Like most sewers, I occasionally find myself completing a project at the eleventh hour. On one such occasion, I was faced with finishing a jacket that needed both an underlining for support, and a separate lining for a neat interior. Instead of panicking, I came up with this solution, which omits the lining and uses the underlining, applied in an unconventional way, to hide the seam allowances. It’s a very straightforward method that’s well-suited to a wide range of garment types (including multipanel jackets, skirts, and pants), works with most lightweight to medium-weight fabrics, and requires no special pattern pieces. And because you don’t construct the lining as a separate unit, you save lots of time. Even with a bit of topstitching to hold the underlining in place, this technique cuts construction steps without compromising the durability or appearance of the finished garment.
Neat and tidy on the inside, garments with an underlining that also lines are lightweight, uncomplicated, and nicely finished.
Handsome on the outside, this jacket (author’s design) gains shape and soft structure from its combination lining and underlining.
Pair the underlining to the fashion fabric
When choosing an underlining fabric, take into consideration how much support, slipperiness, opacity, or warmth the inner fabric must provide. Fabrics I’ve used successfully include traditional, silky linings, organza, batiste, flannel, and lightweight polar fleece. For fashion fabric, I avoid heavy or lofty types, which create undesirable bulk where the seam allowances are pressed to one side. I’ve also made fully reversible garments by using two equal-weight fabrics for the outer shell and the underlining.
Revise the garment construction slightly
My underlining technique finishes most interior seams as you sew, but because there is no separate lining to attach facings to, you must clean-finish facing…