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Tips & Techniques > Underlining and Seam Finish in one

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Posted by: julieb

About julieb star
Member since: 10/28/02
Reviews: 9 (tips: 1)
Skill level:Advanced
Favored by: 18 people
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Posted on: 3/1/06 9:09 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 13 people   Very Helpful by 197 people   
This technique allows you to underline a garment and finish the seams in one procedure -- this makes the most beautiful seam finish and is not much more work than simply underlining (less, if you are planning to hand baste the layers together). This works on almost any vertical seam such as the side and center back seams of a skirt (or the seams on a gored skirt) as well as princess lines.

When cutting your underlining, add 5/8 inch to the seam allowances along the vertical seams. If you are using 5/8 inch seam allowances you'll cut them 1.25 inches wide. Place the underlining and fashion fabric RST and pin the vertical edges together -- the underlining will not lie flat as it is bigger than the fashion fabric. Sew these edges together with a 1/4 inch seam. Turn the panels right sides out. Press the edges so the underlining wraps around the edge of the fashion fabric and lies flat -- this looks a bit like a Hong Kong Finish. The following photo shows what this will look like.
The piece on the right is what the fabric piece will look like once the pressing is complete. The piece on the left is what the seam will look like once it is sewn and pressed open.

Once this part is completed you treat the two layers as one and complete your garment as usual. You can baste the upper edge together if necessary.

Here's a picture of the inside of a wool skirt where I used this technique, underlining with silk organza Gray Skirt

This is a picture of a skirt made from sheer pink linen. Pink Skirt
On this skirt I had planned to line but not underline. I discovered that the fabric was so sheer that the pressed seam allowances showed through unattractively. I used the lining fabric (bemberg rayon) to underline and finish the seams which also prevented any show-through of the seam allowances, a benefit lining would not have afforded.

This is an easy and elegant way to finish any vertical seam in a garment. It eliminates the need for a lining and gives a couture look to the inside of your garment. I don't think you will be disappointed in the results.

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katski said... (10/30/13 8:39 PM) Reply
Thanks so much for this tip! I just used it on a red wool crepe Hollyburn skirt and it turned out perfectly!
meels1 said... (8/17/13 11:21 PM) Reply
Interlining skirts
karenball said... (6/10/12 4:44 AM) Reply
Thank you very much for this tip - it really saved my bacon!
PrincessBinky said... (4/30/12 5:42 PM) Reply
Thanks for this- very helpful. I'm looking forward to trying that technique soon.
Susan Heinrich said... (4/7/12 8:25 PM) Reply
Thank you so much. I'm going to use this technique.
swany said... (3/14/12 6:37 PM) Reply
What a great idea and lovely finish
angelorum said... (2/20/12 3:28 PM) Reply
How does this work with princess seams? How do you get the seams to lay flat, without clipping at the curves?
RachelLou said... (10/20/11 12:07 PM) Reply
Genius! Can't wait to try this out
meleliza said... (10/20/11 8:44 AM) Reply
Really wonderful technique! Thanks for sharing.
poodlemamma said... (5/4/11 2:45 PM) Reply
How would darts be handled with this technique. Would they be sewn into the underlining separate from the fashion fabric or are they sewn as one with the fashion fabric?
AnneM said... (4/23/11 3:10 PM) Reply
Just adding the phrase faux hong kong finish to this tip so it is easier to find when searching. :D
lmhawkes said... (3/6/11 8:26 PM) Reply
This is a terrific idea - thanks!
sewtime said... (2/22/11 12:21 PM) Reply
Thank you for this review.
MarinaVK said... (9/29/10 8:57 AM) Reply
this is a great tip! One week ago I didn't even know that there i something like underlining, but now I do. I was wondering anyway how to finish seams and this is a perfect method... Thank you very much!!!!
Coastal Connie said... (6/18/10 11:42 PM) Reply
Thanks for the great tip!! I especially appreciate the pictures and step-by-step directions.
niceheart said... (4/19/10 1:40 PM) Reply
thanks. I'd never even heard of this til now butnow am looking forward to using it.
renren said... (2/11/10 10:33 AM) Reply
This tip is wonderful. I am using it on the last tiered skirt of a 9-skirt project. Thanks!
renren said... (2/11/10 10:32 AM) Reply
This tip is wonderful. I am using it on the last tiered skirt of a 9-skirt project. Thanks!
theluxuriousvagabond said... (6/17/09 2:28 PM) Reply
Thanks for posting this technique! I just used it on a dress of mine and it worked wonderfully.
persevering said... (5/1/09 5:15 PM) Reply
Thanks for explaining this. I'd never heard about it before and it sounds like a great idea.
cindat said... (12/6/08 6:09 PM) Reply
Thank you ,thank you, thank you! I am in the middle of constructing my daughter's wedding dress. This technique will take care of all my raw edges problems!
ajhoney24u said... (10/20/08 2:16 PM) Reply
Fantastic tip, and the pictures are helpful. Thanks
Nibley Girl said... (9/20/08 3:34 PM) Reply
Fabulous tip, thank you! I do so love elegant ways to finish garments. Excellent photos - though I would love to see how the garment looks from the outside, as sometimes I try new techniques only to find that they have somehow distorted the fabric.
Miss Fairchild said... (7/18/08 7:57 AM) Reply
Great tip! I could have used this on my KwikSew Jean Jacket
jjc said... (7/7/08 10:23 PM) Reply
this was new to me and i love it!
rosannec said... (5/15/08 2:19 AM) Reply
I'm so curious as to how this would be done with a princess seam, especially at the bust area or at a curve. Can the same technique be used?
KittyKathy said... (4/17/08 3:48 PM) Reply
Great Idea! Very elegant. Do you have any suggestions for lining fabrics suitable to use on stretch wovens? It seems it's impossible to find stretch linings.
UteK said... (4/3/08 12:20 PM) Reply
Thank you for this great tip. I´ve added it to my favourite sewing tips.
charlotte287 said... (3/13/08 9:47 AM) Reply
This is great. I'll be using it tomorrow. Thanks
charlotte287 said... (3/7/08 7:13 PM) Reply
Thank you for sharing this tip. I think I will use it in my next project. Your explanation is vey clear. The photos helped as well.
Ginny Ann said... (3/5/08 10:15 AM) Reply
This technique was recommended by a friend on another group so I am very pleased to find it here - sounds just what I am looking for! Thank you.
josefine said... (2/8/08 5:43 PM) Reply
AnneM said... (4/14/07 5:32 PM) Reply
I've been thinking of doing just this with a few projects. Thanks for detailing out what you did! I might try to get that Threads book that patsijean mentions.
patsijean said... (4/4/07 11:31 PM) Reply
Regarding hemming the garment, this is from my article in THREADS: "For a matching hem tape, I make my own seam binding. I cut 2-in-wide strips of the garment's lining fabric on the cross grain and make the tape using a 1-in bias tape maker. I stitch the tape right sides together to the raw edge of the skirt hem, using one fold line of the tape to guide the stitching. I hand stitch the tape to the flat lining only."
christine A said... (3/18/07 0:50 AM) Reply
Thanks for this tip! I do remember M. Islander doing something like this with pants on her industrial shortcuts 1 dvd, but not quite sure if it is a bit different. This review made it very clear and simple. I have actually tried it tonight on a skirt. I didn't know about the diagonal basting so had a wrinkle in the back dart area, but overall great results. How to hem now?
gaby said... (3/17/07 6:06 PM) Reply
Oh, wow! LOVE this tip! Thank you very much for sharing =)
Annette1 said... (3/16/07 10:49 PM) Reply
What a GREAT, GREAT, GREAT idea. I can't WAIT to try it out. I'm SO SICK OF MY JOBS INTERFERING WITH MY SEWING!!!!!!!!!!!
patsijean said... (6/14/06 2:37 PM) Reply
Solosmocker, The article was titled "Flatlining with a Hong Kong Finish". It was reprinted in the THREADS book, "Beyond the Pattern" a couple of years later. Imagine my thrill at having my article published in THREADS. I do quick diagonal basting to hold the slippery fabric after turning the lining. Just make sure the garment piece is laid out flat and smoothed so that everything is on grain, diagonal baste, and leave basting in until the garment is complete. You will find that the garment wrinkles far less and wool does not stretch in the seat as much if at all. It is not necessary to stitch in the ditch. The seam in complete, nice looking and there are no raveling problems, no need to overcast. This technique easily finished all but the bias cut on kick pleats. The technipue can be used on pants. Thank you so much for the kind words. Patricia Clements
KAB said... (4/23/06 12:35 PM) Reply
Smashing! Bye, bye hand basting. I underline frequently and you have just made my life easier and my garments more attractive.
TheBagLady said... (3/16/06 11:34 AM) Reply
Liked this one. I'm always looking to 'step up' rather than down and this was exactly that. I own a silk print dress that I bought in an up scale shop and have wondered how they did the lining seams. Now I know but also can do it myself. Thanks very much!
sabra said... (3/16/06 10:13 AM) Reply
please e-mail me at [email protected] just have a question thanks for this tip it's fantastic!
99 said... (3/15/06 10:17 PM) Reply
I think this would be a great alternative to lining pants.
beulah said... (3/14/06 4:07 PM) Reply
I can't wait to try it. thanks
alsashca said... (3/12/06 9:34 PM) Reply
Dear JulieB, You are much more advanced in sewing than I am, so I need some help understanding your technique. First, what's 'underlining'? Second, after you have sewn the underlining to the fashion fabric and have pressed seams open, do you stitch the underlining to the raw edge of the seam allowance of the fashion fabric or do you use some iron-on ribbon to fuse the two layers together? I hope I've made my question clear. I look forward to your response as I am just starting a dress project and was going to make a lining for it, but now I would like to try your technique. Thanks, Lisa
Danielle said... (3/9/06 5:01 PM) Reply
Wow!! Great tip! Makes for a very clean seam! I am going to try it. Thanks!!
Peggym said... (3/3/06 1:10 PM) Reply
Thanks.Looking forward to trying this out. Good clear instructions
vasallese said... (3/2/06 7:06 PM) Reply
Your explanation is great. I do love this technique. To be honest, I rarely sew these fabrics because I don't like the seams & how they show through. This is giving me the encouragement to go ahead & sew!
PixieCat said... (3/2/06 6:51 PM) Reply
Thanks, julieb! Crystal clear and it's going straight into my favorites!
solosmocker said... (3/2/06 6:13 PM) Reply
About ten years ago Threads did an article on this and it was called "flat lining". I have used it ever since. It finishes the inside of a garment beautifully. Wish I could credit the author of that article. Perhaps someone will remember. I stitch in the ditch to further secure the seam allowances. I can't remember if the article said to to do this or not. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
ladybegood said... (3/2/06 4:12 PM) Reply
I can't wait to try this! Thanks!
SusiM said... (3/2/06 1:46 PM) Reply
This is a nice suggestion. Thank you for taking the time to share it.
Lizz said... (3/2/06 1:43 PM) Reply
Thanks for super directions for a super hint! This will do the trick when lining is just too much!
PVA said... (3/2/06 11:24 AM) Reply
What a great tip -- thank you for sharing it with us. It's a great review, too. I really appreciate the clear explanation & the great photos!
Luckylibbet said... (3/2/06 8:22 AM) Reply
Great explanation - photos make it very clear how this works. I've added to favorites and am looking forward to using it soon.
SewVeryTall said... (3/2/06 7:39 AM) Reply
Great explanation, samples, and photos to show this technique, Julie!
2muchfabric said... (3/2/06 7:35 AM) Reply
What a great tip! The photos are very helpful in understanding your method. Can't wait to try this out. Thanks for sharing!
Peggy L said... (3/2/06 7:05 AM) Reply
Very pretty seam finish! I have always liked the look of the Hong Kong finish. Have you ever tried this on pants??
Nickle said... (3/1/06 6:51 PM) Reply
How clever. I added this tip to my favorites.
Tov said... (3/1/06 1:08 PM) Reply
WOW! Thanks for sharing this tip. Viv
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