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How to Draft Your Own Lining Pattern

Build in ease for comfort and longevity
Threads Issue #211, Oct./Nov. 2020

A lining confers several advantages to a jacket or coat. It makes the garment easier to don and doff. A lining can protect your skin from scratchy fabrics while shielding the garment fabric from skin oils. Depending on the fabric chosen, it can also add desired warmth to a coat. A lining is simple to construct and, interestingly, can save construction time because the innards of the jacket do not need time-consuming finishes. Don’t be tricked into believing that linings are an advanced skill: They are simple, and they’re easier still if you make a custom lining pattern.

One size does not fit all

There are a number of reasons I don’t rely on the purchased pattern. First and foremost, not all patterns supply a separate lining pattern. Even if a lining pattern is included, I generally make so many fitting changes to the garment pattern that the original lining pattern would no longer fit properly into the garment.

In my experience, pattern companies are inconsistent in the adaptations they make to create lining pattern pieces. Some easier coat and jacket patterns offer only a front lining piece. They direct you to use the same side, back, and sleeve pieces you used to cut the fashion fabric, perhaps following special lines indicating where to shorten those pieces. Better commercial jacket lining patterns include a back pleat but often have no other ease provisions.

Rachel Siegel, a 4-H leader in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, is an award-winning seamstress.

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