Getting closer…

by Stephanie on November 14, 2011

in Fashion Sewing,Quilted Clothing

Post image for Getting closer…

… to a finished jacket. Here is it, ready to bind. Those are the bias binding strips at the bottom of the pic, not yet seamed or pressed. The square of print on the folded back front is a patch pocket with hand-written label. Mum goes to at least one chamber music concert a week, and I figure she could use a little pocket to keep tickets/ticket-stubs in.

If I ever make a quilted jacket again (hard to imagine right now, but eventually I’ll forget how much work this was and decide it will be fun to make another), I might be brave enough to try using the lining fabric as a backing for the quilted pieces. That would avoid a separate lining, but would require some kind of creative finish on the seam allowances. For this one, I decided a separate lining was the way to go. It probably was not an more hassle than, say, covering all the seam allowances with bias strips of lining fabric.

To construct the lining for a simple boxy jacket like this, make a second jacket (fronts, back, sleeves, collar) from lining fabric. I used a lightweight ivory poly satin from the stash. I remember ordering it on sale from eons ago, but don’t remember why. We’ll call it a premonition. One of the great blessings of living in the tropics is that I only sew unlined clothing. Until now, that is.

Surviving one lined garment project doesn’t make me much of an authority, but here are some tips you might find helpful, should your mother ever bribe you into making a quilted jacket for her:

1) The ivory satin looks pretty and feels divine, but is super slippery and frays if you so much as think about looking at it. Next time I will arm myself with a case of Fray Check.

2) Slippery fabrics are such a pain to work with that you might be tempted to raid the quilting stash for something with which to line your quilted jacket, Don’t. Slippery is the essential quality of a lining. If you put cotton on the inside, it will grip (rather than sliding over) whatever shirt or sweater you are wearing underneath it, making the jacket hard to get on and off and less than comfortable to wear.

3) It’s counter-intuitive, but the lining should be cut a little big bigger (in both width and length) than the jacket, for wearing ease. I know: you’d think it should be a hair smaller, but a little looseness on the inside is the way to go. Partly for ease of movement, and partly because those quilted seam-allowances are bulky and the lining needs to accommodate them. You can see in the pic above that the lining fits the jacket loosely, and the sleeves linings are extra-long.

4) You might not want to go to the trouble of using french seams on the lining, but do. It will enclose those annoyingly frayable raw edges inside the seam allowance, which means less likelihood of agonizing seam repair down the road.

5) No matter what the pattern instructions say, you will have a much easier time of it if you sew the sleeves in FLAT. Do this once and you’ll never go back to trying to fit a sleeve tube into an armhole again. (FYI: this applies only to sleeves without a lot of gathering/ease at the top, and simple patterns where the long sleeve seam and the side seam line up at the underarm.)

6) When the lining is all assembled, turn it slippery-side in (seam allowances out) and slide it inside the jacket. Line everything up just so, and take a few minutes to hand-stitch the lining collar seam allowance to the jacket collar seam allowance. Then machine stay-stitch right up close to the raw edge (1/8″ or so) all the way around to hold things together while you apply the binding.

This jacket pattern calls for packaged 1/2″ double-fold bias tape, but I’m making my own. It’s cut 2.5″ wide, and I’m going to seam, press, and apply it just as though this were a flat quilt. I may have to hand-finish the sleeve binding on the inside, but for the rest of it I’m just going to wrap to the inside and stitch in-the-ditch from the front. I use my blind-hem foot for that, and it works pretty well.



1 Pieces of Sunshine November 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Looking wonderful. The shining lining would feel luxurious.

2 Jan Quigley November 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Wow it looks gorgeous! I know the colours weren’t your ‘thing’ but they are perfect for clothing. Your Mum will love it, I hope you’ll post a pic of her wearing it.

3 Miki November 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm

I love the jacket. Thanks for the great tips. I do not like sewing slippery fabric, and I would have been tempted to use cotton.

Previous post:

Next post: