Sanne, a student at HKU (Utrecht School of the Arts), is doing an internship with Saskia ter Welle this fall. In the process, she gains a lot of hands-on sewing experience. The first project she takes on herself is sewing a jacket with lining. You can read below about what Sanne discovered:
Sanne makes a jacket with lining for the first time
One of the first things I have been working on under the guidance of Saskia ter Welle is making a custom-made jacket. The jacket I worked on has as its base a pattern draped onto the body by Shingo Sato.
Adding Seam Allowances
While cutting the fabric, I found out that many things around sewing a jacket with lining are still unknown to me. First, the most striking thing to me is that you cut different amounts of seam allowance at different points in the pattern:
Note Saskia: From my experience, I have turned to using fixed seam allowances for certain parts of a pattern for various reasons:
easy to remember when you’ve had to put a project away for a while
for practical convenience: for some parts, 1 cm of seam allowance is the maximum to get a nice drape in the garment
because of practical convenience: for some parts you take more seam allowance so that you can lay out the garment later (enlarge when a child grows, or enlarge because of increased body weight in an adult)
From a practical point of view: a added hem allowance looks nice and adds weight to the hem
Fittings and Lining
Fortunately, stitching together with the machine is a natural for me. Pfiew. But drawing a facing and lining is a completely new story. Until now, I have only known a facing as a way to finish the waist of pants. Because the jacket is draped on the person, you have to make your own patterns for all parts.
To draw facing and lining patterns, use the pattern for the outer fabric of the jacket. You draw the facing within this pattern, with a centimeter (1/4 inch) of seam allowance. The remaining part of the jacket pattern will be sewn from lining fabric.
Note Saskia: A facing prevents unsightly visibility at neckline, sleeves and front closure of the jacket. Because the facing is made of the beautiful (and sturdier!) outer fabric, the facing also provides reinforcement.
Another aspect new to me is the extra space added to the back panel of the lining in the middle for room to move. Stitch this extra space partially (about 8 cm) at the top and bottom. After this, stitch the pieces of facing and lining together before sewing the lining into the jacket.
During the sewing process, I noticed how important it is to properly pre-baste (punch through) the seam allowance at the collar before putting it in. By doing so, you ensure that the collar does not become unintentionally a-symmetrical. By the way, for inserting the collar, Saskia has a very handy step-by-step plan.
Handwork in sewing a jacket
Note Saskia: sewing education in the Netherlands focuses mainly on ready-to-wear techniques. In this process, the lining in jacket is inserted by machine. In my studio, we do this by hand (I personally like it).
Fortunately, inserting a shoulder pad turns out to be simple. In fact, you simply attach it with a catch stitch against the shoulder seam; between the outer fabric and the facing.
Finish armhole with lining
Finally, the armhole needs some attention. To do this, the sleeve – of the outer fabric – is laced together at the bottom of the armhole of the jacket (outer fabric and lining). Then the sleeve lining is pinned to the armhole. Work the extra space in the head of the lining sleeve into the top of the armhole with pleats or gathers. After this, set the lining of the sleeve by hand (folded over the armhole) and secure it with an invisible stitch.
Personal Note from Sanne:
As you can well read, I learned an awful lot while making this jacket! It amazed me how many precise steps had to be taken to achieve such a beautiful finish. Each of the steps I have described is valuable to the final look of the work. It has been my goal for some time to put down beautifully made and neat work, and this is a huge step in the right direction for me.
For me personally, it is mainly the deployment of the liner that is interesting. Several times I have fumbled with lining, and to learn how to do it properly once was incredibly valuable. Soon have in planning to make a jacket for myself. So you understand that I can’t wait to apply the knowledge I now possess!
So much for Sanne’s report. Want to get started making a jacket yourself? Find inspiration for unusual pockets in jackets here!