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pants lining question

Elisabeth | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi all,
I am moving along at a snail’s pace with my pants drafting project. I made three muslins and compared my pattern to several commercial patterns to get a better feel for the what and why of shapes and lines in trousers. I have looked at my rear view in the mirror more than is humanly tolerable and all other views possible. Checkig the fit is what is keeping the process slow, it is mind warping to fit oneself. (I’m going to confess…I like sewing for others better than for myself.)

Anyway, I made a test pair out of some black drapey stuff from my stash and I like them enought that I think I am going to go ahead and finish them. I want to line them and I am wondering about the various methods of cutting and making the lining. Classic Tailoring Techniques makes the lining with a one inch longer waist and gathers the fabric rather than darts it. Seems like a lot of wadded fabric somehow. ??? Connie Long in Easy Guide to Sewing Linings only raises the crotch curve a tad but does not give any extra in the side seams which classic does. Any thoughts on this? Any favorite pants lining methods out there?

I don’t own any lined pants to compare with and don’t even have an old pattern with lining to look at either. My career wardrobe is gym wear! And dress up used to be ballroom dancing stuff. I have trouser ignorance, I need some help!


  1. FitnessNut | | #1

    Oh, I wouldn't add any more to the waistline. I line pants for most of my customers and I simply fold the lining to make a pleat at the dart locations. My method is pretty much like Connie Long's. I do the version with the lining sewn to the fly completely so it is nicely finished. It does take a little practice and patience though, but the results are so worth it. I raise the crotch 1 cm (3/8"). You should give extra in the side seams, but I usually forget. It doesn't seem to make much difference. I cut the lining at the hemline and machine sew a 2.5 cm (1") hem (1/2" turned twice) and anchor it at the lengthwise seams with a 3 cm long swing tack.

    Hope this helps.

    1. Elisabeth | | #2

      Your method sounds like a good plan. Pleating the lining darts makes sense. The pants I am working on have a side zipper which keeps things simple for the moment for fitting experiment purposes. Time to line. Thanks!

    2. louise | | #3


      I have lined a couple of pairs of pants and regretted it.  My conclusion is that one should make a stay-panel. (Like a tummy control panel).  This tidies up the inside and allows pleats to stay nicely in place on the outside.  Then I would line without pleats or gathering because it does make the pants look lumpy and dense.

      I would only include the pleats and pattern ease if the material and lining is really really fine.

      Finally ask your local dry cleaner if they will do the finish press, then let them do it.

      Hope this helps


    3. SewNancy | | #4

      It seems to me that pleating the lining instead of making the darts would provide the extra ease needed to keep lining from tearing.  I have also read that sewing lining seams at 1/2" instead of 5/8 is enough extra ease .


  2. mem1 | | #5

    Do line them they feel so wonderful to wear and are lovely and warm too I line all my woolen pants and use the pleat at the dart method.I also attach around the zip. i find that the knees dont bag as much and that the pants stay clean for alot longer.which is important with woolen pants.

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