha! So glad you have made a tutorial for each step, I just started sewing clothes at the beginning of the year and this will be the trickiest thing I've done so will need all the help I can get!

  3. I will be taking a look at those pockets, for sure. I made my coat 2 inches longer than specified so hopefully I won't have the problem. Others have mentioned the pockets are too small, as well. Sounds like a problem for Sarai to deal with. Regarding the lining: Since I extended my pattern two inches, I looked in depth at the pattern pieces re: length. The lining line is 3 inches from the bottom of the pattern pieces. So, if you fold up a hem of two inches, the cut edge of your lining is one inch above the fold. If you take a one inch hem you will have lining at the best case on the top of the hem. IMHO the line on the pattern should be the FOLD line for the lining hem, not the cut line. If you haven't cut your lining you might want to consider this. Again, another potential problem to be fixed at the next issue of the pattern.

    I must say that I like the look of this pattern but I haven't been very impressed with some of the details. Those mentioned above, plus the sleeve fit (I really had to rotate mine a lot and increase sleeve cap) and the lack of markings for fitting... I guess although I know it is a small producer I expect a little more for the price of the pattern. Also I think that the directions as written seem more appropriate for linen or denim or a medium-weight fabric with body than for wool flannel. But that might just be me.

  4. Just wanted to join the "thank you" chorus - having these tutorials has helped me IMMENSELY through this process. Without them, I no doubt would have screwed up something and flounced away from the project. You are the best! A million internet cakes for you! :D

  5. I wish you were my neighbour! We would have a blast sewing all the time =)

  6. I love your coat, even though it's not finished yet. I haven't been sewing along but it's so generous the way you've done all these tutorials again.

  7. Wow, your coat is looking F A N T A S T I C!

    I've fallen behind in the last week but I'll be catching up pretty soon. Part of me falling behind was finding a weird method to fix the pocket droop situation and finishing off the belt.

  8. Thank you so much for this sew along - I am way way behind (just starting my muslin!) but I'm so glad that I can reference these posts and thoughtful comments as I stumble along!

  9. Another big thank you from me...although I've been a little cheeky and not followed all of your tailoring advice but have definitely taken some advice that's been given. (I'm one of those sloppy sewers). I am very inspired and hope that when i've got some time and patience I can come back to these videos and tutorials and follow your advice.
    Meanwhile my black cotton lady grey is looking good and just in time to visit the lone star state!

  10. Looking good!!

    I like this tip you posted, "Another bonus handstitching thing you can do is to sew a pickstitch in the ditch all up the lining princess seams, attaching them to the coat seam allowances below them".

    Sounds very useful.

    I have just ordered the Claire Schaeffer DVD and I bet there will be lots of little goodies in there along these lines.

    I also like the way you made the collar stand up in the back with the pad stitching.

  11. "Another bonus handstitching thing you can do is to sew a pickstitch in the ditch all up the lining princess seams, attaching them to the coat seam allowances below them"

    Could we have a little mini tutorial for this please?

  12. Hi Gertie: Eeek! I've read these instructions through a few times and I'm having sewing overload syndrome :-) I'm also reading the Colette Pattern instructions at the same time, which may be throwing me over the edge. Just want to say, this part of the sewing is on my agenda for the weekend. Here's hoping my spatial reasoning improves by then. Or I'm sure you'll be hearing some plaintive questions from me :-)

  13. OK, a question already: Do you think, if I hem the lining at .25 inch, that it will not be too short? I have followed the 2 inch fashion fabric hem instruction and I've cut the lining according to the pattern directions. I really hope a tiny hem SA on the lining will head off the problem you've had because the idea of adding another step/trip to store/cost to the coat may throw me off the deep end :-)

  14. I got my lining in and keep looking at my coat, hanging on my dressform, and thinking, "I can't believe I made that." And it's not even finished yet!

    My silver lining looks perfect with a perfect pleat one perfect inch to the left of center. Doh. How I did that is not interesting at all. Still looks pretty, though.

    I did just the bare minimum turn-under on the lining hem - just the serged edge - which made it just barely long enough to cover the coat hem.

  15. I'm just now getting ready to sew together my lining and thinking about seam finishes. I'm using poly charmeuse (wish it were silk, but my budget didn't allow it) and I don't want it to fray even though the seam allowances will be inside the layers. Is there some way to do a french-like seam with the curved edges of princess seams? Or does anyone have any other suggestion?

    I second what sortandfold said - I can't believe I'm doing this! Thanks for helping us all with such a cool achievement.

  16. It's a great tuto and a very nice jacket. I will remember it when I will sew a coat this winter. Thank you!

  17. Katie: You can find a tutorial about pick stitching here: http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/7215/how-to-do-a-pickstitch

  18. This is amazing! I am in love with the teal trim. I am totally in love with your blog and all of the things you've made.

  19. Your pictures and videos have been so helpful in the tailoring process. I came into this series late,

  20. ok ,you make it look so easy! I've a friend that asked me to put a lining for her long coat and a short, Jackio-o coat. I'm glad that you put shared!
    I'm going to do the short one and we'll see if I'm bold to try the long one.

  21. I know this post is two years old, but... One thing that is done in the fur coat industry (don't get me talking about that) is to also use a wide strip of lining to finish the hem because coats have to have a loose lining or the lining would tear. The strip of lining is sewn to the hem instead of hem tape, the coat is hemmed and then the facing is turned up and tacked down to the underlining. That way, when the coat lining shifts when being worn or while being taken off, what you see is a lining piece instead of the interfacing, etc. This also protects the structural materials from wear and tearing. In the future, you could do this with your next coat.


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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