Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sewing Your Lining Back Pleat

Hey Sew-Alongers! I've gotten a couple questions about the back pleat in the Lady Grey lining, so I thought I'd demonstrate how I did mine. A coat or jacket back lining is typically slightly bigger than the coat fabric, and the excess is formed into a pleat at the center back. This allows for movement of the arms and keeps the lining from coming apart at stress points.

The pattern instructions read: "On the back lining, form the back pleat by bringing lines together and pin into place. Stitch pleat for 2" at the top, waist, and bottom."

So, first let's look at the pattern piece. See that line that goes all the way down on the right, next to the arrows indicating "place on fold"? That's the pleat line. It's an inch in from the fold line all the way down. Since we know that, there's no need to mark it on your fabric.

Cut out your lining fabric and pin it down the fold line so it doesn't shift.
Now, mark where you'll be stitching it in place. Make two-inch lines at the very top of the pleat line, at the waist, and at the very bottom. Use a ruler and chalk to make the lines one-inch away from the fold (since that's where the pleat line is) and two-inches long each. These chalk marks are now your stitching lines.
Take it to your machine, and stitch along each of these two-inch lines, making sure to secure each row with reverse stitching at the beginning and end. Remove the pins as you go. Open out the lining piece and press the pleat to one side. That's it! You have a back pleat. This is the wrong side of your fabric.

Make sense, everyone?


  1. Hi Gertie! I was wating for this! Thanks!

  2. You said press to the side, I would have thought that you would press it to make a box type pleat with 1" on each side of the middle. Not that I know anything about lining a coat. Just curious.

    enjoy your blog :)

  3. whew! I posted pics of my pleat on the photo pool, and then was seized with fear that I did it wrong and was posting bad information!

    I didn't press mine at all, now that I think of it!

  4. Moonwishes, the pattern didn't say to press it at all, but I was going from what other patterns have called for. I'm not sure that it matters either way.

  5. Gertie, I've been following the sew-along posts with great interest, so much useful information! I'm also making a coat, but from a different pattern and I'm waaay behind you guys (just making the final pattern changes...). Your posts are a true inspiration, they always make me go straight back to sewing. Everything seems so do-able after one of your tutorials, and I find myself thinking "of course I can do that!" (it might not always be quite so easy, but how to tackle problems unless one gets to them, right? =) )

    I just wanted to say thank you for all your work with the posts, tutorials and movies!

  6. I regret not joining in on the sewing fun! Any plans for the next sew along?


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

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