Now, not only did Simplicity 3631 not have any pattern or directions for a lining; this was also the first time I lined a coat or jacket.
This required a good deal of reading and mulling over; a few friends also kindly offered advice and encouragement when I mentioned my thoughts on the lining here. Thank you, Carolyn and Tany! Thanks also to everyone who encouraged me on the way.
- Claire Shaeffer’s Couture Sewing techniques;
- My French sewing manual: Le grand livre de la couture, by Sylvie Gauthier, published by France Loisirs; it is indeed un grand livre: both big and great;
- This wonderful Threads article on bagging a lining. This tutorial is chock-full of information if you click on all the enclosed links. I compiled them within a single printer-friendly document and printed it out for reference at the sewing table. (anyone wanting the printer-friendly document, just ask!)
Summary of what I did:
Making the lining pattern:
- I cut the front and back pieces slightly shorter than the shell, but left the full length in the sleeves. I liked the idea of the turquoise showing discreetly when I lifted the arm.
- I added an inch to the back’s middle, in order to create a pleat for added ease.
- I cut the front by folding over the facing twice and adding a seam allowance:
- I cut the sleeves as per the original pattern.
- I assembled the lining as I’d assembled the shell: pleats, side seams, raglan sleeves. (At which point, Seb said I should keep the lining as it was and wear it as a jacket.) I assembled the lining on the serger. (for the shell, on the other hand, I serged the seam allowances separately and pressed all seams open)
- At this point, I read about Carolyn’s jacket; Carolyn also lined her 3631 jacket, and funnily enough, we made most of it on the same weekend (well, she finished hers; I almost finished mine, but then sprained my foot, and the jacket suffered a two-week hiatus). I decided to follow Carolyn’s lead and keep the lining and shell’s hems independent. I therefore hemmed the lining by machine and the shell by hand. Tany had given me a great tip when we met in Paris about adding fusible interfacing to the hem, to give it shape. She also shows it very well here. It also helps greatly for stitching an invisible hem. I stopped the invisible hem 1 cm before the facing.
OK, this picture is slightly misleading. Here, I had started hemming the shell with the project of assembling the lining’s and shell’s hems. Only after did I read Carolyn’s post and decided to keep the hems separate. I therefore ripped this and folded over the hem twice instead of once, for a more finished look. However, it does show you where I started the hem: just beyond where the facing would be folded over itself.
machine-stitched lining, hand-stitched shell
- I sewed the shell’s and lining’s front edges together (right sides together), stopping a few inches before the bottom.
- I stitched the shell’s facing as per the pattern’s instruction: folding it to the outside (the right side) of the jacket and stitching the bottom edge, then trimming the seam, and finally turning it to the inside.
- I hemmed the sleeves by machine, as explained by Threads here
- I turned the jacket to the right side, pinned the shell and lining along the neckline, and added the collar as per the pattern’s instructions, treating the shell and lining as one.
- I stitched the collar to the outside by hand, unlike the pattern’s instruction which tell you to stitch in the ditch. Stitching in the ditch is much less neat than slipstitching for an invisible seam. After all the work I’d already devoted to this coat, I thought it deserved the extra niceness of a hand-tacked collar.
Wow! That was long. I hope this step-by-step tutorial may help some.
I’ll be showing you the finished coat very, very shortly… Promise!
Happy sewing everyone!