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Introducing Me — with a request

Lady Willoughby | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi All,

I just opened my account and am only minutes old here.  In real years, let’s just say I am a gramma with three grown children and five grandkids ranging in age from 17 – 8.  I’ve sewn since my mother introduced me to it in grade school, having me sew lines, then curves, then patterns with colored thread on white paper.  I’ve been a subscriber to Threads for many years.  I love it!

I need help with something:  one of  my daughters wants me to put a new lining in her beautiful Ann Taylor wool herringbone slacks.  Where do I find instructions on the best way to do this?  I’ve replaced coat linings but never pant linings.  When I look at the inside of the pants all I can think of is taking them all apart — is there a better way?

My sewing machine is a 1970’s Viking, inherited from my mother.  She was a seamstress (I guess that is the term) and “took in” sewing for others for as long as I can remember.  So did her mother “down on the farm.”  I love my Viking.  Just recently bought a Janome serger which I am having a lot of fun with.  Have already made three sets of pajamas for daughters.

Don’t take my screen name (is that what I’m supposed to use here?) too seriously because I don’t — it’s a tongue-in-cheek thing.

Hope this post is in the right place.  I look forward to reading some replies.  I don’t know a soul, in person, who sews and I would enjoy being able to “talk sewing” with somebody who knows what I’m talking about — or cares.

Lady Willoughby



  1. Cherrypops | | #1

    Hello LadyWillougby,

    Welcome to this fantastic place. I love your screen name!

    I have learnt so much from my 'teachers from afar'. I only recently subscribed to Threads and am loving it also.  I have found 'gatherings' to be the best forum. The ladies are so friendly, talented and very experienced.. just what beginners/advanced beginners need, well, any sewer really, We could all do with a little help now and then.

    Well done on your serger purchase and great to read you are enjoying it. I find pyjamas are the greatest. I sew them for myself, my 5yr old son and his friends. I have a Bernina 800DL.

    Regarding: Lining the Herringbone Slacks. Unfortunately, having not attempted this, I cannot give you any guidance, however one of the many ladies here will be able to help you out.

    I hope I 'see' and learn a lot more from you.

    Kind regards, (Sydney Australia)

    Edited 2/4/2007 1:28 am by Cherrypops

  2. katina | | #2

    Good morning, m'lady.

    Yes indeed, we do care, and if we don't know what you're talking about, we do our damndest (beg pardon, Ma'am), we do our best, to find out. I replaced pants lining for myself once. I wasn't sure how to go about it, so I sewed the new lining as a completely separate piece and hand-sewed it to the waistband, catching it around the zipper opening. It worked well. Maybe you can do something like this? I tried a brief Google search for you on the topic, and came across the info below on pant liners.

    Good luck and welcome.


    Date: 5/26/06 6:13 PM

    I know I have recommended these too many times: I love the pant liners from JC Penney's. You can order them online, they run large, have adjustable lengths, and are incredible. Get them in beige and black and you are set. I think there is a deal if you order three at once. Get them immediately! Don't even think of lining everyday linen. You will still want to iron them and the ambiance will require a lower temp. I wear them all year in Northern California. Can you tell I love them??? Kaaren

  3. zuwena | | #3

    Hi and Welcome,
    I've never done a pants lining on a RTW garment but here's a suggestion, for what it's worth. Have you considered removing the lining that's to be replaced, using it as a pattern, and replacing it at the waistband. If appropriate you could also add bar tacks near the hems in each leg to keep the linings in place. Z

  4. dindog22 | | #4

    the pant lining is easy to replace.  start by taking out the old lining (you may have to take off the waistband) and taking it apart at the seams, then pressing all the pieces flat.  you may have to redraw a pattern on paper from the old lining or you may be able to use the old lining directly as your pattern depending on how worn out it is.  remember to add for seam allowances.  I always add a few inches to the bottom of the lining because it's easier to cut it off to the correct length than to have the lining too short.  after you cut out your new lining, remember to sew in any pleats or darts before you sew it together.  After you sew it together, stitch it into the waist and around the zipper.  if the pants have a front fly, it may be easier to handstitch around the fly.  after you drop in the new lining, hang the pants from the waist using a clip type hanger and check where the lining hangs.  cut the hem of the lining even with the hem of the pants then turn up a half inch twice and stitch.  you will want to tack the bottom of the lining  at a seam to the pants using that finger crochet trick with the thread.  this will keep the lining from riding up when she wears them.  Don't feel that you have to use the same color as the old lining.  ask her if she would like a fun color inside.  I have seen pants lined in red, hot pink, purple, you name it.  I put a nice dusty purple inside a pair of grey pants once and the customer loved it.

    1. Lady Willoughby | | #6

      Thanks so much to those of you who warmly welcomed me to the group and, of course, to those who offered up solutions to re-lining a pair of ready-to-wear pants.  I've printed out directions and pinned them to the pants because last night I talked with my daughter and learned that they don't fit her right now.  That's why the seat of the lining blew out!  Well, I must not have been listening closely enough when she gave them to me.  Anyway, these pants are going to hibernate in my sewing closet until late next summer.  If they fit her then, as she swears they will, I'll fix them then.

      I'm not real sure this message is going to go out as I've intended -- hope that the five people who responded to my request will see it.

      I learned last night why people complain about having to rethread a serger!  Holy Cow, what a pain!  I had changed the thread color twice before and had no problem using the "tie the two ends together" method but last night I managed to break three of the four threads -- it took forever to get it rethreaded and working again.  And that tweezers that came with the machine is worthless.  Too bad the machines that thread themselves cost so much.

      Lady Willoughby


      1. dindog22 | | #7

        you better make friends with re threading that serger if you are planning on using it alot.  don't worry, it will get easier every time.

        1. User avater
          blondie2sew | | #9

          Just wanted to say Welcome myself!!I agree with the others!! Once you rethread and rethread and rethread and rethread................you will be come one with your Serger!! ha haBut that doesn't mean that I don't have fits myself! But it really does to confirm with the others gets easier over time and I myself found it was much easier to rethread my machine the try to do the knot thing when switching colors.....that's when my machine through the fits and broke every timeCan't wait to see you around and see some of your projects remember you can post your pictures in the photo gallery as well!! We all get inspired and love to ooooooh and ahhhhh over all accomplishments! Get inspiredConnie

          1. SewFit | | #10

            Hello to all,

            Had to add my 2 cents about the SERGER----I love mine but threading is a major challenge.....between having a right thumb that is arthritic and needing reading glasses to SEE what is almost impossible to see......I broke the thread in mine on my last Christmas project --waited until after Christmas to re-thread.....Also discovered that one needle needs to be ever so slightly higher than the other to stitch correctly....

            Happy sewing.....Darlene

          2. Beth | | #11

            I agree about the importance of being able to thread your serger. With mine, the thread is less likely to break if: after the threading is done, I hand turn the wheel until the needles are up, lift the pressure foot,then slide a flat tool, such as a pair of scissors under it, from front to back. This frees the threads in some mysterious way. They all need to be lying toward the back, off the "prongs" and under the pressure foot.
            Have fun with your serger. It is a terrific tool.Beth

          3. Alexandra | | #12

            I've recently learned, after YEARS of thread breaking frustration, that if I stop with the needles up, the thread doesn't break when I start sewing again.  Welcome Lady W to the forum.

      2. samsmomma | | #8

        I found there is a certain order to threading the serger.. if I thread the needles before the loopers the thread is sure to break. or if I thread the upper looper first the lower looper throws a hissy fit cos it wants to be first.. and there's a little bar you can't see unless you look at the serger somewhat sideways, and I was forever going under that instead of over it.. I have broken so many threads I think the serger thinks its name is &#$*%$!!!


      3. ctirish | | #15

        Welcome, I learned each serger model has its own threading order. Generally it is inside out(you start with the looper on the inside and then go the outside) with the loopers and then the needles are outside in or left to right. Generally you only use one needle. I know you aren't supposed to have the needles threaded when you thread the loopers. The other hint I learned is to always remove the thread from the finger when you are done sewing. I didn't have a problem with threading my machine, I could not get the tensions right to sew anything. After four months I bought a self threader because I could just line up the letters for each stitch. I still use my old serger on occasion - I just don't change the stitch. I found a great site for serger info, projects and links to other sites.
        It is: http://www.sergerplace.com/index.htm There is a long explanation of what the thread does if you have the needles threaded when you thread the loopers.I hope anyone who finished anything will post pictures in the photo post area. It is great to see what other people are accomplishing.

        1. victoria0001 | | #16

          Can't live without a serger and I also have had to spend way too much time threading sergers!!!  I couldn't keep hold of the thread with tweezers and thought I would never get it right but a light bulb went on and I grabbed an old small metal crochet hook (I don't know how to crochet anymore - gave that one up eons ago) and bent it to accommodate my serger looper and thread.  It worked to my great surprise and I pass that hint onto all of you who have had the same frustration.  Just bend the crochet hook slightly about an inch from the hook to where it is more comfortable to hold the thread with your left hand while threading your serger.  I hope it works for you too.

          1. Cherrypops | | #17

            Great tip!

            At the moment I am still trouble free with threading, however given time I am sure I will need to try your tip and all other advice. I have never crotched so will purchase a hook specifically for this and give it a go. Being left handed i may need to hold thread in my right hand. Will see.

        2. zuwena | | #31

          Could find this site. Would you check it to see that the address is correct. Thanks. Z

          1. ctirish | | #32

            Hi, I am not sure why the other link doesn't work. I Googled Serger Place and I found the site again. Here is the site - I did a cut after I did a send link to the site. It should work, if it doesn't I would Google Diane Bossom's Serger Place and it will come up easily.

            Happy Sewing.. jane


          2. zuwena | | #33

            Thanks. It may have been the addition of the "html" at the end. Sometimes if the page moves to a different place on a site with additions or subtractions, it can't be found with the extra string in the address.

          3. ctirish | | #34

            I am sure that was the problem. It sounds like you work in IT. I worked in IT for many years. Although it was all on Mainframes. I hope you found what you needed at Serger Place.

      4. sosewnem | | #18

        Welcome Lady Willoughby! 

        I would like to add my hint for what I use rather than tweezers, which I agree are "worthless". 

        I use one of my pairs of hemostats and prefer the one with a curved tip.  Mine are about 5 inches from one end to the other.  Works like a charm to grab the thread and bring it to where you want it. 

        Secondly, prior to threading the needle, I use beeswax on the thread, then cut off a fresh end after waxing it.  I dampen the thread end as usual and I then use the curved hemostat to push the thread through the needle.  Next, being careful to release the thread without accidently pulling it back out (use a finger to keep it in place if necessary), use the hemostat to grab the thread from behind the needle and pull it through.

        Who said hemostats are just for "medical" uses?  I've got several pairs in my sewing room.  My mother was the one who introduced me to them for turning small things right side out.  They are SO handy!





        1. Lady Willoughby | | #19

          Thank you for a great idea.  Where does one find a hemostat?  The wax idea appeals to me, too.

          Funny you should post this today because Monday night I attended the second of two classes on basic serging and one of the five people brought a bagful of disposable metal medical tweezers with her to hand out to us.  These are nothing compared to a hemostat but it is an improvement over the tweezers that came with my machine because the tips offer more squeezable surface.

          I should announce that I am now able to thread my machine without having to study the diagrams.  If I get busy now and clean up my kitchen from dinner, I may have a little time to sew tonight yet.

          1. spicegirl | | #21

            When I read your first post on the serger, I felt your pain.  Then I continued reading and found many who experience the same aggravation.  Sometimes I have to walk away, then come back and start all over.  For what it is worth, I cut the thread for the needle at an angle, moisten the eye of the needle, then slip the thread thru the eye with that darned tweezer everyone hates.  The thread will just barely go thru, then I have to catch it from behind the needle with the dreader tweezer and pull..............  Success is sweet - happy sewing.

          2. samsmomma | | #22

            hi again, Lady W. !

            For threading my serger, I use "floss threaders" that are for people with braces to use for flossing their teeth. They are usually blue nylon and are like a loop of fishing line that has been fused together at the bottom.. they go right thru the looper eye or the needle eye and you can pull them out the other side. My son had braces about 15 yrs ago and I discovered those threaders and haven't been without a package since then. They are easily lost in the sewing room but most drug stores carry them, so I just go buy a new package.  http://www.just4teeth.com/Butler-GUM-Eez-Thru-Floss-Threaders?sc=5&category=311 is a link that shows what they look like.

            Hope that helps someone..

          3. Lady Willoughby | | #23

            Hi samsmomma,

            I have some of those floss threaders and never thought to use them for my serger.  Great idea.  Thanks.


          4. Ceeayche | | #30

            Welcome Lady Will

            We're glad to have you.  As you can see, we're a lively and encouraging bunch!  You've gotten great advice here, so I'll just say "howdy" and hope you enjoy "hanging out" with our Gatherings community! I think they are a delightful group of people!

          5. sosewnem | | #24

            Finding hemostats is fairly easy.  My mother got her at a hardware store, but it's easy to find them on-line.  They're on eBay - when I typed in "5" hemostat", two pages of them came up.  You could just type "hemostat" if you want all sizes listed.    I then went looking for a curved pair among the photos - they are there.   Postage varies & read their feedback.   Using a search engine such a Google also pulls up links.


            Google had a a number of links, including the one below:

            Good price on this one, though I don't know cost of shipping:  http://www.amazon.com/Parts-Express-CURVED-HEMOSTATS/dp/B0002ZPUIU/ref=pd_sbs_hi_3/002-0660575-6567240

            This link is also from googling them:  http://www.scissorsales.com/hemostat.html

            I hope this helps. 

            It's a great tool for use in the sewing/craft room!  I just used mine the other day to hold wiggle eyes so I could put a dab of hot glue on them & apply them to what I was working on - saved me from possibly getting burnt fingers & glue all over.  :-)


          6. Teaf5 | | #25

            You can get hemostats at hospital pharmacies, medical supply shops, university/college bookstores (for anatomy students), or from your friendly local doctor or dentist, who may be discarding them routinely.  I use both the straight and bent ones for many, many sewing tasks as my fingers and fingernails are very weak.

          7. Lady Willoughby | | #26

            Thanks to all who have made suggestions regarding easing the task of threading my serger.  I plan to buy a hemostat but my Walgreens (the only drug store in town) doesn't carry them.  In fact, no one in the pharmacy whey I stopped by, knew what they were -- that surprised me.  Though I live in a smaller town, there is a very large medical facility here with their own pharmacy so I am sure I'll be able to get one there. 

            Lady Willoughby

          8. Teaf5 | | #27

            Sometimes hemostats are called "surgical clamps."  Maybe your pharmacy will recognize that name.  A high school biology teacher would also know where to buy them; they're used in labs all the time.

          9. Sancin | | #29

            Hint from a nurse...Hemostats have horizontal ridges inside them and thread can slip through them depending on how you grab the thread. Handier are needle drivers which are cross hatched. I use both, but hemostats mainly to grab and hold fabric. I don't have a serger but when handling thread (which is fine) I use a needle driver which I picked up at our PRINCESS AUTO shop. I don't really know how to describe this Canadian shop. It is a big discount store that sell auto, farm and regular tools! Great finds! I found dental tools at the same store, which are handy as well for a variety of things. A medical surgical supply shop would carry needle drivers but probably at a greater cost. Needle drivers, however, are usually straight vs curved.

        2. Ralphetta | | #20

          I'm pretty sure that a hemostat came with my serger when I bought it about 15 years ago.  I assumed that was usual.

    2. granna | | #13

      In a reply you mentioned using the "finger crochet trick" using thread.  This probably sounds dumb but I don't know how to do this.  I do know how to do basic crochet but haven't had any luck doing it with sewing thread.

      If anyone has info on sewing workout clothes for the older body please let me know.  I am 60 but still teach aerobics and do personal training after a 25 year career in the fitness business.  The manufacturers just don't make flattering workout clothes for my body anymore.  I keep a lot more of my body covered these days than I used to.  I'm sure that my students perfer that I do.


      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #14

        I think she means for you to make a small chain of thread (about an inch) to connect the lining to the pants near the hem.   Attach the thread to the lining (I use doubled thread) then catch a loop with your finger and 'chain stitch' for an inch, then pass the thread through the last loop.  Now attach the end of your chain to the fashion fabric.


    3. WandaJ | | #28

      Thanks for the information about hemming the lining of pants. I needed a quick refresher and your information is great.

  5. AmberE | | #5

    Welcome Lady Willoughby---you'll find lots of great info here. Enjoy! Amber Eden, Editor, Threads

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