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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.

Prepare to sew lining to jacket

At this point you'll have an assembled lining and a complete jacket shell, which are ready to be joined completely by machine. But first, at each end of the jacket hem, pull out the basting stitches for the depth of the facings, so you can sew the lining's facing to the jacket's front.

Make a back-facing pattern
Make a back-facing pattern
  If jacket pattern doesn't include back facing, which you need for the bagging process to work, align pattern pieces at shoulders. Trace back neck edge and extend front facing to around back.

Now, take the time for this next important step: Compare the width of the lining at the hem to the width of the jacket. If they don't match exactly at the side seams and front edges, even them up by either letting out the lining if the lining is too small or taking it in if it's too large. This precaution eliminates the need to ease a lining that's too big (which causes the lining to ripple) or the opposite problem, to stretch a lining that's too small to fit the jacket (which causes the jacket hem to pucker). Repeat this step for the sleeves. If your lining and jacket widths are unequal, make sure to cut out the pattern for your next jacket accurately, and sew exactly on the stitching lines. The day I learned these lessons, the quality of my finished garment improved tremendously.

Join lining to jacket
Ready to sew nonstop? Rev up your machine, and sew the lining to the jacket front and neck edges in one continuous seam. Next, sew the jacket and lining bottom edges together. Here's the payoff for premeasuring the lining and jacket widths--sewing the hem is a breeze. Keeping right sides together, flip the jacket's basted hem open, but don't remove any basting stitches along the hem. Align the serged edge of the jacket's hem to the lining's serged hem, matching all of the lining's side seams to the jacket's corresponding side seams.

Pin the entire hemline, and then stitch the two together just inside the serged stitching. Take care not to stretch the pinned fabrics. That's it! Now turn the jacket and sew the hem in place.

Sleeve hems by machine
The last major step is to sew the sleeve lining hems to the jacket's sleeve hems. You'll be grateful here that you made the lining widths match those of the jacket. Shove the sleeve lining down the jacket's sleeve and unfold the hem down and out of the sleeve, then follow the steps shown in the photos above. As was done on the jacket hem, use a running stitch to securely tack the hem of the jacket's sleeve, remove the basting stitches, and repeat the procedure for the other sleeve.

All that remains is to hand-stitch the lining's side-seam opening closed. With a single thread that matches the lining color, hand-sew with a ladder stitch back and forth between the pressed seamline creases. The seam will be invisible and look like a regular machine-sewn seam.

Sew the sleeve hem to the lining
Secure jacket sleeve seam Turn sleeves
With jacket and lining right side out, push sleeve lining down jacket sleeve. Then use one pin to secure jacket sleeve seam to corresponding lining seam.   Turn sleeves wrong side out through side seam opening.
Pull sleeves Remove pin
Pull sleeves apart, so they're facing each other, joined by the one pin.   Remove pin, roll lining so wrong side is out and repin. Line up raw edges of jacket and lining sleeve hems, then stitch close to serged edges. Turn back through opening right side out, and press.

Now sashay out the door in your newly lined jacket, knowing that you'd still be sewing it had you not used the bagging method. Might as well head to the fabric store for material to make the next one.

Sandra Millett sews nonstop in Trophy Club, Texas.

Photos except where noted: Laura White; drawings: Bob La Pointe

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Comments (20)

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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