|by Sunni Standing|
Oh goodness! I am so excited to be apart of the Sewing Party and very happy to be contributing today’s post on sewing simple skirt linings. If there is one question that I’m asked a lot, it’s about anything to do with lining treatments. I am a lining queen. I line a lot of garments and will go out of my way to do so as I feel it adds a ton of wearable value to the garment itself – or at least it does for me. Additionally, I work with a lot of different fiber types when it comes to fabric choice and I have found that fabrics that might not lay comfortably against the skin do well with a lining. Linings add longevity too. They add a slippery factor that help combat cling. They can add a bit of warmth and provide comfort. These are all factors to consider when lining a garment.
For this example, I decided to use the Sewaholic’s Hollyburn Skirt pattern (one of my FAVORITES!). First, let’s define what a simple skirt style is. I consider this to be most anything that is not a pencil skirt or pleated skirt. These types of skirts require special treatments that help combat bulk as in the case of the pleated skirt or require extra forethought when dealing with a vent or slit as in the case of a pencil skirt. With simple skirts there is possibly a waistband, pocket and/or zipper to consider and these are all easily overcome.
To begin, I’ve constructed the outer shell of the Hollyburn. Please note that I have converted the foldover waistband that comes with the pattern into an outer waistband and inner waistband facing (basically it’s just a rectangle cut in half with seam allowance added to one side). I’ve inserted and will be showing the lining treatment for an invisible zipper.
This pattern has a slash pocket. When you cut out the lining, you’re not going to want to do a pocket on the inside as that would be a) weird and b) well, more weird. You can definitely put pockets in linings, but this would probably not be the best situation for this garment style. So you’ll need to grab the pocket back/bag piece and attach it back onto the skirt front (I just do this with pins). I’ve cut my pocket pattern in half for ease in showing you this part, just be aware. If you’re doing a lining treatment on something similar that has a pocket like this, just remember that you’ll have to add that pocket backing back on.
Now it’s time to cut your lining. You’ll be cutting the same pieces you cut for your skirt, but with the added pocket backing/bag back onto the skirt front if you’ve got that. So just to be clear, I’m cutting two skirt backs and two amended pocket skirt fronts. I’m using a lovely bemberg rayon lining – my favorite for lining. Bemberg rayon comes in such lovely colors and it feels wonderful against the body, plus it’s breathable and wears and tears like a champ! But this stuff is slippery. Probably one of the most slippery and slinky fabrics I work with. To combat that at the cutting stage, here’s some helpful tips that I use all the time. Make sure you’ve got a pair of really sharp shears. (If you’re using a rotary cutter and mat, you can skip ahead as this is just info for those who use old school shears). You can also invest in serrated shears too which will grip your fabric as you cut. These work wonderfully for slippery materials.
I cut on a cut cloth. Cut cloths are marvelous! I use a piece of muslin that I’ve washed several times, but you could also use flannel or even cotton canvas. The idea is it’s a piece of fabric that you lay down first and it grips the fabric you lay on top of it. Once you’ve done that, pin your pattern through all the layers – lining fabric and cut cloth – and cut only the lining by inserting your sharp shears in between the lining and cut cloth layers. The cut cloth makes the lining stay put pretty well and reduces the jaggety cut edges by quite a bit – and hey, if you’re still getting those, don’t worry. This still takes some practice and you’ll get better with time.
Now you’ll go ahead and construct the lining just like you did for the outer skirt. I’ve constructed the Hollyburn by stitching the center front seam and then the side seams and left the back open. And I have another great tip for you too! I love french seams on linings. I just think they look so nice and beautiful, so I usually opt for this seam finishing treatment with linings. But I do easy french seams! This works if you’ve got a serger/overlocker. You’ll serge/overlock your seams, wrong sides together first. Press the seam to one side. Then stitch the seam right sides together encasing the serged edge in between. Easy, peasy.
If you’ve got a waistband facing for your particular pattern, then now is the time to add that on. Here’s another tip! For the waistband facing, use a fabric that will feel good against the skin. If you’re making a wool skirt, then cut a waistband facing out of a fabric that coordinates and feels nice to the touch and wouldn’t itch. I went ahead and finished the raw edges of my center back seams on the lining section first and then added the waistband facing on.
By this time, you should have a lining unit that more or less mimics your skirt’s outer shell unit. Sans zipper, of course. It’s time to attach that sucker to the skirt outer shell. (You’ll want to do this after the zipper is already attached to the outer shell.) I start at the zipper first. I like everything finished by machine, especially for an invisible zipper treatment. Pin your skirt’s zipper opening to the lining’s zipper opening right sides together. This will involve opening up the zipper opening’s seam allowance on the skirt’s outer shell. The bottom section below the zipper opening on the lining will be free right now. You’ll stitch that up at a later time. With your zipper foot, stitch the lining to the skirt’s outer shell at the zipper opening. This feels kind of counter intuitive, but it works. You’ll want to make sure that you’re stitching on the zipper tape, even though you can’t see it. When you’re doing it, that will make sense.
Once you’ve got both sides done, you’ll stitch around the top edge of the waistband. Here’s an extra tip too. I don’t know if you’ve ever dealt with that crazy weird bulk at the top of an invisible zipper before, but to combat that fold the zipper opening over toward the facing and stitch it down. This is one of those magically weird things that just makes your zipper nicer and flatter up at the top section when all is said and done. It just does! Trust me.
Give the skirt square edges a little clip to combat bulk and then turn the skirt right side out. Oh goodness, we’re almost there!
Along the top edge of the waistband, I do some understitching. Understitching is a technique that helps certain garment seams favor one part of the garment over the other. In this case, we want that top waistband seam to favor the inside of the garment. It’s just a nice, professional touch. I use my edge stitch foot for this – it’s got an ice-skate down the middle which acts as a great guide – just move your needle over to where you want it! You’ll want to stitch the entire seam allowance to the waistband facing for it to favor the inside of the garment. I stitch it at about 1/8″ in from the seamline.
From there, give your waistband a nice press. Pin the waistband in place all around the outside and stitch in the ditch where the waistband meets the skirt section on the right side of the garment through all the layers. I use my stitch in the ditch foot for this, but if you don’t have one of those, just be sure to hide those stitches right in the seamline of the waistband and skirt.
Stitch up the center back seam in the lining and give that a press. And then finish off the skirt lining hem. I will hem my outer skirt first and then cut the lining to be level with the outer skirt hem. Once done, note that you’ll have a 1″ hem allowance, which is the norm for a lining, meaning your skirt hem is 1″ longer than your lining hem or vice versa. I usually do one of two things for the hem. I’ll either use my roll hem from my serger or I’ll add an attractive hem tape lace at the bottom. Or you can hem in the traditional way (press up and then up again), but I will warn you that these slippery fabrics don’t always behave!
Alright, that’s it! I do hope you’ll try this – it produces a lovely skirt with lining. Fall’s just around the bend and it won’t be long before we start pulling out those lovely wools to make into gorgeous skirts – what better than to line them! Enjoy friends!
SUNNI STANDING A Fashionable Stitch
Sunni Standing is proprietress of all things A Fashionable Stitch, where she blogs about her love for apparel sewing. Sunni has been a sewing blogger since 2007, when after graduating from college she reclaimed an old passion for sewing her own clothes. A Fashionable Stitch documents her battles with getting a great fit, sewing tutorials, in addition to her more recent escapades in the world of small business ownership. These days Sunni can be found sewing, blogging about sewing and working a full-time gig for the man and on some rare days she’ll spend hours pawing through and contemplating future creations from her giant fabric stash.
Sewing machine: PFAFF® performance™ 5.0
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