Fire in Cairo -- Part Nine - the lining

Next, I'm working on the lining of my bodice.

Unlike interlining, linings are a step you can skip. The purpose of the lining isn't to give your bodice structure but rather to make the interior nice and neat and finish the edges. Alternately you can bind the edges. But I like to line because it finishes the inside at the same time.

Garments like this are typically bag lined. This means that the lining pieces are sewn together in the same manner as the outer pieces, and then the lining is placed over the constructed garment, right sides facing right sides, and sew around all the edges except a small area through which it will be turned (usually the neckline). Then the lining is flipped to the inside, the edges pressed and the turning opening stitched closed.

The problem with a bag lining is that, if the lining stretches out of shape with wear, it will droop and may even show beneath the edge of the outer garment. So I like to do what I call a modified bag lining by catching the side seams.

frontliningsewn.jpgBefore I did anything, I trimmed the lower edge of the bodice so that it was even all the way around.

Then I cut two front pieces from my lining material and sewed them to the front of the bodice, from neck to hem and around the bottom until I ran out of lining.

I don't show it here, but I also cut the three back pieces -- center back, side back, and side front -- sewed them together, and sewed them to the outer bodice around the lower edge.


Before turning your lining to the outside, remember to clip your corners and trim your seam allowances so the turned corner will lay nice and flat.

Once you've clipped your corners and turned the lining to the inside, it's time to press everything so it lays nicely.

If you're not careful, a bag lining can show on the outside because it will roll. So you have to make sure the lining is a little shorter and narrower than the outer material. One way to do this is to roll the edge of the garment and press it so that the outer material wraps around to the inside just a little bit -- like 1/8".

rolledge.jpg pressedge.jpg

Press the edge of the garment with a hot iron. This is a great place to sprinkle the garment with water or use lots of steam. If your fabric is likely to get shiney, put a clean dishtowel or piece of fabric on top of the garment and press through it.

The pressed front edge of the bodice:


Proof that my dress form is too big for me:


The crisp corners achieved by this method:


 Now the part where my method differs from a standard bag lining. On the inside of the garment, you will have the edge between the front and side front lining pieces that has not been sewn. Instead of sewing these pieces to each other (as you would have already done in a standard bag lining), turn the seam allowances of each piece under (towards the raw edges of the outer material) and press. Using a whipstitch, slip stitch or catch stitch, sew the pressed edge of each piece to the seam of the outer material from the inside. Repeat with the center back seam.

The back lining pieces sewn together and the seam allowances pressed under, ready to whipstitch into the interior of the garment.

This step will secure the lining to the outer material in two more places than with a standard bag lining and promote stablity. Plus the lining will lay more nicely too.

Leave the collar edge unsewn for now. It will be finished when we put on the collar later today.

Later Today:   The Collar!