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Lining-saving layout for straight skirts

becksnyc | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I usually buy black quality rayon lining in 10 or 20 yard increments from my favorite shop in Manhattan.  I sew many straight tailored skirts in dark colors, so black simplifies my color choice for a linings. Since most of the wool skirts I line are 60″ wide and the lining is only 45″, I was looking for a non-standard way to cut out the lining so as to save fabric.  I thought of cutting crosswise, but wanted to maintain the strength inherent in the lengthwise grain.

Today I had a Eureka moment, which I thought I’d share, for what it is worth.  I first laid out my lining right sides and selvages together, as usual.  Then I slid the top selvage toward the fold until the two layers were only the width of the front piece (which was to be cut on the fold).  I measured the distance between the selvages to make sure the new fold was on grain, then I cut out the front.

The left over single layer I cut off at the length of the skirt. I moved down to the next length of lining and unfolded it to be a single layer.  I flipped the single layer I had cut so it would be right side to right side with the next length of the lining. (One selvage close to me, one selvage away from me.)  I then cut my back.

The next time I cut out my lining, I will have a width at the top of my length of lining that is just the size I need for my front, and I’ll repeat the process.  That way, every other skirt, I will get a “free” lining, just from smarter cutting.

Hope this makes sense–hard to do without a visual aid.



  1. rjf | | #1

    The back side of the lining has a seam down the middle?     rjf

    1. becksnyc | | #2

      I'm sorry, yes.  I usually do a center back zipper.


  2. carolfresia | | #3

    That's a great way to save, and is an added incentive for purchasing more than a single garment's worth of lining at a time. I usually buy in 5 yd. increments, and then proceed to cut extravagently so I'm sure I waste a lot more than necessary. So readers, follow Becks's example, not mine!


  3. stitchmd | | #4

    This is how I cut out all my projects. I fold just to the width of the widest pattern piece, cut, refold for another piece, etc. I can always get away with less fabric than called for though of course it's more time consuming and some pieces need to be cut twice in single layers out of leftover sections. The thing to be careful about is to flip pattern pieces when cutting single layers-made that mistake more than once and blown my savings.

    1. becksnyc | | #5

      That's a good idea, one I use often when I am trying to conserve expensive interfacing or lining.  It does take more time, so I'm alway balancing what's more important to me--time or money. 

      Aaaaah, the age old questions of life, even in our sewing rooms.  :-)


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