In the world of Haute Couture, the real luxury of a garment exists within the interior of the garment. In fact, the true mark of couture garment is the interior which should be so well made, it could almost be worn inside out. Traditionally, more many couture clients buy simple dresses moreso than fancy gowns--something I learn years ago while researching the inner world of Paris couture. For this reason, I chose the sheath dress and a slim skirt as my starting point. The fabric you chose for the lining should compliment the garment. On this page, I chose China silk lining for the white wool dress and a sheer cotton muslin for the linen dress. What is important is that you chose a thin fabric that won't add an ounce of bulk but one that has enough structure to keep from falling apart as you work. One more thing....no matter the color of your finished garment, try to choose a light neutral toned fabric for the lining. Though I would have preferred a black lining for the plaid garments on this page, I was forced to consider the problem of staining!
Classic Straight Skirt
This is a perfect garment to line. Like this, you don't have to worry about a waistband (which adds bulk) and you don't have to think about what to do about the hem. The finish is perfect.
1. Begin by cutting out a straight skirt pattern. Transfer to the fabric. Cut out. Sew darts and sew side seams. Leave the back center seam open.
2. Repeat for the lining material.
4. Stitch across the top and the bottom. But NOT the side edges.
5. Tip: Press these two seams flat. When you do the final pressing, those seams will press crisp and flat!
6. Turn the garment inside out in through those side seams so that the front of the right side of the front of the fabric is facing itself and the front of the lining is facing itself.
7. What forms is, in fact, a sort of loop.
9. This automatically leads to the back length of the skirt.
10. When you have finished stitching, turn the skirt out to the right side through the opening at the back waist..
11. Press the top and bottom edge.
13. Turn the edges inwards so they face each other and stitch close.
(Note: You can also use this same technique for lining a strapless foundation (used underneath the draped couture gowns and cocktail dresses!)
Many of my fashions rely on some version of the basic sleeveless sheath. Since my dolls get a lot of wear out of this garment, this is the perfect garment to line. I made the same dress three times in an effort to find the technique I felt would yield the best results. Here are two ways:
1. First and foremost, be sure you press the fabric and the lining before beginning! Pressing is one of the most important steps to ensure professional, clean results!
2. Transfer the dart from the pattern to the fabric. For many fabrics, you can use the usual dressmakers' carbon and a wheel, but there are times when you might not want the carbon to show and if you work in wool, the marking doesn't always come through well. Here's a tip: Put straight pins in each of the four corners of the dart.
4. Repeat on the other side.
For your darts...
1. Fold the fabric down the middle of the dart and lay the piece on the table and pin as shown. Hand baste (using a running stitch). Then machine stitch. If you hand baste first, the result will be more precise! But if you will be hand sewing this garment, you will not need to baste. For hand sewing, be sure to use a back stitch (just as strong as a machine stitch).
2. Clip the middle of the dart, being careful not to get too close to the stitching line.
3. Iron each piece, pressing the seams of each piece towards the side. Repeat o for the lining.
1. Baste the back pieces together down the center back seam. If you plan to add a zipper... Measure the zipper against the garment and mark.
2. Machine stitch the area between where the end of the zipper is down to the hem of the dress. Leave the basting stitch in and press the seam open.
3. Pin the zipper to the back seam and baste.
4. Hand stitch the zipper to the back using tiny stitches on either side of the center seam. Be sure to feel the spine of the zipper and leave a bit of space so that the zipper pull can slide without getting caught in the lining.
Please note: For best results, buy a zipper suited for 12" doll clothes. Here, I've used a regular 4" zipper normally used for (human) pants. The zipper pull is too big! On the other hand, this zipper works better for the 16" doll. You can order doll scaled zippers from either Zipper That Doll or Doll Artists Workshop.
1. Now is time to add the lining. Sew the dress together at the side seams. Do the same for the lining. Then place the right side of the lining against the right side of the dress. Seams are outside. Pin, baste then sew around the neckline leaving about 1/8 inch (3mm) away from where the shoulder seam would be.
2. Stitch the dress/lining around each of the armholes, again stopping 1/8 (3mm) away from the where the shoulders normally join.
3. Here's a close up of the stitching.
5. Fold back the lining and grab the shoulder of the dress. Pin together
6. Stitch together.
7. Press the seam open.
8. Now, pull the lining over the seams.Tuck the seam allowance over the shoulder seam and stitch.
9. It will look like this when you're finished. Press well.
11. Now let's finish the hem. Turn the hem of the lining under and turn the hem of the dress under. Pin together and hand stitch together.
Finishing your garment with Hook & Eyes
2. Take the end of the thread and wrap it around the needle once, then finish pulling the needle through.
3. Do this three times on each loop.
4. Don't cut the thread. Instead, wrap another 2-3 stitches around the head of the hook. This keeps the hook from moving.
Determine where the eye should go on the opposite edge. You can use the metal eye or create a thread loop (below). Note: if the edges will overlap, you use the straight eye. If the two edges meet flush against each other, use the curvier loop.
The Thread Loop
1. Begin by making a loop of three stitches.
2. Next, slide the needle under this loop. Wind the end of the thread around the needle and gently pull. A small knot forms on top of the loop. Once again, slide the needle under the loop and again, wrap the end of the thread around the needle and pull so that the next knot sits next to the first one. Repeat until you have enough stitches along the length of the original stitches. This will form a tiny crochet "chain."
4. When sewing on hook & eyes, I like to put the first and last in place, then position the others accordingly.
Another Method of Lining a Sheath
2. The center back is basted close, pressed flat and the zipper is pinned down the back.
3. Baste the zipper into the back center seam.
4. Hand stitch the zipper in place.
5. When you get near the top where the head of the zipper pull is located, remove the basting stitch, lower the zipper then continue to hand sew in place.
7. Now fold the dress in half and pull one side through one of the side seams. The right side of the dress will be facing itself and the right side of the lining will also be facing itself. It will for a loop (lining on one side, dress on the other.)
8. Stitch along the side seam which is now in a loop. Be sure to leave the length of lining open where it will be stitched around the zipper. When you have finished stitching, pull the dress out of that back seam so that it is right side up. The lining will be inside.
10. Press well.
12. You can add a hook and eye at the top to hold the dress together.
13. Again, the inside of the dress is practically as lovely as the outside!
I'm will be developing a new page on this blog will include an index of all my blog posts with sewing techniques. It will also incorporate "Fashion terms," illustrations of various stitches as well as any other information on sewing for dolls I can find on the web for you. Down the road in the near future: Lining Coats & Jackets. Stay tuned!!!
But shortly, we'll be bringing you the latest style trends to emerge from the world's top fashion capitals.
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