Tuesday, November 27, 2012

{Pencil Skirt Sew-along} Adding A Lining

I'm currently playing catch-up with my sew-along posting schedule, so this follows straight on from inserting the zip.

Remember that lining your skirt is totally optional, and I've included it primarily to offer an extra stage for more experienced sewists. If you're a total beginner I'd recommend skipping the lining and just wearing a slip with your skirt.

Also, I'll be honest, these instructions are my own method that I made up - I have no idea how they compare to any 'official' method!

First of all, the most important thing to remember about a lining is that the right side faces in - you're basically making an inside-out skirt. So remember - especially if you're using a lining fabric that has a right and a wrong side (e.g. a satin) that the right side will be facing your skin, and the wrong side will face the fabric of the outer skirt. I reiterate this because despite being such a simple concept, I find it a bit of a mind*bleep* and it's what I struggle with most with linings!

Okay, let's get started.

You'll use exactly the same pattern piece(s) for the lining as for the outer skirt, just make them shorter. You can choose to stop the lining at the level of the kick pleat, or make it about an inch shorter than the skirt itself.

Note, although my skirt has side seams, I'm using the original one-piece pattern to cut my lining, as my lining fabric is too narrow in width to accommodate the extra seam allowances.

Lay the pattern piece on the lining fabric - I only bought enough fabric for a half-length lining, so my pattern piece is overhanging the edge of the fabric. Pin the pattern in place and cut out.

Lining, by its nature, is slippery, so it's a little more tricky to sew than say cotton or wool. The good news is we won't be repeating all those darts that we made in the outer skirt. Mark off the tops of the darts with chalk or disapearing ink pen - although we won't be sewing the darts we still need to 'remove' the excess fabric, otherwise the waistline won't match when we attach the lining to the skirt.

Pinch the dart markings together to make a small tuck, and pin.

Machine-baste the tucks in place, and sew the side seams or side darts.

Sew the back seam, leaving the top free for the length of the zip you're going to be using plus about an inch. Press the stitched part of the seam open but leave the top part unpressed for now.

With the skirt right side out, place the lining inside the skirt, right side facing inwards, wrong side facing the skirt outer fabric. Line up the top edges and the side seams/darts; the tucks in the lining should also correspond to the front and back darts. Pin in place along the waistline, and machine baste just (like a couple of millimetres) within the seam allowance - but leave free about an inch either side of the zipper opening.

At the zipper opening, turn under the lining so it covers the edge of the zipper tape but doesn't come too close to the teeth. Press and pin in place.

Carefully slipstitch the lining to the zipper tape.

Next up, waistbands...


  1. I'm at this point with my skirt. Today I cut out the lining, stitched the darts and pinned it to the skirt for fit.
    So far so good.
    I used anti-static polyester lining but it really isn't. The skirt itself is polyester ponte-roma jersey which is presumably causing the problem.
    What should I do? Leave it unlined? line with the ponte roma? Keep away from petrol stations?

    1. Although I've never worked with poly jersey fabric, I would have thought it would be fairly non-static itself, so you might be able to get away without lining the skirt. Sorry I can't be more help!

      xx Charlotte

  2. I am so behind in this, I only just bought my lining fabric a week ago! I have to catch up but I'm excited to start it soon. :)


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