The Richmond Sew-Along: Sewing the Lining

Hello folks, today we're going to be assembling the lining for our beautiful blazers! Have you chosen a perfectly matched plain lining, or a jazzy print?

The first thing you're going to do is create a tiny little pleat in the curved edge of each of your Front Lining pieces, between the two notches. Fold the top notch down to meet the bottom notch, so your baby pleat is pointing downwards. Stitch to secure the pleat, and give it a little press. (In case you're wondering, this teensy pleat is to create a bit of shaping that in the actual jacket comes out of the front dart.)

Next, take your Back Lining pieces, and match and pin down the centre-back. Stitch this seam with your standard 1.5cm (5/8 inch) seam allowance. Then, return to the top and stitch a short line from the neckline notches (just in from the CB seam) down as far as the dots. You've just created a pleat in the back lining which gives you a bit more freedom of movement within your jacket. Press the pleated top section over to one side, but press the rest of the CB seam open.

Assemble the body of the jacket lining by stitching the Front sections to the Sides, and then the Sides to the Backs. You may well need to slightly clip the concave curved edges of the Fronts to be able to match them smoothly to the convex edges of the Sides; just take care as some lining fabrics can fray or even tear very easily. If you do need to clip and you're worried about your lining tearing or fraying, you may wish to run a line of stay-stitching along the edges first at just under the 1.5cm (5/8 inch) seam allowance depth and then clip up to this line.

This rather blurry photo (sorry!) shows my little clips into the curved edge of the Front Lining.

Stitch the shoulder seams and press open.

*Just a quick note here on finishing: if you're worried about your lining fraying, pinking the seams will fix this. Generally, as the seams will all be encased within the jacket, they shouldn't experience too much abrasion and therefore not fray to any significant extent, but some lining fabrics are prone to unravelling so a little pinking can put your mind at ease.*

We assemble the lining sleeves in exactly the same way as described for the outer sleeves, with one exception. Down one of the 2 seams joining the Upper and the Lower pieces on one of your sleeves, leave a 15cm (6 inch) gap in the middle of the seam. Be sure to backstitch on either side of this unstitched section because this is the gap through which you'll pull your entire jacket to turn it inside out: it will take some strain. Press open the seam allowance of both the stitched sections and the unstitched middle section.

I use a pair of pins inserted together to mark the stopping/starting points on either side of the section to be left free: this reminds my brain to stop sewing there!

Attach your sleeves to the main body of the lining. The amount of ease in the sleeve cap may be trickier to accommodate in a fine lining fabric than it was in your main jacket fabric, so if you end up with some tiny puckers/pleats it's not the end of the world!

That's your lining assembled and ready to go! In the next post we'll be attaching the lining to the outer jacket and – excitingly! - turning the whole thing inside out...

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