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Bag Your Jacket Lining

Lining a jacket makes it last longer and become easier to slip on and off. Best yet, using the bagging method is as quick or quicker than finishing an unlined jacket. Photo: Sloan Howard.
Lining a jacket makes it last longer and become easier to slip on and off. Best yet, using the bagging method is as quick or quicker than finishing an unlined jacket. Photo: Sloan Howard.

Lining a jacket makes it last longer and become easier to slip on and off. Best yet, using the bagging method is as quick or quicker than finishing an unlined jacket.
Photo: Sloan Howard.

Stitch opening closed
Stitch opening closed

Make invisible stitches by starting a stitch directly across from previous stitch, push needle along inside of crease, emerge same side, stitch across. Pull up stitches.

Prepare to bag
All jackets benefit from having a lining; it lets the jacket slide easily over other clothes, drape correctly on the body, and stand up to wear and tear. Any jacket pattern, whether it includes a lining or not, can be used to make a bagged lining.

If you're using a pattern without a lining, it's easy to make a lining pattern. Keep in mind that the bagging process won't work without a back neck facing, which is also a cinch to make a pattern for, as shown in the same drawings. And if you're one of those people who always needs to shorten or lengthen a jacket's sleeves or body, alter your pattern before cutting it out, because it's easier to work with a pattern that has the correct hem and sleeve lengths.

The bagging procedure begins only after the jacket and lining have been constructed, but there are a few details to attend to before construction. The first step is to serge-finish the seam allowances of both the jacket and lining hems, side seams, sleeve hems, underarm seams, and the jacket's front facings. Aligning raw edges is much easier to do when they're serge-finished, and results in more accurate stitching lines. You won't see these seam allowances after the jacket is lined, but you'll know they're not raveling during wear (which many fabrics tend to do). I don't serge the neck edges or armscyes, as they're mostly cut on the bias and don't ravel.

Since the jacket's seam allowances will be pressed open, don't serge any two seam allowances together, as you might be tempted to do, for example, on the center-back seam. If you don't have a serger, don't zigzag the edges, as this stitch tends to make the fabric fray more rather than less. Instead, cut cleanly and sew as accurately as possible.

Now, construct the jacket, including setting in the sleeves and collar, following the pattern instructions up to hemming and inserting the lining. Attach the sleeve heads and shoulder pads, too. And check to see that the hem of the jacket is even and the sleeve lengths are correct.

The next step is to create a temporary hem on the jacket. Hand-baste both the entire jacket hem and the sleeve hems 1/4 in. up from the hem's fold and lightly steam-press the folds. This step will save you time and hassle when sewing the hem in place later on. And, as you'll see, the hem crease will serve as a stitching guide.

Leave an opening in one lining seam
Complete the lining, including setting in the sleeves. Lining seams can be serged together in a single pass on the machine, except for one side seam that needs to have an opening through which you'll turn the jacket right side out later. If your jacket pattern has an underarm side panel, make the opening in the seam that connects the panel to the back. This designated seam needs to be sewn conventionally, so that the seam allowances can be pressed open. The creases of these seam allowances will serve to guide the little bit of hand-sewing at the end of the project.

After sewing and pressing all the lining seams, sew the jacket facing to the lining, as per the pattern's instructions, but leave unsewn the bottom 3 in. of the facing hems.

Making a lining pattern
Making a lining pattern
Use jacket's pattern pieces to make lining pattern. On front, trace pattern, omitting jacket facing area, and add seam allowance (s.a.) to front edge. On back omit facing, trace pattern, adding 1 in. at center back for ease pleat. On sleeve, trace pattern as is. For all three lining pattern pieces, subtract 1 in. from hems.

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Comments (21)

Wazrent Wazrent writes: Great solution i'm impressive
Posted: 2:10 am on July 14th

KathJ KathJ writes: Bookmarked!
Posted: 5:24 am on February 25th

FrankoBaldWin FrankoBaldWin writes: This looks doable. Great illustrations, thanks.
Posted: 2:09 am on September 11th

user-1054283 user-1054283 writes:

I thought I signed in for a video on how to line a jacket. I have not found only diagrams.

Where are the videos??

Posted: 8:17 am on December 20th

Onyx147 Onyx147 writes: I realize that this method has been around a long time, but, linings get the best of me and I been sewing most of my life. I hope someone included the "bagging method" in the "Teach to Sew" series of DVDs. Just one illustrated lesson in person would be worth the cost. I know my remarks are late, but would someone
please consider my request. Really, at this point, I think the ladies and gents would be thankful to receive any lesson that includes a human being not a drawing and wording. Please excuse me if I am speaking out of school. Thank you!!
Posted: 6:35 pm on June 16th

zjoeybr zjoeybr writes: hi i am new to this forum
Posted: 10:37 am on September 2nd

lasgalen101 lasgalen101 writes: This is a needlessly complicated method. Yes, lining can be tricky doing it the way pattern instructions tell us. Yes, bagging is the easiest method by far. But 'tweaking' the method for the home sewer does what for us? It compounds the problems that home sewers already have when trying to make it look like ready-to-wear... by telling us to do it differently. Please stop insulting the intelligence of home sewers by assuming that we can't handle the methods the industry uses. Also, how can you streamline a process more than the industry? Streamlining = greater productivity = greater profits. They wouldn't do things a certain way without a reason.

Please don't take this to mean that I am not appreciative of the fact that a lot of work goes into making these articles, and I will readily agree that this is one of the better ones out there geared to home sewers... but implying that we need things simplified for us is doing everyone who reads this a great disservice.

If anyone wants to know how bagging is REALLY done by the industry, have a look at the Nameless Tutorials series (
and the bagging tutorial ( While there, take the time to read all the tutorials... you might be surprised how much easier the methods are when they aren't dumbed down for the home sewer.
Posted: 10:28 pm on May 20th

velogiant velogiant writes: I still keep coming back to this post. It's such a handy reminder when I move away from making jackets and coats for a few months - like when summer arrives!
Posted: 1:08 am on October 16th

nanaof26 nanaof26 writes: I am struggling with this do you hem the jacket? Running stitches?? by hand??
I am confused....

Posted: 3:15 am on October 3rd

ComprarVmx ComprarVmx writes: Saudações. Na verdade, eu fiz algumas navegar na web e dar início a este blog. Vimax Eu firme especial deste blog apresentam-se e é bastante incredible. Vimax I indubitavelmente genuinamente prazer o seu website.Perfectly, o pedaço de postagem é no juramento do melhor, Comprar Vimax pelo menos nesta genuinamente pena apesar assunto. Onde Comprar Vimax, Comprar Vimax. Vimax.
Posted: 5:03 pm on February 8th

omhamadino omhamadino writes: than u
Posted: 3:52 pm on February 5th

seLvege seLvege writes: So what issue is this article from? It sure isn't the one pictured at the top.
Posted: 11:12 pm on July 11th

nickelbabe nickelbabe writes: at college, the way my teacher described how to join the sleeve-ends to the lining was "Make the sleeves dance"
(so the seam join together, but onlythe seams, not the rest of the sleeve)

if you think about it like that, still right sides together, you can't go wrong.

you'd be amazed how it works!

Posted: 10:31 am on June 10th

Snuzal Snuzal writes: This is such a fabulous tutorial. I used it once a couple of days ago when making a coat, and will be doing the same tomorrow for another coat. Loving it!
Posted: 3:15 pm on April 15th

Misja Misja writes: I am so happy for this site and for this particular instruction on jacket lining. So happy that I must express myself in Jamaican dialect.

Laaks chile yuh really know how fe explain things, and yuh know bout sewing tuh.
Posted: 3:21 pm on March 31st

Gigi_Louis Gigi_Louis writes: I'm surprised to see the lower part of the facing finished off by hand. It's so much easier and neater to stitch that last bit by machine when bagging the lining.
Posted: 1:04 pm on February 20th

AAC AAC writes: I kinda got lost on the sleeves. I've always wondered how it was done because I've taken an old jacket almost apart and could see that the sleeve lining and fashion fabric were sewn together by machine, it sure looks better than doing it by hand. It was that first picture that I don't understand, she says "with jacket and lining right side out". Does she mean as they would be worn with the lining in the sleeve which in that case means that WRONG SIDES ARE FACING EACH OTHER. Guess I'll have to try it and figure that part out.
Posted: 12:53 am on August 26th

OliviaD OliviaD writes: Great guide, thank you so made my day!
Posted: 5:06 am on July 10th

denise denise writes: Please can we have a Little more explanation re a collar and
the front and neck facing area please my jacket pattern has these facings included in the pattern
Also are these comments read by the author of the article once in a while or should we email the magazine direct
for queries
Posted: 11:20 pm on July 4th

waterfox waterfox writes: I use this method and it does save a lot of time but there are times that the lining or sometimes the jacket has a pucker somewhere along the hem line. Looking for suggestions

Posted: 8:55 pm on June 6th

Love_it Love_it writes: jacket linings have been a thorn to me. Thank you for this explaination. The instructions were a bit rocky until the pictures and the written explanation at the end of the piece but I get it and I am off to fix my jacket with this method.
Posted: 2:39 pm on December 31st

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