Friday, November 6, 2015

Let's Talk YSL

Let's take a look at a style that lifted women out of frills and into pants suits! (Once again, this is an excuse to show you another method for lining coats and jackets.)

It was the beginning of the 1970's and the couturier who was all the rage in Paris, rattled the establishment, once again with a look literally lifted from menswear. "Le Smoking" (the Tuxedo, in English) took the fashion world by storm. Women dared to wear pantsuits in defiance of dress codes at swanky restaurants, formal events and especially...the work place.

Almost any jacket pattern will suffice for St. Laurent's iconic style. For this project I chose a super fitted jacket before toning things down with the simpler, basic boxy variety some of you may try instead.

What is different here from the Chanel inspired jackets is that this jacket has a "notched collar" and it is likely to be worn open, showing off a flash of the interior. This is to say that if you choose a jacket that is designed to stay closed, the previous lining technique (edge to edge) is fine. But if your coat or jacket has a collar that folds down and is likely to be worn open, you will need to plan for a front facing+lining.

Pattern for the Lining
This is quite simple. The original draft for the shawl or notched collar, calls for a front facing. (For the tutorial on creating jackets with collars click here). When you were planning that facing, you drew a (red dotted) line on the pattern around the collar extension and front edge to design the facing. Now that we will be adding a lining, be sure to add seam allowance along the left edge. Go back to the front blazer pattern and trace off the pattern to the left of that red dotted line. Add seam allowance to create the front lining. You will use the back jacket pattern for the lining. On the other hand, I did not include a back facing due to the problems of bulk.

No matter what pattern you start out with, the process is the same. Here I am showing the pattern for all three jackets featured on this page.

Let's Start.
I took photos throughout the making of a boxy jacket using the basic pattern as well as my fitted jacket. I'm using both to illustrate the process and am including lots of photos so that you will better understand how I arrived at my result.

1. As usual, start by sewing your jacket at the shoulder seams and setting in the sleeves while the jacket is flat.
2. Stitch the underarm seams of the sleeves and the side seams of the jacket together.

3. Tip: use a safety pin at the end of the sleeve to help pull the sleeves to the right side out. Slide the pin through the sleeve, pulling down the sides as you go.

4. Press the seams well. Attach the front facing to the jacket. Place the pattern over this and make a mark where the collar will attach (on both sides). Stitch down.

5. Before you turn the facing to the right side, be sure to clip the pointed edges on the diagonal and trim down the sides close to this point to eliminate bulk.
6. Turn the facing right side out. Use a pin to pull out the points. Press well.

7. Now attach your collar (top edge facing down) between the points on the facing and along the necking line.
8. Turn the front facing wrong side out again, pin in place at the neckline with the collar sandwiched in between and stitch.
9. Turn right side out and press down.

9.5 Before you go any further with your jacket, finish all of the details. Attach the buttons, add pockets, and finally, turn down the hem and hand stitch in place.

10. Completely sew your lining together--both shoulder and side seams. (But do not add the sleeves.) Press down the seam allowance at the hem.
11. Pin the edge of your lining to that of the jacket facing,
12. Wrap the lining around the front of the jacket, pin then sew the side front edges together. You are sewing right side to right side with the raw edges facing outwards.

13. Pin the lining to the bottom of the collar at the top.
14. Then stitch the bottom of the lining to the hem of the jacket, being careful not to stitch the main part of the jacket.

15. On each side, align the armholes together and baste along the seam line. This keeps the lining from moving away from the sleeve.
16. Stitch your sleeve lining together. Make a running stitch along the edge of the cap.
17. Slide the lining over the sleeve (right side to right side with the seams side out). Pin, then stitch along the hem of the sleeve.

18. Pull the lining down from the sleeve.
19. Using a safety pin to help you, pull the sleeve lining back up through the inside of the sleeve until you can see it.
20. Turn the edges of the lining sleeve cap down. (Draw the running stitch to help you with ease.) Sew the sleeve lining to the rest of the lining, being careful not to catch the fabric from the jacket.

True to the late couturier, I have used a "surprise" color.

Just be careful with using colored fabrics as linings because the can stain the doll! Also, if the fabric you chose for the jacket is a bit stiff or thick, consider using fabric for half the collar and lining it with a softer material.

One Last Alternative
It is possible that some of you are still lost when it comes to lining your doll's coat or jacket. Perhaps you don't want to line the sleeves for one reason or maybe you want to line an existing garment.

1. Stitch your lining completely together. Turn under all edges and press.
2. Pin the lining to the jacket facing and stitch, again being careful not to catch the fabric of the garment. Stay on the facing or collar.
3. Line up the armholes of both the jacket and its lining. Whipstitch in place.

Next up: THAT off-the-shoulder Betsy Johnson dress from NY Fashion Week that had many of your dolls drooling. (Yes folks, they have been writing me!!!) I'll show you how I did it!

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- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. To everyone who left comments regarding this post-- I'm really sorry but by accident, I deleted this post. After finding a way to restore it 3 days later, all of the comments disappeared and though they are still in my dashboard, apparently the links were broken. I can put them back, but unfortunately it will have my signature atop each one. Again, my apologies. P.S. Anyone using Blogpress on their iPhone should be very careful as it is too easy to make this mistake.

    1. Billa's doll & Fashions wrote:
      This is another post I'm going to study very carefully! having learned to line my dresses the wrong way it won't be easy to loose bad habits, but here there's plenty of useful tips to learn and improve. Thanks a lot April!

    2. Billa, I really took my time to especially work on the notched collar as this has been a weak point for me. As usual, the challenge is not only to do the garment but to find & explain the technique in the simplest way. This isn't always easy because what works full size doesn't always easily adapt to doll clothes. So I start with techniques I know then modify a few things for the doll. Glad you found some useful pointers.

  2. Olla123 wrote:
    Żakiety i marynarki są wspaniałe! Wykrój i sposób szycia z pewnością mi się przyda! Bardzo, bardzo dziękuję za zamieszczenie tego posta!
    Pozdrawiam Cię serdecznie z Polski!

    Coats and jackets are wonderful! Cut and sew method will be useful to me! Very, very thank you for posting this post! Yours sincerely with Polish!

    Thank you Olla. I worked really hard to explain things in the clearest, most simple way. I'm very happy that you find this post useful. Big hugs, April.

  3. KnitQueenMachine (KQM) wrote: Wow. Another fabulous tutorial and great photos. This is obviously a labor of love for you. The time and effort you put into and your meticulous techniques are mind boggling. Well done.!

    Thank you KQM. You're right, it is a labor of love and that of satisfaction. The challenge for me is to come as close to the real garment but in 1/6 scale. That I have chosen a master couturier forces me to produce a better quality (in terms of finishing) garment. This was fun.

  4. Linda-Darkroom Dolls wrote:
    This is so useful April, thank you for this tutorial. You explain everything very well with clear photos. I've bought gorgeous fabric for a doll coat last week, and certainly will use your tutorial to try to line it, hope it works :-)! The outfits you made are gorgeous!!! xxx

    Thank you Linda. Gorgeous fabric can be intimidating but simply take your time. I really took my time with these jackets--which is why I was delayed in getting this post up. I've seen the garments you've made for your dolls and I'm sure your coat will be gorgeous!!!

  5. All4Barbie wrote: Hello from Spain: I really like these proposals. You sew very well. Great looks. . Keep in touch

    Thank you Marta. This was such a challenge but I'm very happy with the results. See you soon.

  6. Beautiful. I love that you show the lining steps.

    1. Thank you Sharon. The whole point of my blog is to help other doll people make decent quality and more fashionable clothing for their dolls. And, I have a lot of fun doing this. Happy to know you enjoyed this post.

  7. Oh La La ! J'aime beaucoup. Il faut vraiment que je m'y mette. Mais ces jours-ci je suis en panne d'inspiration. Lorsque je suis triste, j'ai remarqué que je n'arrive pas à créer. Mais je garde précieusement vos conseils. Je suis bien contente d'avoir trouvé votre blog pour nous donner des conseils en couture pour le monde du miniature. Encore bravo. Merci d'être là !

    1. Shasarognis, merci pour vos mots si gentils. Je suis contente que mon blog peut servir comme une source d'inspiration. Quand vous tombez en panne, n'oubliez pas de vous retourner vers la mode-contemporain ou d'antan. C'est une grande source d'idées!

  8. I love the blue lining! I want to use different color linings aswell for my dollies fashions sometimes instead of the same white or ivory, but i know colors esp dark can stain the doll.

    1. I learned this trick in highschool. I love the "surprise" lining that adds a pop of color. But really have to watch dark colors and red! If you do use them, just don't keep those garments on the doll for extended periods of time. My rationale for using this color (in the risk of staining) is that there also could be a blouse under the jacket which would shied the bright color from the doll's skin. If that's not necessarily the case....just know that the acne creme-sun bleach method works very well at getting out the stain! (See Beauty Spa)


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