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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Flat Lining Simp 2153

When I decided to do this pattern I knew there was no lining. Did I want to do a bagged lining, a hand stitched lining, or no lining and Hong Kong seams? After thinking it over a bit I reached back into my tool box and decided to flat line the garment. This is a technique, one of many, that I learned from Threads magazine probably 15 years ago or so. I always love the result but it isn't proper for every pattern. Here's a basic explanation. 

Doing this jacket with the techniques I will show you as I go along is quite different from the pattern directions and has required a different sequence of tasks. For this pattern I will have a bound facing made of the fashion fabric. The facing provided in the pattern only went to natural shoulder seam area which landed it in the middle of the yoke shoulder. There was no back facing. I folded back the front facing to meet the yoke seam in front and then made a facing from the yoke pattern so now I will have a facing all around, much preferred and necessary with the flat lining treatment.

Once the facings were cut the public fashion fabric is cut out. The lining fabric  for the bodice is then cut using the same pattern but each vertical seam that will be enclosed will be cut one half inch wider than the public fabric. Flat lining is done on vertical seams only. As we go along you will see that I have handled the yoke and sleeves differently. What you see above is the back bodice lining, no yoke yet, placed on the fold as required and the vertical side seam only is cut one half inch wider. I cannot tell you how many times over the years I just subconsciously started cutting out the lining exactly like the bodice so pay really close attention and be present in this moment of cutting. One way not to forget is to run a line of pins through the extra half inch before cutting so you don't make that mistake like I have done. I did it this time but was able to use the wrong cut piece for the yoke and pockets, no wasteno problem. I am not always so lucky. The front bodice pieces for the lining were also cut with half inch larger side seams only. The CF edges will be enclosed in the facing so they do not change.  Below you see the back bodice.

The bodice lining and the fashion fabric are placed right sides together. I like to do one seam at a time for ironing ease but you can do both sides at once if you like. Pin the side seam edges together. This will leave you with a mismatched looking bodice with one piece larger than the other. Just ignore that. With this wrinkly fabric pinning was really important.  Stitch the side seam with a 1/4 inch seam. Press as sewn. I now  like to shave off between 1/16th and 1/8th with my rotary cutter. This makes up for the turn of cloth when you do the next step. Press your seam toward the lining. Then wrap the lining around the seam a hair under a 1/4 inch and press and pin. Now let's get to the presser foot.
This technique is helped greatly by a 1/4 inch foot and an edge stitching foot, the one with the blade in the middle. You can do this fine without them but they will give you a bit more accuracy. 
Here you have a good pic of the lining fabric wrapped and pressed over the seam allowance. Now you have a decision to make, either one is no better than the other, just personal preference. You need to decide if you want to stitch your wrapped seam allowance "in the ditch" or topstitch. For this garment I went with the topstitching, clicking two times to the right of center on my Pfaff. The blade runs down the edge of the bound SA and the stitching is a tad to the right.Before actually stitching I did lay my lined bodice on the pattern tissue to check fit. It came out perfect. You haven't changed the width of the seam allowance. You've only wrapped and bound it. On a bulkier fabric half inch seams may be required instead o 5/8ths. It is important to check your garment against the pattern pieces before you stitch any seams together so the fit is maintained. Measure twice, sew once! Can you also see how critical it is to get a good fit on your pattern before starting? That really should be worked out before attempting this technique as there is little opportunity to adjust for fit with this method, some but not much. 
Proceed with this wrapping and stitching until all your vertical seams are sewn. With this pattern that is only the side seams. All other vertical seams will be enclosed with the facing. Once the bodice pieces are flat lined you proceed like any underlined garment. Except.... the yoke will be done a bit differently and more on that in the next post. I am also going to add the zipper in the front bodice before it is connected to the yoke. It's just easier that way but a different sequence than the pattern instructions give. Also coming are the sleeves where I use a Nancy Zieman technique from her early days of TV and one that I have used many times. More lata'....Ooo..I also have a flat lining tute for pants over in the side bar.

Today most of the available sewing time was spent working on the pockets. I could not find tiny rivets to put in the corners so did my usual triangle treatment with a tiny zigzag across the top. .....Bunny


  1. Great tutorial on the flat lining technique!!! As always, your description as well as the pictures are outstanding. :)

  2. This is going to be gorgeous inside and out! could even end up to be reversible!

  3. LOve how this will be lined and gorgeous inside as well as out. I've been in love with a "stitch and flip" technique from Threads and taught by the late, wonderful Shannon Gifford on PR years ago. You are reminding me that I need to do that on a jacket this fall.

  4. Superb, Bunny. I've never seen this technique before and was peering at your main blog trying to figure out how you'd done that lovely finishing - now I know.


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