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underlining lining a wool (crepe?) skirt

Elizard | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi everyone,
first of all I’d like to wish you all a (slightly belated) new year.

I’m making skirt# 121 from July 2007 Burda world of fashion. (http://www.burdamode.com/Basics,1270777-1463237-1508211-1508217-1508400,enEN.html;jsessionid=EDAFD6972F28D609ADF866C2C6647468)
I’m making it in a thin nice black wool fabric, which I think is wool crepe, but I’m not sure as I bought it in Italy, and don’t speak Italian. (we did understand each other through signs though:)

What I am wondering is: should I line it, underline or both, using which pattern , and if I want to avoid acetate (especially as the fabric was dear, and probably good quality), what should I use?
Also I’ve preshrunk the wool at home, what should I do with the lining?
Any suggestions appreciated,


  1. fiberfan | | #1

    I wouldn't underline a pattern from this skirt.  A lining would be nice.  I really like ambiance lining.  Ambiance is as slippery as the poly linings but breaths since it is made from rayon.

    I used to line all my wool skirts.  I now make a slip from matching lining that is cut like I would a lining.  Having a separate lining means I don't have to wash the skirts as often.

    Have fun making the skirt.  It is fun to sew fabrics bought on vacation and remember the trip when wearing the clothes.


    1. Elizard | | #3

      Hi joanne,
      thank you for your answer, I'm not sure whether I will be able to find some Ambiance lining (don't know what it would be called in the local language), but I'll try going into the capital to visit one of the finer shops - which does bridal/festive fabrics and notions.
      At least I'll try to find some rayon, which I've discovered that I like.
      For now I don't have that many skirts, so I think I would prefer just to attach it to the inside of the skirt.

      1. fiberfan | | #9

        Other names to look for are bemberg or Cuprammonium rayon.  I agree with jjgg's suggestion of silk charmeuse.


        1. beo | | #21

          This is Beo;

          What weight of silk charmeuse would you use?

          1. fiberfan | | #22

            I like the ligher 12.x mm and the 'normal' blouse weight 19.x mm.


  2. jjgg | | #2

    I have to agree with Fiberfan, don't underline this. The pleats would not hang right if ti were underlined. Also, if you do make a lining, don't mimic the pleats, just make a straight lining (perhaps with a little flair) so the pleats can do their "swingy thing" when you walk.

    Actually, I like Fiberfans idea of a separate 'slip' lining.

    Don't use acetate it's really cheap stuff. use either the bemberger rayon or silk charmeuse.

    1. Elizard | | #4

      I guess you're right about the skirt not hanging well if it were lined. The fabric has a very nice drape, perhaps it's a shame to press the pleats?
      Do you think the lining would work if I folded the pleats together, and used that as a pattern?

      1. jjgg | | #7

        I'm not sure I really understand your question. If the fabric has a nice drape, definitely press in the pleats. Pleats like that should swish and sway when you move. The lining should be more of a straight (or flared) slip, and not have the pleats in it. If the lining had peats, then they would interfere with each other, as they would never hang together.My vote for this is to just wear a slip and don[t mess with the lining.I most definitely would not underline it as that too would interfere with the drape and swish of the pleats. It's a fabulous looking skirt.I just attended a fabulous fitting class with a British couturier that does very (very) high end stuff, and he specifically talked about this subject. - not to line pleats.

        1. Elizard | | #8

          yes I understand what you mean. I definitely won't underline then.
          What I meant was the pattern has lines marking the pleats, if I cut them away, or just fold them together I could use this as the pattern?
          Which (I guess)is the basic pattern for this skirt.
          Hmm, your classes must be very interesting, did you manage to get yourself a nice pattern?
          I'm currently working on either drafting or fitting a pattern, using Canadian (in french) and German books as references.

          1. jjgg | | #10

            Yes, Now I understand, just fold out the pleats (all the way to the top) and you can use that as a lining pattern.Yes, I came away with several different style garments fitted, but that wasn't really my aim - it was to learn more about fitting others.

          2. Elizard | | #11

            thank you for your answer, then I just need to work on it :)As mentioned I am currently trying to fit myself, my big problem is that no-one in my family seems to be good at measuring. I guess I am not alone, the Canadian books (Angelina di Bello) helped my understanding of fitting, first of all they show ho to measure, and then how to change the pattern according to this. Perhaps that could help you?
            I guess I recommend them :P

        2. DONNAKAYE | | #12

          "If the lining had peats, then they would interfere with each other, as they would never hang together."

          I understand where you're coming from but respectfully disagree.  I underline pleated garments such as wools and woolens all the time (I'm allergic to wool), and I hate wearing a separate slip, and I find a straight-line lining in a pleated skirt too confining.  The key to success with this construction method is the proper weight of underlining, and, second, joining the underlining to the garment at the waistline and letting the garment hang prior to trimming the underlining to the proper length at the hemline, etc.  Anyway, I do see your point, but I do think a skillful sewer can pull this off successfully. . . . .d.

          1. jjgg | | #13

            I certainly can "pull it off" but I just think it looks much better unlined/ un - underlined.just my personal choice.

          2. fiberfan | | #14

            "joining the underlining to the garment at the waistline"

            This sounds like lining, not underlining.  I was taught underlining is placing a fabric on the wrong side of the separate pieces and treating the 2 as a single fabric while sewing the item.  This would still leave the wool against your skin in the seam allowances.

            I agree a pleated skirt can be successfully lined as long as the pleats for both the skirt and lining hand straight.  For many fabrics the extra layer of underlining in each pleat might make the pleats poke out some.


          3. DONNAKAYE | | #15

            I love it when we all have an opinion about something, don't you?  Actually, in some instances I treat the underlining as the lining.  As for the exposed seams, I cut on extra fabric at the seam allowances and then lap the underlining over the seamlines, but prior to doing that I apply the underlinining at the waistline and let it hang.  At the waistband I apply gros grain or petersham ribbon.  I suppose you really could call the method a cross between lining and underlining, but I'd probably say it's an underlining treated as a lining because the underlining sits under the hemline and the seams are enclosed....Thanks for all the replies!

          4. Elizard | | #16

            now I am slightly confused.
            What you are suggesting is: cut both the skirt and (under)lining using the same patten, finishing the skirt (apart from waistband and hem). Then sewing the pleats but not seams on (under) lining, attaching at waist line. "lap the underlining over the seam lines", what, cut of SAs and sew them together, or to the skirt?
            I guess the interesting thing about this skirt is the way the pleats are on one side, both front and back. The skirt can't end up hanging in an odd way due to the difference in weight?

          5. jjgg | | #17

            Elizard,When you underline something, the fabric and the underlining are treated as one.
            What Donna is suggesting is a technique called either "Flat Lining" or sometimes called a "Hong Kong Lining"
            You cut the lining one inch wider then the fashion fabric, (1/2 inch on each side) then with RIGHT sides together you sew them with a scant 1/4 inch seam, turn them right sides out (the underlining is baggier than the fashion fabric since it is 1 inch wider). now, since the underlining is larger, it will wrap around the raw edges of the seams. you wrap it around the edges so the fashion fabric is still flat, now the underlining and fashion fabric are the same size, then stitch in the ditch to hold the underlining in place.You have to be careful to keep things perfectly lined up and straight so you don't get any bagging or off grain affects from this, It gives a lovely clean finish to the seam allowances - they look like a hong kong finish. After each skirt piece is prepared in this manner you then assemble the skirt.This is a fabulous way to treat many wool fabrics, but it's best on straight seams - I've done it on bias and curved seams but the results aren't as good, its a great way to line slacks and skirts.

            Edited 1/14/2008 12:34 am ET by jjgg

          6. DONNAKAYE | | #19

            Thanks, jigg!  You are correct!  See my email to Elizard where I said I'd send more detailed information. . . .d.

          7. Elizard | | #20

            I guess this seam (on the skirt)is not quite straight, widens as it reaches the hem. Now I am getting closer to understanding:)
            Stitching in the ditch, does that this time refer to in the middle of the seam?
            I assume as this implies that the seams will be stitched together all way down, that I should hem the skirt first?
            Also: "the lining wider than the fashion fabric", in Europe they don't include Seam allowances on pattens, so this means that on top of the seam allowance I add, I should add some more to the lining?Forgive me for pestering you all, but I just haven't seen(or heard) of this technique before (and am always open to learning - albeit asking loads of some times obvious/annoying questions)Elizard

          8. jjgg | | #23

            Elizard, don't worry about pestering, thats what we are all here for,To stitch in the ditch, what I'm refering to is when the lining fabric wraps around the raw edge of the fashion fabric, looking at this sandwich from the fashion fabric right side, there will be 1/4 inch of lining covering the edge of the fashion fabric, where the seam is is where you stitch in the ditch, this holds the lining fabric in place.It is very hard for me to describe this in words only, but I assure you if you play with some fabric you will see what I"m talking about.It sounds like the skirt has a bit of flair to it. The hem would be the last thing you will do on the skirt.I guess your pattern comes from the BWOF magazine, so yes, you have to add seam allowances (the burda patterns you buy in the fabric stores do have seam allowances added.But yes, you have to add an extra 1/2 inch on each side of the lining fabric, it has to be 1 inch wider than the fashion fabric. The 1/2 inch on each side gets taken up when the fabric and lining are sewn together first thing and then the lining wraps the edge of the fabric.I hope I'm not getting you too confused, and quite honestly, unless you really think you know what you are doing here, I wouldn't try this on a first garment of expensive wool. I teach a class on this and recommend a simple straight skirt. It can be tricky to get the fabric just right, and especially if its off grain etc with the pleats, it will ruin your skirt.

          9. DONNAKAYE | | #18

            Will attempt to respond to your question with some specific guidelines when I get home from court this evening. . . .Hold on!. . . .d.

  3. DONNAKAYE | | #5

    Actually, one of the things I do with fabrics such as you've described is to simply underline it with a slip-like fabric, such as silk charmeuse.  This serves as both the underlinining and lining and gives a wonderful drape to the wool.

    1. Elizard | | #6

      Thank you for your idea,
      I guess I need to go shopping at some point, then.

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