Pattern Tutorial | Adding Lining to an Unlined Blazer

You may know that I am planning a polka dot blazer this summer and in deciding what sort of blazer I wanted to make I went to three places… My closet to see what types of blazers I have that I wear a lot, the internet to see what sort of blazers are out there in the regular world, and I also checked out a lot of sewing patterns. One thing I noticed, on BurdaStyle in particular, is that there are a lot of patterns for unlined blazers and jackets. While I’m all about the Hong Kong binding and all that junk (especially with pretty contrasting colors, etc.), I really sort of just like to bag it all up nice with a lining and call it a day. I’m guessing I’m not the only one so I thought I would share this little tutorial on how to create a lining for your blazer. This is also applicable on jackets, coats, and any other garment name that basically means the same type of thing. You may also notice that this is my first Illustrator based tutorial, I tried doing this tutorial in real life but it just wasn’t working out so well. Between the size of blazer pattern pieces and my lack of things taller than a short chair to stand on I just couldn’t fit everything in the frame so Illustrator it is!

Adding a lining is really easy but it’s more than just cutting the jacket pieces in lining fabric. You want the lining to be larger than the blazer in certain places to allow easy movement within the shell to avoid tearing and pulling. I am going to assume that your blazer pattern has all the facings (front, back and hems) because if it doesn’t you’ve got bigger problems than just not having a lining. For the sake of consistency in this tutorial, none of these pieces or measurements include seam allowances. Please adjust accordingly if need be depending on your particular pattern.

First we’ll do the Center Front. Trace off your front pattern piece onto a sheet of paper. Trace the front facing piece on to the front pattern piece to establish the seam line of the lining. Remember that if your pattern has seam allowance you are going to want to remove it from the seam marked Front Facing Line in the illustration above when tracing. You are now going to extend the pattern in 4 places. Extend the shoulder seam line by 1/2″and extend the side seam by 1/4″ blending to nothing at the waist. Raise the underarm by 1/2″ and re-blend the armhole between these two new points. To form the pleat at the hem of the jacket add 1″ to the hem of the lining pattern. This amount may vary depending on the width of your hem facings but 1″ will work with a 1 1/2″ facing which is pretty standard. You just want to make sure that your lining doesn’t hang past the bottom of the shell.

Next up is the Center Back. Follow the same steps as for the Center Front tracing the Back Neck Facing off of the pattern. We now need to add the action pleat to the center back of the lining. This will ensure that you aren’t splitting your lining with all the action moves that blazers require. Add 1″ to the center back neck of the lining and run that line about halfway down the pattern, curving in and blending to nothing around the waist. Remember to notch the pleat when adding your seam allowance so you know what to fold into it.

Lastly we have the Sleeve. In order for the sleeve to fit nicely into the armscye with the changes we made to the bodice we need to make equal changes to what we did above. From the cap height, remove 1/2″ and raise both the front and back armholes by 1/2″. Extend the side seams at the armholes by 1/4″ as above blending to nothing at the hem. The reason all of the side seams are blended to nothing at the hem is to maintain the hem measurement so that it can be sewn into the facing. Again lengthen the lining by 1″ to create the lining pleat.

Here they are, all of your new pattern pieces, and it wasn’t even hard. Add your seam allowances, cut it out and bag that sucker up! As always if you have any questions you can leave a comment below or email me if you like at Happy Friday!

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44 Responses to Pattern Tutorial | Adding Lining to an Unlined Blazer

  1. Abby says:

    This is so helpful, thank you for posting! Last winter I searched high and low for a tutorial on jacket linings. Hopefully this winter I’ll have a better specimen of a winter coat thanks to your tutorials!

  2. sallie says:

    wow! this is so helpful! i will definitely be using this in the future. quick question – what pattern did you end up using? or did you draft your own?

    • Glad to help, it’s so easy! I’m working on my own pattern pattern for the blazer, nothing I found was really looking that great to me. Always some weird detail or fit thing I wasn’t into. Picky picky, ha!

  3. Dalila says:

    Thanks a lot! This is very useful =)

  4. Jenn says:

    Perfect timing! Thank you so much.

  5. Bernadette says:

    This is a very clear and helpful tutorial. I have been looking far and wide for one that I understand. Thanks so much.

  6. Definitely a good modification to know how to do!! Things are so much nicer when they’re lined. And I looove your step-by-step drawings, so clear! Do you do them in Illustrator, or…?

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  8. Amanda says:

    Super helpful – I just was going to start a jacket which actually does have a lining but the pattern for the linking is the same as the fashion one. It seemed odd to me but I didn’t know what to do about it. Now I do! Thanks!!

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  10. Sewing princess says:

    This is great! I’ve added my own lining before but having this reference is helpful! Thanks for taking the time to do it

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  12. Opulent Glamour says:

    Thank you so much!!! Very informative and much needed.

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  14. Many months later, just wanted to say thanks for this. I’m about to attempt my first jacket, which will be lined. It says to use the body pieces for the lining but I plan to alter them like you’ve shown for that extra bit of wearing ease. This was very helpful!

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  16. charlotte says:

    thanks ! It’s so great ! I will use it to make my pavot :))

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  18. Sandy Kent says:

    my question wasn’t how to cut a lining but how to place it in the garment to sew on. I did everything the pattern said I pullet the fabric threw the arm whole but I don’t understand wow to sew the sides to face a finish look. I only come up with 2 full slits What do I do.?.
    Please help me,greatfully yours Sandy

    • Tina says:

      I sew the jacket and lining has two separate jackets. You sew them exactly the same. Then place wrong sides together and pull the arm through.

      Hope this helps.

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  20. Ju says:

    I Love this! But I am not totally understand the inch? Am I correctly by just convert it into cm? Then the number seems so weird. Like 1 1/2″ = 3.81cm ?
    Thank you a lot. Take care.

  21. Jeannette says:

    Woo Hoo! So glad this popped up first in my search! I can really sympathize with the first person to comment on how she looked high and low for a tutorial for something. I just finished a very long search on flap pockets with no upper lip showing above the flap. Just about every site had both upper and lower lip. Nice, but not what I want. This tutorial, however, is just what I was needing. I already knew I had to cut larger in some areas, but how much and where? Not so much. Thank you for putting this all down for me.

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  25. Tina says:

    Hi, I have followed the steps on your lining pattern. I am having some trouble because my main pattern has a yoke on front and back pieces. I have managed to do the front pieces as one lining piece, that’s yoke and skirt part together. Leaving a tuck in the shoulder seam. However l am having trouble with the back yoke, do I need to do in the same manner has l did the front. It’s putting my facing out.
    Can someone help please!!!!

    Thank you

    • Jen says:

      It’s hard to say since I didn’t make the pattern you’re using and also don’t know anything about the pattern you’re using but it’s possible you could combine the two pieces into one and line it that way? I’m not 100% sure what you mean by ‘It’s putting my facing out.” Sorry I’m not much help on this.

  26. patrick hayes says:

    Most helpful! I’m exploring using men’s dress & flannel shirts as liners in jackets. I’ll be taking these lessons to try my hand @ updating some jackets.

    • MiaDv says:

      I love this idea! I have a favorite of my husbsnds that he is not in love with and wont wear, but I cant seam to let it go. I think I will try this.

  27. Gina says:

    Add seam allowances in addition to the new measurements? As in add the 1/2″ to the top of the sleeve and then add the 5/8″ (example) seam allowance to add a total of 1 1/8″?

  28. Nicole says:

    If I wanted to only line the bodice of the jacket, would I still add the same amount of ease to the armholes? Or would I be matching the armhole so that I could sew the main fabric and lining armholes together?

  29. Daisy says:

    Is this on YouTube?

  30. Daisy says:

    Thank you for this! I’ve gotten as far as creating the lining, So how do you attach the lining to the jacket? Can you be specific please, I really need help with this part. Thank you!

  31. MiaDv says:

    Thank you for this! Your instructions are very clear and I feel I can get started in the project that ive been putting off now.

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