Sewing Tutorial | How to Bag a Jacket Lining

Here it is, my tutorial on how to line a jacket using the ‘bagged’ method. This jacket lining method gives the most professional results, requires the least amount of hand sewing and is also the quickest. A triple win in my opinion! If you look through your closet, you’ll find that almost every jacket you own was lined using some variation of this method. This method is really very simple and hopefully you’ll be making jackets right and left now that lining them is so easy! This tutorial is pretty photo heavy, so click the link below to continue to the full post.

Step 1 : Cut out your pieces like normal. Follow the pattern instructions to sew the shell of the jacket together. Do the same for the lining but when attaching the front facing to the lining leave about 2″ unsewn at the bottom edge. Stitch along the sewn edge of the lining securing it to the seam allowance of the facing.

Step 2 : Attach the collar to the neck edge of the jacket. *See note below about this particular collar and a few other notes on this pattern.

Step 3 : With right sides facing, pin and stitch the jacket shell and lining together around the sides and neck leaving the hem loose.

Step 4 : Grade the seam allowance, trim excess from lapel points and clip into the lapel corners.

Step 5 : Understitch the facing from the hem to the breakpoint of the jacket. The breakpoint is the point at which the lapels turn outward.

Step 6 : Align the hems of the shell and the lining and stitch together from one edge to the other. You will notice this will cause some gapping between the edges of the lining and facing, this is what will create the pleat.

Step 7 : Now it’s time to attach the sleeve and lining together. I find it’s helpful to lay the jacket out in an arrangement similar to this to prevent the sleeve linings from becoming twisted during this next step.

Step 8 : Turn the edges of the sleeve lining up about 2″. Insert the cuffed lining into the sleeve matching seams and making sure neither the jacket nor lining is twisted. Stitch the two layers together and repeat for the other side.

Step 9 : Since your jacket is now completely sealed up in this strange configuration you will need to slit an opening in one of the underarm seams. I recommend 8-12″ depending on the size and bulk of your jacket. You could potentially just not sew this part, but by sewing and then re-opening you get a really nice pressed line on which to sew it back up later.

Step 10 : Now to turn the jacket, just start pulling the jacket through the hole in the sleeve you just created until the whole thing is right side out.

Step 11 : This next step is totally optional and just something I like to do to keep the lining from sliding all over at the armholes. Reach in through the hole in the sleeve lining and grab the underarm seams from both the shell and the lining and bring them out through the hole. Chain a length between the two, probably around 1.5″ for a full sized jacket. Repeat with the other arm.

Step 12 : To sew up the hole in the arm, pin the two layers together and stitch as close to the edge as you possibly can.

Step 13 : Press around the outside of the jacket and sleeve hems. When pressing the lapel, start from the hem and roll the seam to the inside of the garment until you hit the breakpoint and then start rolling the hem towards the outside of the garment. This will insure that you won’t be able to see the seam.

Step 14 : You will notice that lining a jacket with this technique creates a little opening where the hem pleat and facing meet. This is simply a result of this technique and you can stitch this closed with no ill consequences.

That’s it, you’re done! Wear your jacket around and revel in how easy that lining was!

* A little note about the collar and pattern. For this tutorial I printed out BurdaStyle’s Jorinde pattern at 60% . I originally thought that the really strange collar on this coat was some sort of style decision but after realized that this blazer collar is really just a traditional notched lapel which was sewn wrong for their sample. The point of telling you this is so that you do not follow this tutorial as a guide to doing a notched collar! The other thing that drove me crazy with this pattern is that the lining is not larger than the shell and has no back pleat. Typically you want the lining larger to allow for movement and prevent tearing. I don’t own a single store bought blazer or jacket (even cheap ones) with a lining that is not larger than the shell and they all include back pleats. Oh well, it’s just a tiny blazer anyway but I wanted to give you a heads up!

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92 Responses to Sewing Tutorial | How to Bag a Jacket Lining

  1. Ginger says:

    Thanks for sharing this! Bookmarking it!

  2. molly says:

    Great tutorial, thanks for posting it. I’ve never been able to figure out what bagging a jacket really was because the instructions people gave never had enough photos or an actual garment being put together.

    • jen | grainline says:

      I feel like people tend to think it’s this crazy complex thing but really it’s very simple! I also HATE instructions with no diagrams, so many words…I start to zone out.

  3. linda says:

    okay, i’m not really sure what you did, because i am still sooo very new at sewing, but for some reason your step-by-step instructions and detailed photos kept me intrigued! i will try this if i ever get THIS advanced in my sewing endeavors. *claps* great job, jen!

  4. michael ann says:

    this is AWESOME! i did a bagged lining on a little trench coat i made in college but have definitely forgotten all the details. now i’m trying to think if i have any fabric for a blazer in my stash… hmm!

  5. Caroline says:

    Thanks so much, this is so helpful!

  6. Jody Pearl says:

    Your generosity is only outshone by your brilliance – AMAZING!

    Thankyou for sharing.

  7. Grace says:

    Great tutorial, and so timely. It did take me a minute to figure out what you meant about the collar, but now think I understand. The burdastyle sample and your sample appear to be missing the collar and lapel joining seam. So is this collar insertion method completely incorrect? Would you sew the under collar to the body and the upper collar to the facing and then sew the outer edges fo the collars together before sewing the lapel and CF edges to their facings? Or is there another situation where this method of inserting a collar that would work?

  8. jen | grainline says:

    As far as the proper way to make a notched lapel, this insertion method is almost correct. I’m pretty bored at the SF airport right now so I made a little diagram, hopefully this clarifies a bit.

    This is where the steps for a notched collar differ from the steps above, it’s really only 2 steps different.
    1. When assembling the collar, only sew the back seam. Grade seam, press, understitch and turn right sides out.
    2. Attach the collar to the jacket shell. The way it attaches to the neck edge is the same but you will be pivoting to attach the unfinished edges of the collar to the top of the lapel from the corner to the notch on the lapel.
    All the other steps are the same, you will attach the lining in exactly the same way. Notched collars have a bad wrap for being difficult but they’re really easy! I’m hoping to make a blazer this spring so I can do a full tutorial on the notched lapel if I do…it might be a few weeks though. Hopefully this helps?

  9. Amy says:

    What a cute little jacket! I learned a similar technique last year, but it’s so nice seeing it all laid out here. Your photos are really clear, and your steps are easy to follow. Thanks!

  10. ChickyC says:

    That jacket looks so cute. I’ll be sewing up a little boys jacket later in the year and will have to attempt this method. So thankin you in advance!

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  13. Sannsannhtay says:

    Thanks for sharing us.

  14. Your tutorial is fantastic and the jacket splendid. i love it.
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  15. kath says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I feel like my sewing prayers have been answered. I have always wanted to know how to do this!

  16. Ann says:

    Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge!! I was planing to make a jacket for my daughter, the pattern doesn’t include any lining though, will this method still work for me?

  17. Holly Graves says:

    Boy your photos are great but it still overwhelms me and I’ve sewn for years, never thought it was easy. I have a coat in my sewing room that needs a new lining and I still don’t want to tackle it. It’s a lot of work.

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  21. Thanks a lot! it was very helpful 🙂

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  23. Madeleine says:

    Holy moly! I’ve finally managed to line my winter coat. I absolutely couldn’t figure it out on my own- this is such a good tute! Thanks for your help.

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  25. Kathy says:

    Thank you for explaining the little gap! I made a blazer for my son for Christmas, and could not figure out what I did wrong at the hem!

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  27. manju says:

    Great tutorial! About to attempt bagging a lining for the first time, so this picture heavy tutorial was exactly what I needed. Thanks.

  28. Lisa says:

    This is the best tutorial on how to do the cuffs i was really stuck til i saw this, Many thanks.

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  30. K-Line says:

    Thanks for this terrific tutorial – Quick question: How do you catch stitch your hem to the shell after stitching the shell hem / lining hem seam? Am I missing something or is it not possible to manipulate the hem after everything has been sewn? My brain is having trouble understanding the wrong side and right side scenario after the hem is bagged. Just want to ensure that the hem, without the lining, is attachable to the fashion fabric so that it doesn’t flop around. Thanks so much for any feedback.

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  32. Kit says:

    Color me surprised – this WORKS! Thank you! It was a total faith thing as I sewed up the sleeves and couldn’t quite work out how this would all unfold into a jacket rather than a fabric mobius strip … and it did. Perfectly! Thank you! Your instructions were excellent and clear and now I have my bolero ready to wear far sooner than it would have been with the pattern’s instructions. Far nicer, too. Thank you!

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  34. Elsbeth Walker says:

    Thank you thank you thank you. I am far too intrepid for my own good, and as a mere novice took on a lined jacket. The pattern instructions were horrible–SO much hand sewing. UGH! I followed your instructions instead, with great success

  35. StrayCat says:

    I don’t know if you see these later comments, but I’m mega confused on something. So you sewed the lapel facing and collar facing to the lining? The way I’ve always done jackets is by basically completing the jacket first (sewing all the facings on it) and then sewing the lining in. Is it still possible to bag the lining this way? I’ll give your method a shot anyhow next time I’m making a jacket.

  36. Katie says:

    Hi Jen – thanks for this and the drafting lining tutorials, so helpful. I noticed on your drafting tutorial there’s pieces for bottom hem facings, but this blazer doesn’t have them. I really like the look of faced bottom hems, but wonder how you’d go about working them into this bagging technique. Would you cut the lining shorter so it joins up to the facing edge, stitch them together like the lapel facings then stitch around the edges like you do with the lapels? I just can’t quite visualise how the corners would join up where the lapel meets the bottom hem. Does this make sense?! I’d be so grateful if you can offer any advice.

  37. Leah says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have always wanted to figure out how to do this and I was so tired of basting the linings in at the bottom of all the coats and jackets I make! Hooray!

  38. reiddamnit says:

    I decided to make a bomber jacket and then created a two day brain melt by figuring out how to line it….thank goodness for your tutorial! I was so determined to see it through, and with your help I did!

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  41. surfjewels says:

    Just wanted to say a big thank you for this post, the instructions on the Jorinde jacket are terrible and this has helped me out a lot and I now have a jacket just like I wanted.



  42. Beautifully clear tutorial. It made lining my bolero jacket a breeze. Thank you!

  43. Back Lining can be 2 pieces to make it easier to bag says:

    Hi, the jacket you made for your child is so cuuutte!

    I discovered by accident that if the back jacket lining is cut in 2 pieces instead of one, it makes bagging it into the sleeves much easier. I also discovered that this is done in ready-to-wear jackets as well, there’s a center seam line in the lining where the pleat is.

    Great tutorial.

    • Jen says:


      Thanks, though I have no children! There actually is a CB seam in this and all jacket linings I do and draft and you’re right, in most ready-to-wear garments as well, I apologize that it’s hard to see in this tutorial. I think that when you say that this makes it easier to bag into the sleeves you’re leaving the hole in the CB seam instead of one of the sleeves? From my experience it’s best to leave the hole in the sleeve rather than the CB because the CB is a point where a lot of stress occurs and you want that to be one solid machine stitched line to withstand all of the stretching, reaching, and general moving you do day to day. The sleeve on the other hand doesn’t have such stress put upon it. All of my RTW coats & blazers are done with the hole left in the sleeve, from Marc Jacobs to Forever21. It also looks nicer to have the back one solid seam and the mangled seam in the sleeve 😉

      • Back Lining can be 2 pieces to make it easier to bag says:

        Hi Jen:

        I don’t leave any hole in the sleeve. With the center back seam of the lining open, I am able to sew the sleeve opening lining+shell for each sleeve by turning them inside out per sleeve. I then sew up the center back seam of lining when I’m finished with both sleeves.

        The bottom hems of both lining and shell are left open for bagging if you want to hem by machine. Or they don’t need to be bagged at all if you are hemming by hand.


        • Jen says:

          I think I see what you’re saying now. I still like to keep the back as one solid seam because of it being the major stress point of the lining. One of the beauties of sewing is that there are so many ways to do one thing!

  44. jacquie says:

    Thanks for the great instructions. That was the first time I lined a jacket that way. It worked beautifully.

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  47. Sandra says:

    Thanks – I got stuck on lining the sleeves while following the pattern instructions – your pictures were a great help!

  48. Kelly says:

    Hey sewing guru, thanks for this! I just used it for my Gerard coat and it worked like a charm. you’re the best 🙂

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  50. Lotty says:

    Great tutorial can I just ask is the lining pieces shorter in length than the jacket outer pieces? If so how much shorter do you do them?

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  52. Raina says:

    This is the absolute best tutorial on how to bag a jacket lining! Was going to give up until I found this one! Thank you!

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  55. Nakisha says:

    This is actually the second time I’ve used your method but AHHHHH it’s so fantastic! And it goes so fast!

  56. Lynda says:

    Thanks for the great tutorial. Do you hem the bottom of the jacket and sleeves by hand and then attach the lining? Thanks so much for your help.

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  64. Renee says:

    Thank you so much! i’m making a baby peacoat and this saved me! 🙂

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  72. Mak says:

    I searched for over 2 weeks for the best jacket lining tutorial, and this is the best. I love tutorials that are image jam packed as I am obsessed with having to confirm each step completed. Keep this up

  73. ann says:

    Quick question on Step 5:
    Step 5 : Understitch the facing from the hem to the breakpoint of the jacket. The breakpoint is the point at which the lapels turn outward.
    Can you explain further what you mean by “understich”? I’m not familiar what this is, and Google was not much help. Thanks.

    • Sarah says:

      Under-stitching is a technique used to make a seam line roll to the inside of a garment. It is commonly used around necklines and armholes as well as waistbands, collars and lapels. To under-stitch, first grade your seam, then with the seam allowance pressed to the inside of the garment, stitch approximately 1/8 of an inch from the edge of the seam line on the underside of the garment.

  74. Donna Labosky says:

    I was so confused with finishing the sleeves until I saw your tutorial. GREAT pictures. My first jacket is now complete!

  75. Thank you! A perfect tutorial and I got perfect results.

  76. Jo says:

    Thank you!!! I finally did this this correctly for the first time ever, after years of somehow always stuffing-up attaching the sleeve linings to the cuffs.

  77. yesss thank you for using different colors it was easier to see

  78. and yeah my Simplicity pattern instructions for the lining is GOD AWFUL!!!! even youtube videos didnt help, thank you for this

  79. I recngnize a Bernina from anywhere, woot! which model? I have the B 560

  80. Suzie Evason says:

    Can I still do this if the back of the jacket is double vented? Would I have to do anything differently? Thanks, Suzie

    • Jen says:

      I’d recommend finding a tutorial for a vented jacket as the steps are a bit different. Unfortunately we don’t have a tutorial for that on our site :/

  81. Charlie says:

    Hi, I know I’m late, but this tutorial is super helpful. I have one question, can you tell me how much larger the lining should be than the shell. I find my jacket lining makes my jacket feel restrictive. Thanks so much.

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