Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sewing the Lining to the Outer Jacket

Believe it or not, we are almost at the end!  With the steps in this post, the jacket will really start to come together.

Start with your outer jacket right side up:

Then place the lining/facing unit on it, right sides together:

The upper collar should be a tiny bit bigger than the under collar so that the seam will roll to the underside for pressing.  To take this up while sewing, make a tailor's blister at each corner of the upper collar by taking up a scant 1/8" like this:

You can also mark the pivot points on the collar and lapels if you like - I generally do.  Pin your entire upper collar to the under collar, stretching the under collar to fit.  Then check to make sure that the place where the collar and lapel meet matches up:

We're only going to sew the collar right now, but I always pin the entire front edge so that the facing isn't flapping around while I'm sewing.  Then once everything is pinned, I fold the lapel back so it's not in the way while I sew the collar:

Now for some precision sewing:  make sure to keep all the seam allowances at the neck out of the way, and sew from the large dot at the left side of the collar all the way around to the large dot on the right.  Start exactly on the dot so that this seam meets the neck seam, and don't back stitch.  Instead, leave long tails that will get tied together later.  Some instructions say to start in the center and work to each end, but I find that going from one side to the other with the upper collar facing up enables me to be more precise.

Unpin the folded-back lapel and make tailor's blisters at the points on the facing like you did for the upper collar.  Starting exactly from the large dot again, and keeping the neck and collar seam allowances well out of the way,  sew across the top of the lapel, turn, then all the way down the front and around the bottom curve.  Here too, don't backstitch at the beginning, but leave long tails.  Stop just before the Hong Kong binding at the bottom of the facing (or 5/8" away from the edge if you didn't do the binding) and backstitch here.

Carefully turn the work where the collar meets the lapel to make sure that the seams meet up:

If everything looks good, continue on.  If not, go back and fix anything that's off kilter.

Bring those tails you left (there should be two on each side) together at the intersection and tie in a double knot.  You'll need to clip into the neck seam allowance to the dot to do this.  You will be able to see where to tie them - it's the place that will have a little hole if you don't tie them together!  Once the knot is secure you can clip the tails, but leave an inch or so.

Remember that when grading seams, the longest seam allowance will be the one to the outside of the garment.  Because the facing will flip back at the lapel, the "outside" changes along the front opening.  Start the grading by clipping into the seam allowance about half way just where the lapel will start to turn, at the bottom of the roll line:

From this point down, trim the jacket longer than the facing.  From this point up, trim the jacket shorter than the facing.  I still like to use pinking shears at the bottom curve, but generally have to make a few more notches to keep the curve from getting lumpy.

Trim the lapel and collar points away as you would normally do.

Once all the grading is done, take the whole thing to the tailor's board.  Press and clap all these seam allowances open before turning out the jacket.  Take advantage of the various curves and points to get a really nice open seam.  Take especial care with the collar and lapel points, pressing them open all the way to the point by inserting the pointed end of the board into them firmly before pressing.

Finally, turn the jacket out carefully, working the curves smooth and gently poking out the points with a point turner.

At this point we need to do some heavy-duty pressing, so I'll leave that for the next post.  But hey - it's almost a finished jacket!


  1. I love seeing all the steps broken down. :D This is an awesome sew-a-long!

    1. Thank you, Kristin! I tried to make the posts digestible, but there's no denying that making a blazer is labor intensive! It's almost over though :-)

  2. I've never heard the term tailor's blister before!

    1. It sounds kind of unpleasant, doesn't it?!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.