How to put a lining in a child's frock


This page was written in response to a call for help from a member of The Sewing Forum, and some of this information will also be there.

The sample garment is a lined child's frock with lined sleeves.  The fabric is the pink print poly-cotton, and the lining is the plain polyester habotai.  We start with the bodice...


liningup.JPG (102746 bytes)  layout.JPG (123330 bytes)  onfold.JPG (51675 bytes)  cutout.JPG (129528 bytes) First you need to lay the fabric out.  For this pattern, I folded both the fabric and the lining in half down the centre, and laid the lining on top, carefully lining up the folds.  Both the lining and the fabric are very light, and laying them out together like this means that they are easier to handle, with the added bonus of being quicker as you cut both fabric and lining out in one. 

Next you lay the pattern out, making sure that pieces marked 'Place on fold' are placed with that mark against the fold.  In this case it was only the front that needed to go on the fold.  Once all the pieces are laid out satisfactorily, along the straight grain of the fabric, you can pin them down.  When pinning the pattern to the fabric, use as few pins as possible, as every pin causes a distortion of the fabric.

Cut all the pieces carefully, and as accurately as possible.

Next you need to pin the seams together.  Place RIGHT sides (with the pattern printed on it in this example) together, so you are looking at the 'wrong' side of the fabric and lining (with most lining fabrics there is no right or wrong side, so be careful to ensure you make a right and left half of the garment rather than two lefts!).

Make sure that what you line up is the seam line, not the cut edge!  Standard seam allowances are 5/8" or 15mm.  Most modern machines will have this marked on the machine bed close to the needle.  Use this guide line to keep your seam allowances accurate.  Sew the seams for shoulders and sides on both the lining and the fabric.

pinned1.JPG (95972 bytes)  pinned2.JPG (123642 bytes)  pinned3.JPG (63888 bytes)
seampress1.JPG (112468 bytes)  seampress2.JPG (90086 bytes)  seampress3.JPG (86423 bytes) Once the seam is sewn, you'll need to press it open.  FIRST you press it closed!  This 'sets' the stitching, and when the seam is pressed open, it lies much flatter.

Do the same with the lining.  Also press out any other creases in either fabric at this point.  You now have two versions of the bodice: one in fabric, and one in lining.

Now you need to put the two together.

With the right side out on the fabric, and the wrong side out on the lining, slip the lining over the top of the fabric, lining the seams up at the shoulder and side seams.

Pin carefully all round the neck edge.  Check to make sure the seams stay lined up!  Stitch carefully round the neck edge, leaving the back edges open for the zip later.

Check one last time that the seams have stayed lined up at the neck edge.

We do the neck first as it is the most important bit: it's the bit everyone notices first!

seammatch1.JPG (110199 bytes)  pinnededge.JPG (59086 bytes)  seammatch2.JPG (33722 bytes)  matchedseams.JPG (49389 bytes)
presneck.JPG (92808 bytes)  seamclip.JPG (135674 bytes)  neckpress2.JPG (129423 bytes) Press the neck seam to set it, as you did the closed seams in the fabric and lining.

Clip the seams: snip from the raw cut edge towards but not through the seam stitching. These snips help to ease out the seam allowance and allow it to lie flat when we turn the bodice the right way out.

Flip the lining into the indise, and smooth it down round the neck.

Press from the inside, pulling the lining down so that the fabric just shows all round, and the seam line is on the top side of the fold as you look at it.

Turn the bodice the right way out.  Now the neck seam is hidden and the seam allowances all lie flat.  This is the main part of the bodice lining completed!  Well done you!


pressedneckseam.JPG (90302 bytes)  flipped.JPG (104983 bytes)  DSCF0109.JPG (76403 bytes)  flipped1.JPG (115684 bytes)

Now we get to work putting the sleeves in.  These are fully lined sleeves, and this is my easy-peasy way of lining a set in lined dress sleeve.

sleevepinned.JPG (97701 bytes)  Start by lining up the fabric and the lining along the bottom edge of the sleeve.  Pin id place, and sew the seam 5/8" or 15mm from the bottom -  a standard seam allowance.  Press the closed seam as you did for the bodice seams above.

This is the hem seam.

Open out each sleeve and press the lining and fabric seam allowances of the hem seam towards the patterned fabric half of the sleeve.  Fold it in half lengthwise and pin, carefully matching the seams where they meet.

Sew the seam, and press closed as before.  Then press the whole seam open.

sleevedpinned.JPG (135599 bytes) sleevepress2.JPG (84605 bytes)
  rightsideout.JPG (101369 bytes)  sleeveseammatch.JPG (103696 bytes) sleevehempressed.JPG (257536 bytes) Turn the whole sleeve the right way.

Fold the lining up inside the sleeve, checking that the sleeve seams line up nicely.  Roll the seam just to the lining side, as you did with the neck edge seam.  Make sure the lining and sleeve seam allowances and seams match.  Press.

Put the gathering stitches (if it's a gathered sleeve) round the sleeve head.

Matching the sleeve seam with the side seam of the bodice fabric only, pin the sleeve into the armscye (arm hole), easing the gathers in round the sleeve cap.  Starting at the under-arm, sew the sleeve and lining to the bodice fabric, leaving the lining free.

Check on the outside for any wrinkles or tucks: these will need to be corrected if you have any.

gatherstitching.JPG (222153 bytes)  pinnedsleeveseam.JPG (98662 bytes)  gatherspinned.JPG (157560 bytes)  gathersstitched.JPG (123896 bytes)  sleeveheadoutside.JPG (95545 bytes)
clippedsleeveseam.JPG (64715 bytes)  clippedlining.JPG (103207 bytes)  On the inside, clip the sleeve head and armscye as you did the neckline above.

Do the same with the lining.

Matching the lining seams to the bodice fabric seams, tuck the seam allowances in towards the bodice, and pin at the sleeve head seam line.  Your shoulder seam and under-arm seam pins should come through to the outside on the seam line if you have matched them up properly.  Pin all the way round, pinning the fold of the lining just over the stiching so it only just hides ir.

Don't pull the lining tight!  You may need to ease it in a bit, as it can stretch with handling.  You could stay-stitch it, but this adds bulk I like to avoid on such a tiny garment.

pinhead1.JPG (125564 bytes)  pinmatc2.JPG (37003 bytes)  underarm.JPG (76298 bytes)  pinhead2.JPG (117121 bytes)
littlestitches.JPG (212665 bytes) Slip-stitch the bodice lining to the sleeve lining with tiny stitches!  I prefer to do as much hand sewing as possible with silk thread. This one is a good match!
Once that is done, the bodice and sleeve linings are all in place!  Turn it the right way out and make sure everything is as neat as possible. linedbodiceinside.JPG (109401 bytes)  linedbodiceoutside.JPG (114650 bytes)

I shall come back to this in the next few days and do the skirt lining and the zip.


Back To Table of Contents