Learning to Sew—Lining pants and skirts (part III)

Sometimes skirts and pants have darts and other details that may seem to make inserting a lining difficult. Here some pointers to help you handle the details:

1. Linings don’t have darts because this would add bulk and bulges to the finished garment. Make your darts in the skirt or pair of pants as usual. Press the darts to the center front or center back of the garment. Sew the lining side seams and insert the two garments together, wrong sides facing; match the dart markings of the lining to the garment darts. Fold and pin tucks at the dart marking to take out excess fabric. To reduce bulk, remember to press your lining tucks in the opposite direction from the garment darts.

2. Sometimes you will have gathers to deal with, rather than darts. As I mentioned before, with a heavily gathered skirt it is best to use a simple pattern with few gathers for the lining. When your pattern is lightly gathered, you can use the same pattern for the lining. Before you gather the skirt, put the lining over the it, wrong sides together; machine baste at the waistline seam. Now, stitch your two lines of gathering stitches through both layers and pull up the thread ends as usual to gather the fabric. Match seams and markings with the waistband. Evenly distribute the gathers. Pin baste, machine baste, or hand baste the skirt/lining to the waistband. Sew in place and finish as usual.

3. Pleat-front pants or skirts are handled differently. You will put the pleats in the lining as well as the garment. This means you should separately machine baste the garment pleats and the lining pleats. Press the garment pleats as instructed in your pattern and press the lining pleats in the opposite direction. Slip the lining over the skirt or into the pants, wrong sides together and machine baste at the waistband. Attach the waistband as usual.