Tutorial: Add a Lining to the Meringue Skirt

As promised in the Sew Colette Flickr Group: here is a tutorial on adding a lining to the Meringue skirt. It is not difficult at all. If you’ve ever sewn a lined skirt, you can probably figure it out yourself, but for those who would like instructions or a refresher, look below.

lining1_pattern

  • Take the front and back pattern pieces of your skirt and pin them to your lining fabric. Cut them out as you normally would, only cut across the scallops rather than between them.
  • Mark the top of your darts. There is no need to mark the end points, because they will simply form small pleats in the lining. You can sew them as complete darts, but I find that the little bit of extra ease in the lining is more comfortable. And it’s quicker, which is a big plus in my book!
  • Cut of an even 3 cm off the bottom of both pattern pieces. This will ensure that your lining won’t peep out of under the scallops.
  • Sew and finish the lining side seams, making sure that you keep the right side open from the zipper notch on up. (The same as you did with the facing, because the zipper will be in your left side seam).
  • Finish the bottom of your lining by folding it inwards 1 cm, then 1,5 cm, pressing and stitching it down.
  • If you haven’t yet, sew your skirt outside, install the zipper and sew and finish the facing. Don’t install the waist facing yet!
  • It is easiest to also install your bottom facing and finish the scallops at this point, because this will be a free hanging lining. If you want to enclose your lining inside your bottom facing, you can install it after inserting the lining, but be aware that your lining might not behave in the same way as your shell fabric, which can cause bagging or puckering.

lining_facing

  • Pin the facing on top of the lining, with both right sides facing upwards. Make the little pleats in the lining to make sure it fits on the facing.
  • Machine baste these two layers together with a seam allowance of 1,25 cm (1/2″).

lining_skirt

  • Turn your lining/facing inside-out and pin it to the shell of your skirt (right sides together). Stitch your lining, facing and shell together, taking care to match your side seams and darts/pleats.
  • Press the seam allowance towards the facing and understitch it to to both the facing and the lining.
  • Grade the seam allowance and taper it to almost nothing at the open side seam. This will help that corner be more crisp.

lining_installed

  • Turn everything right side out. As you can see, all that remains is to attach the facing and lining to the zipper. There are instructions for this in the Colette Sewing Handbook with a lot of pictures, but for those of you who are not making the meringue I’ll try to explain here briefly. The pics I took were rubbish, so I’m afraid you’ll have to rely on my words.
    • Slip one hand between the lining and the shell of your skirt, towards the zipper opening.
    • Fold the seam allowance of the lining and facing inwards a bit with your other hand.
    • With the hand inside the skirt, grab the seam allowance of the lining and  the skirt between your thumb and forefinger.
    • Keep hold of it while you pull it outwards, turning the skirt inside out again.
    • Pin the layers together and stitch them together until the bottom of the zipper. Use a zipper foot to be able to stitch close to the zipper.
    • Taper the seam allowance to almost nothing at the top of the seam.
    • Turn right side out again, use a point turner or knitting needle to make your corner nice and crisp.
    • Press and repeat for the other side.

Let me know in the comments if anything is unclear. I’ll be in Paris until Sunday evening, so bear with me if I don’t get back to you before Monday.

Tutorial: Finishing facings and hems with bias tape

I’ve often been at a loss when it comes to finishing the edges of my facings or hems, until my sewing teacher taught me her way of doing it: with bias tape. I absolutely adore this way of finishing because it is easy, pretty and it doesn’t add any bulk. (Click any of the pictures for a GIGANTIC version where you can see all my wonky stitching.)

For this tutorial I’m using the facing of my Meringue skirt that I’m making for the Colette Sew-along, which is an open facing. You can of course use this exact same technique for finishing closed facings, but have a look at some of the tutorials out there (or the Colette Sewing Handbook, if you have it) for the neatest ways to close off your circle. The instructions for the Sorbetto Top feature a nice way to do it.

Supplies

  • Your facing pieces (or other pieces that need binding). Make sure they’re assembled and the seams are all finished.
  • Bias tape, a little longer than the edge you’re facing. (Or, as I do a whole packet, and then simply cut off what you don’t need. That way I’m never short!)
  • Pins, an iron, a sewing machine.

Start by pressing out one of the folds of  your bias tape. If you are using double fold bias tape, only press out one of the side folds. Keep the center fold, because that will make things even easier along the way.

Pin the folded edge of your bias tape to the right side of your fabric, aligning the edge of the tape with the edge of your fabric. Stitch the bias tape and fabric together, stitching exactly in the fold line of the bias tape.

(Please excuse the lack of photos for this bit. My ironing board is in the darkest corner of my room, and not very photo-friendly.) After you’ve stitched, press the bias tape towards the edge of the fabric. Then, fold it over the raw edge of your fabric, towards the wrong side of your fabric and press it down. In by far most cases you won’t need to trim your seam, but if the edge of your bias tape does not cover the stitching line on the wrong side, narrow your seam by a few millimeters and try again.

With the right side up, pin the bias tape down in the seam. Make sure that you’ve caught it everywhere on the wrong side. Stitch in the ditch, and admire your beautifully finished facing.