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How to Line Pants

Pants patterns usually lack a lining, but it’s easy to add one
Threads #78, Aug/Sept 1998

Lining a pair of pants provides a luxurious finishing touch, makes them more comfortable, and creates a smoother silhouette. You can make a full lining to completely enclose the inside construction details of the pants and create a barrier between a scratchy fabric and you. Or make a partial lining when you want to retain the lightweight quality of a particular fabric, while shielding areas that crease easily and receive the most strain (like the lap and knees).

Unfortunately, most pants patterns don’t include a lining, but it’s easy to add one. Choose a fabric that’s tightly woven, smooth, durable, lighter in weight than the fashion fabric, and compatible with the cleaning method you’ll use with the garment. Then use your main pants pattern pieces to make the lining pattern, as shown in the drawings on p. 44. 

To make and insert a lining

First sew the pants together, including the zipper, darts, pleats, and pockets. You don’t have to finish the seams when inserting a full lining unless the fabric frays easily. Leave the pants unhemmed and don’t attach the waistband until after you insert the lining. 

Next, sew the lining together, stitching darts and any pleats. Lengthen the zipper opening by 1 in. if the pants have a fly-front zipper or by 12 in. for all other zippers. Double-stitch the crotch curve. If you plan to connect the lining to the hem of the pants by machine (as opposed to leaving the lining free-hanging—I’ll discuss both options in “Hem and connect the lining” on p. 44), leaving an 8-in. opening in one of the leg inseams a few inches below the crotch seam.

Press both pants and lining thoroughly, pressing the darts on the pants toward the center and those on the lining toward…

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Fit and Sew Pants

Fit and Sew Pants

Making your own pants is a great way to get a perfect fit, every time. 

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Fitting Secrets
Pockets and Closures
Waistbands, Linings, and Hems
Pants Pattern Reviews