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Unlined jackets using soft fabrics

Belair108 | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I have trouble making a good looking unlined unbuttoned jacket from fabrics like herringbone weave rayon, challis, and other soft fabrics. The hem is OK where the front facing is, but the rest of the hem all around droops. It’s usually not apparent until I am ready to wear it. How can I prevent this happening?

Another question about the same style – The front facing always flaps open when wearing. Should I try using no interfacing, lighter interfacing, or interfacing and/or lining the whole front? It’s so bad that the entire front interfacing is open and shows the serged edge.



  1. starzoe | | #1

    Of course some fabrics are not appropriate for soft, flowing jackets but work well in a less structured garment. One of the best choices to stop that front flapping is to line the whole front insides, right to the armhole and side seam using the same jacket fabric. Sandra Betzina was here quite a number of years ago and that's when I first discovered this technique. It works a treat.

    To avoid the back hiking up on a soft garment I often use weights, sometimes the weights are just buttons on the inside but the best I found was a leaded ribbon which I found at a yard sale years ago that I put inside the hem. Unfortunately I haven't seen anything like this anywhere since.

  2. solosmocker | | #2

    I was going to suggest exactly what the last poster did. Betzina has you face the entire fronts with self fabric run to and caught in the side seam. All inside seams are Hong Kong seams giving a beautiful finish to the inside of the garment and some structure to the front. I also agree with using weights in the hem. I have used something I have found in the home dec trim dept at Joanns. It is on a spool by the yard and is a cloth covered lead weight. Picture a thick string. You can lay it right in the fold of the hem and tack it here and there on the inside. It works great in draperies too!


  3. SewNancy | | #3

    The fabric doesn't sound like it is really appropriate for a jacket unless you totally under line it. The hem issue is easily solved by interfacing it. Depending on what you look you want, ie how crisp, you would have the interfacing stop at the hemline or overlap it. I like to make it about 1/2" wider than the hem, but only on a lined jacket, so that the hem stitches don't show through.

  4. Teaf5 | | #4

     A lot of good suggestions so far--may I add another?  My mother always reminded me to let a finished, unhemmed garment hang for at least a day before marking and finishing it.  Sometimes, I'm eager to get a rayon blouse finished, so I skip that step and then regret that droopy hemline every time I wear it!

  5. Belair108 | | #5

    I have printed out all your suggestions and will apply them to the next unlined jacket I make. Thanks, all.

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