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Lining and fusing stretch wovens

mem1 | Posted in General Discussion on

I am about to make a jacket which is more on the tailored side of fit ,out of a stretch woven fabric. I have found this fabric great for pants but am wondering about what I should use for lining my jacket and whether I fuse it as per usual or not?I would like to maintain some of the movement across the back of the jacket as the pattern has a fitted silhouette and I would like the freedom the “stretch component offers “.Any ideas? The fabric has a fair bit of stretch and is certainly more than 3% often quoted on  most strtch woven lables. I have used lining cut on the cross for pants before and while this” gave “a bit it wasnt satisfactory and I wasnt happy with the comfort in the finished garment.


  1. becksnyc | | #1

    I can throw in my two cents.  Although I have not sewn much in stretch fabrics, I have alot of repairs on RTW garments that were made with stretch fabric and non-stretch lining.  They're just not compatible.  The lining will eventually rip.

    It is hard to find stretch lining that breathes.  If you cannot, at least leave a generous pleat or make the lining a little larger than the garment to match the stretch.

    If you interface, use an interfacing made for stretch or knits.


    1. FitnessNut | | #2

      I've often wondered why so many of the stretch woven jackets I've seen in stores (and at some pretty expensive price points too!) are lined in the usual fashion. What's the point of having the jacket stretch if the lining doesn't? You've reaffirmed my instincts by telling us that you see many of these garments in for repairs for this reason.

      I might be tempted to keep the jacket unlined (yes, I know, heresy) to preserve the desired stretch, but finish the seams with binding or some other detail so it looks professional. And the interfacing must absolutely have stretch to it.


      1. SewNancy | | #3

        Mood Fabric and Paron have had stretch linings, not a great color selection, but not bad.  What about lining with a light weight knit?


  2. Elisabeth | | #4

    Stretch silk charmeuse comes to mind.

    1. SewNancy | | #5

      That would be amazing, but very expensive I think.  Where have you found it?


      1. Elisabeth | | #6

        Hmmm, yes, I guess you are right, it could be expensive. I had forgotten about the price. I got it at a privately owned fabric boutique and paid $24 per yard but I didn't need much for a sleeveless shell. It can surely be found for half that price somewhere but that is still expensive for lining. Sometimes, though, the "special effects" are what cost the most and really make the garment. Charmeuse can be such a delicious surprise inside a jacket, in my opinion. I was really impressed with the amount of stretch in the stretch version and how it still felt and looked as lovely as regular silk charmeuse.

        1. KarenW | | #7

          I've found stretch silk charmeuse (approx. 3-5% lycra) from time to time at http://www.fashionfabricsclub.com - usually around $10/yd!


          1. Michelle | | #8

            A somewhat more sporty option - Has anyone tried 'mesh' lining?

            IMO this is a very suitable option for stretch fabrics.


          2. FitnessNut | | #9

            Good idea...hadn't thought of that one. It would have a suitable amount of stretch and I believe you can get in it various weights and sizes of mesh. In fact, I saw a DKNY long-sleeved t-shirt yesterday made of sportswear mesh lining. I thought it would be kind of funky worn over a contrasting colour.


          3. anneelsberry | | #10

            One of my favorite designers, Suzy Wong, does vintage style dresses that are fairly form-fitting.  She uses a stretchy mesh lining, which works sort of like a built in undergarment and helps the fabric (usually silk) float away from the body smoothly.

          4. SewNancy | | #11

            Are you talking about the really fine stretch mesh that I saw in Mood a few weeks ago?  I've also seen it as trim on the edge of ready to wear in that unfinished edge look.


          5. mem1 | | #12

            I am wondering about the fusing thing . If I make a jacket with fusing in the front as is the usual way , do I just use a "whisper weft" type interfacing and leave it unfuse where I want the movement ie across the upper back ?. I like the idea of the mesh. I presume you means a silky sports clothing type mesh which is used in basketball shorts etc? That would make good lining for trousers too.

          6. SewNancy | | #14

            There are some really great fusible knit interfacings out  there.  I just used sof knit and it is really great. 


          7. ShannonG4d | | #15

            I use a lot of stretch fabrics.  The fusible interfacings are fine, but you will be removing some of the stretch quality of the outer fabric when you use a fusible. 

            BUT, where will you use the interfacing?  Collar and cuffs?  These are not areas that will be adversely affected by the fusible.  If it is a jacket, you would be fusing, say, to the lapel?  Again, not necessarily a problem.  If you need to completely underline or want to block fuse, that is where you will see the greatest change in the outer fabric character.  In that case, either ignore the stretch completely when fitting, or use something other than a fusible to underline.

            There are some really wonderful knits that would make nice stretch linings.  Rayon/lycra comes to mind, as it is so comfortable, and it breathes.  The mesh mentioned above would be comfortable, but it needs to be comparable in character to the style of the garment.  I personally wouldn't choose it for a traditional tailored item, but would consider it for a fun piece or a 'not too fussy' garment. 

            The stretch charmeuse is a good idea, too.  I have a lot of that on hand from a Michael's bundle from a couple of years ago.  There was also some stretch silk crepe in the bundle that made a great lining.  Keep an eye out for special deals online.  I think my stretch fabric averaged less than $5/yd, which is pretty decent for a silk lining fabric. 


          8. SewNancy | | #16

            Thanks for the advice.  The rayon lycra knit is readily available in NYC.  Is Michaels an on line fabric store? I have a piece of wool lycra woven slightly textured fabric that I plan on finally using this fall.  I would ordinarily fuse the fronts of jacket , what do you suggest instead?


          9. ShannonG4d | | #17

            Yes, Michael's is an online store.  His offerings are limited, but choice!  And the customer service is superb.  Occasionally, he'll have a "bundle" deal, so keep your eyes open...www.michaelsfabrics.com 

            About the interfacing; are you planning to interface the entire jacket?  If not, where are you planning to interface?  What is the weight of the fabric being used?  Could you use a third layer of the outer fabric as interfacing?   Or would that be too bulky?


          10. ShannonG4d | | #18

            One more thing....I've seen stretch wovens used in jackets that were unlined in the back.  This keeps the stretch quality intact, but does require a seam finish of some type.  The front lining is attached at the facing, the side seam, and the front part of the armscye.  I think this is a good solution to your dilemma!


          11. SewNancy | | #19

            That is an interesting solution I will think on it.  The fabric is a wool boucle so I don't know if I would want to leave the back unlined, but wouldn't the back lining pleat help it still stretch?  I will look for stretch silk for lining.  Also in our discussion on Chanel jackets, someone mentioned that Karl Lagerfeld cuts his sleeve lining on the bias, this would help make it more flexible, yes?  Would cutting the sas at 1 1/2" be sufficient and would I need to do this at the cap too?  By the way, my Chanel style jacket is almost finished, and it is looking great.  As I had not made a tailored jacket in a while, and not since losing a lot of weight,  I made 2 muslins and found all the fitting problems!  Yes! It has been going together really well.  This is obviously time consuming, but I figure I'll cut it again for my wool boucle and change length and trim options.  I saw a Nanette Lepore jacket with grograin tirm that looked interesting on a similarly shaped jacket.  It will give the jacket a whole different look.  By the way, I used a Burda mag pattern and the fit in the sleeve is perfect.  High armhole with the sleeve easing in perfectly without having to make any changes.  Not too much ease.


          12. kjp | | #20

            Nancy - I was wondering about your jacket!  I would love to see it when you finish!  Please post a picture if you can.  Karin

          13. SewNancy | | #21

            Since this is supposed to be done for my daughter's graduation, I will have her take a pic with her digital camera and get her help to post  it on the site.   I have one more tricky part to do, the collar and lapels and then all is gravy.  I used Judy Burlap's vent method for the first time and it is wonderful.  Again, the diagrams are superb and easy to follow.  I am using a 1997 article on lapels that I have used before and it was the easiest time I have ever had with a tailored jacket!   My collection of Threads really comes in handy.  The Burda magazine directions leave a lot to be desired and the print is too small!  I am only hoping that it is not 90 degrees or I will be holding my jacket and not wearing it! 


          14. HollyT | | #22

            I'm very interested in this discussion, as I just bought some wonderful hot pink stretch linen (!) to make my daughter a suit.  I'm thinking of not lining the skirt, but would like to put the lightest, thinnest lining in the jacket.  If it wasn't stretch, I would use organza.  Anyone seen stretch organza?

          15. FitnessNut | | #23

            Yes! (Imagine that!) I used a white iridescent stretch organza for the sleeves of a wedding gown last fall. Gorgeous stuff. You must serge the seam allowances or do french seams as it frays quite badly. I haven't seen it in colours other than white, but I assume it must be available.

  3. Wondering | | #13

    This suggestion from a friend peeking over my shoulder as I read this thread:  She loves stretch wovens, sews them often, and lines with lingerie quality tricot blend or lycra blend. 

    While this is similar to Pomono's suggestion of fine mesh or sport mesh, my friend notes that these fabrics are expensive and sometimes hard to locate, while lingerie blends are inexpensive, easy to find, and come in a myriad of colors to match the jacket fabric.

    When she lines the complete garment (as is her wont), she applies any iron-on interfacing to the lingerie lining, not the jacket fabric.  This eliminates the danger of the iron-on interfacing distorting the stretch of the jacket fabric, and eliminates the danger of puckers or waves you might encounter when applying iron-on interfacing directly to the jacket fabric.

    Good luck, Mem.

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