Tag Archives: sewing

Sew your own style

Sharing my sewing adventures to show how to add a lining. Add a lining to take your sewing from home made to haute couture. Sew your own style.

Blue Trench Coat

My Spring wardrobe would not be complete without  a coat to keep the blustery showers at bay.

Blue is a favourite of mine so I can choose to wear my blue boots or blue court shoes to complete the outfit. What colour coat would best suit you and your wardrobe? Sew your own style.

 

I used Simple Sew The Trench Coat pattern and some blue suiting from a local tailor.

Simple Sew Trench Coat pattern

This coat pattern is a flattering belted style without buttons. however it is short for a coat, and there in no guidance for adding a lining.

Haute couture

I made it more versatile to wear over a wider range of clothes, and in a range of weather by increasing the length.

Haute couture is French for “high sewing” or “high dressmaking” or “high fashion” and is the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Not as difficult as the term may suggest, and is all about getting clothes right for you and not the same as anyone else. Sew your own style

Adding a lining

Rose & Hubble fabric for the lining

I chose some lovely Rose & Hubble cotton for the lining. The lining of a coat can be extra special, almost like a secret between the wearer and the coat, which can be chosen to be shared, or not!
I’m not a fan of slippery man-made fabric linings, as they can wear out quite fast, and be sweaty (this could just be me of course?!). I prefer a natural fabric which is more breathable, and in this case I chose a hard wearing cotton. I do tend to sling my coat around, when out and about in the car, or under seats etc at venues so they do need to stand up to this treatment!

What do you need to take into account?

The great thing about adding a lining is that all your seams are covered up so although they need finishing to stop any fraying, you don’t have to feel they will be open to inspection.

First things first, I always wash fabric so if there is going to be any shrinkage, it is before making.

While the fabric drys, inspect the pattern construction and instructions and decide on any alterations you want. I  lengthened the belt as well as both the bodice and skirt length.

Cuting out in my kitchen as the worktop height is kinder on my back. I love using my fabric weights. Quicker and easier than pinning, especially with thick fabric. You can find these in my Etsy shop. I ship worldwide from Yorkshire. I’m also happy to create a custom order for you, if there is a particular colour or design you would like. Just let me know.

Using Fabric Weights

The lining pieces are the same as the main body (no need for the belt or facing though).

The sleeves and back pattern pieces are cut out the same as for the main fabric pieces.

You can see here where I use the main fabric piece to get the same length – this shows how much length I added – tall girls need more fabric!

Planning the lining

Use the pattern markings for grain and fold lines for the lining.

Cutting out the lining pieces

However, because the lining is attached to the facing, the front lining pieces don’t want to be as wide as the main fabric front pieces.

In this pattern there’s lots of fullness from pleats in the front skirt pieces, which I din’t want in the lining, as it would be far too bulky.

You can see here how I pinned the pleats on the front skirt pattern piece and folded in the facing width to create my lining pattern piece.

adjusting the pattern for the lining

Sewing  in the lining

Make up the lining as a second version of the garment. If curves need clipping do this after neatening the edges. I love using pinking scissors for finishing seams of cotton fabric.

constructing the lining

I hung my nearly finished garments up, to allow gravity to work and see how it would hang in wear.  I checked the sizing before sewing  together. The lining garment is placed wrong side to the wrong side of the main garment once the facing and lining  are sewn together right sides together.

 

hanging during construction

The lining needs to be 2 – 3 inches shorter than the outer coat and I didn’t hem them separately, but chose to sew the hems right sides together and then turn through.

At this stage there are no sleeves.

Sleeves

The sleeve is inserted into the main garment, right sides together with even gethering.

insert the sleeve

You won’t get a smooth lining finish if you don’t hand stitch the lining sleeve top, or head, in place. So, first sew the wrist part of the lining and sleeve together. Place right sides together with the lining on the outside. Machine stitch the wrist circle and then turn the sleeve lining to the inside of the sleeve. Match up the side seams and ensure it isn’t twisted.

Fold over the top edge of the sleeve lining and slip stitch it to the lining bodice, matching the undearm seams. Careful hand stitching here really does finish the garment off well.

The other thing I added to finish my coat, was silver top stitch along the front edge, all around the collar. Along with clipping the seams, and tapering the collar point, this really helps the collar to lie flat aswell as finishing the garment. Some extra attention to finishing details really helps to sew your own style. I am thinking about which sewist brooch to add.

front of finished coat

back of finished coat

I’m looking forward to the end of wintery weather here, so I can step out in my blue coat. What clothesmaking would help you to sew your own style?

New Year – New Dress

 New Year – New Dress

In this new dress sewing post: Project organisation; Matching Checks/Plaids; Creating a Neck facing; Inserting a Zip; Inserting Sleeves; Using Tacking

My new dress has both a high waist and both bodice and skirt darts which are flattering to my curves.

Project organisation

My aim is to use up the fabrics and resources I already have, reducing my storage needs and simplify finding everything.

I had already prepped some red, brown and navy plaid fabric: washing and drying it and then pinning the selvedges together, matching the plaid pattern up. Having decided to use a high waist winter dress pattern, I had stored the fabric and pattern together in a stacking basket, complete with thread and zip notions.

This is one of the ways I organise my projects.

After hearing a podcast on fabric and pattern organisation I’m considering options for my New Year goal of simplicity.

I already use Evernote for general organisation so this may be best for specific sewing project organisation. I would then have the info on fabrics and patterns, including the fabric & notions required on my phone with me when out.

Cutting Out

When I realised I had a spare afternoon towards the end of December, when the rest of the family went off to the cinema, I washed down the Kitchen Island (which is just the right height for me to cut out fabric without back issues), and grabbed the basket for this project.

Having the plaid pattern already matched up, and using my fabric weights, which I find quicker than pins, I had my dress fabric pieces cut out in no time.

 

I made my own fabric weights, filling them with rice, and you can order some  yourself choosing your own colour fabric, from my Etsy shop.

These pattern weights are not just handy for sewists, but make great paper weights or for  juggling practice!

All the pieces were returned to the basket to take back to my studio and stay together during construction.

Over the following week, whenever I had a little time spare, I went to my machine, and pieced my new dress together. My aim became to have it ready to wear on News Year Day, and I did achieve this, even though I sat sewing the hem by hand at my sister in law’s New Years Eve gathering!

Matching Plaids

As I mentioned I had already pined the selvedge edges together, matching the plaid pattern up.

Fabric is not always folded up on in the bolt straight to the pattern so the first step to pattern matching is to straighten it out.

Pre washing means I know there will not be any distortion after making up.

When placing the pattern pieces on the fabric I considered what would need to match up.

My pattern needed matching horizontally and vertically, so I needed the skirt and bodice plaids to match up, as well as the front and back pattern to match horizontally.

I placed the pattern pieces to allow for this.

I also added an inch to the bodice armhole as shown, to give a little more movement.

In places, even after pinning the plaid to match on seams, there was some slippage. So the plaid did not quite match after pressing the seam. This is an instance when tacking, in this case sideways on the plaid line, as well as just inside the seam line, saved unpicking and resewing!

Creating a Neck Facing

An interlined facing creates a neat neck edge. I attached iron-on grey interlining to the fabric facing pieces. (It is not necessary to try to do any plaid matching, as the facing is turned to the wrong side and is not seen when you wear the dress).

The shoulder seams both of the bodice and the facing are sewn first

The facing is then sewn on to the bodice, right sides together. This curved seam needs clipping to ensure the facing lies flat.

I then pressed this facing seam to ensure a smooth neck edge.

Especially when pressing curves, a tailors ham makes a really good accessory, giving a firm surface to press against.

I made my own tailors ham, filling it with sawdust and you can order one yourself (choosing your own colour fabric if you choose) from my Etsy shop

I then used understitching the facing to give extra strength to the neck edge and help ensure the facing lies flat.

This involves a line of stitching on the opened out facing.

When the facing is folded under you don’t see the stitches.

An alternative would be to topstitch the folded neck edge, where you will see the stitches. This can add an extra design feature, especially if you use a contrasting thread colour. As my fabric already had plenty going on, I chose to understitch.

Inserting the Zip

I used a regular zip, rather than an invisible one, as that is what I had in.

When your fabric has several colours, it can be tricky to decide which colour zip to use. I had brown and red zips, so held both against the bodice pieces to choose which blended best. I went for the red zip and made sure the thread blended well too.

My zip method: tack the seam together, press it open and then lay the right side of the zip down centred over the seam.

Tacking again helps keep the centred and in place during stitching. Using a zipper foot helps get the stitches close to the zipper teeth.

Inserting Sleeves

Tack the sleeve heads, with the thread secured at one end. Pull up these stitches then to match the bodice armhole.

I place the pins sideways to the seam. Wind the unsecured end of the tacking round a pin in a figure of eight, after pulling the gathering to match.

The regular sewing machine foot used, glides over pins that are sideways.

My finished new dress for the New Year and Burns Night. Bring on the neeps and tatties!

I would love to hear from you. Please comment here, or using the contact form.

What is your most recent make?

How do you organise your fabric and patterns?