Sunday, January 22, 2012

Finishing touches: Lining and Buttonholes

Lining any garment makes it more luxurious to wear, easier to put on and lengthens it's life. Nowhere is this more important than in a jacket or coat, where the garment is pulled over clothing several times a day and often the wrong side is seen. A lining also covers up the inner evidence of your tailoring work, leaving a clean and beautiful inner finish. Lining a jacket isn't difficult, but it does require some pattern preparation as well as some additional sewing.
My lining was inserted using a modified hand technique, which you can find in Connie Long's Easy Guide to Sewing Linings. This book would make it on my Take to a Desert Island short list (right after the Reader's Digest Guide to Sewing). It covers lining techniques for nearly any garment you can imagine, starting with drafting you lining pattern and going all the way to finishing techniques. The Tailoring book I referenced yesterday also has a brief discussion of linings, but this is much more step-by-step. Essentially, the lining is assembled and attached to the facings by machine, then hand sewn at the hems. The finish is beautiful, and it is surprisingly easy to do.
Another beautiful finish you can add to your garment is bound buttonholes. They look very intimidating, but are also surprisingly easy to make, after a little practice! I made 3 sample buttonholes before I was ready to actually cut (gasp!) my fabric. Gertie's Bound Buttonhole tutorial was what I used to make my buttonholes. The only thing I would add to her tutorial would be my hint for getting your welt lips to be evenly positioned within your window.
After slipstitching the welts in place, I would still get a little bit of slipping, but by placing a single pin through the point of my clipped triangle and pinning between the lips, they stayed centered every time.
I hope this little series has helped you to be a little more comfortable with tailoring and coat making if you weren't before, or has added a little to the knowledge base that you have. I am so happy that I finally sewed my own coat. It is beautiful and fits me perfectly, which I know I would never have been able to find off the rack.

13 comments:

  1. Thank you for the detailed information you've provided. I don't really wear jackets, but this post makes me want to put bound buttonholes on something! :)

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  2. The buttonholes are beautiful. That's a great tip about centering the lips!

    I love love love lining jackets...it's what keeps driving me to make them. The finished result makes up for having to cut out a million little pieces.

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  3. This is such a great jacket - classic & classy!

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  4. You coat is gorgeous, Katie! Such a classic, too; you'll wear this forever.

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  5. Heehee! I have all three of those books! Now I know what to bring to that desert island... :)

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  6. Great job on making this jacket! The bound buttonholes are perfect for this fabric. Lovely jacket

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  7. Beautiful interior to the coat! I agree with Connie's Linings book - and I can't believe you did bound buttonholes! Way to Go!

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  8. It's nice to know that there are button hole tutorials out there, for whenever I get up the nerve to make a real coat!

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  9. Replies
    1. Glad to see it is still working! Thanks!!

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  10. I'll have to try your pin trick; I used Gertie's method for bound buttonholes but getting the lips centered, even with a ton of hand-basting, was very difficult.

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  11. Im still trying to get up the courage to finish my Lady Grey and this has reminded me to get on with it!!!

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