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FLAT LINING (Tip/Technique)
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Review rated Very Helpful by 9 people   
Posted by: monijo
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Member since: 7/5/08
Reviews written: 25
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Posted on: 9/8/10 2:06 PM

The most common way of lining a skirt is to make a separate lining and attach it to the waistline. This is called a drum lining. However, there is another approach that will result in a seam finish that is strikingly similar to the Hong Kong bound edge where 1 inch wide bias strips are sewn to the raw edge in a one-quarter inch seam, trimmed to 1/8 inch then folded over and stitched in the ditch.

Two methods of flat lining are given here. For both methods, the darts are marked on the lining.

With method one, the lining fabric wraps around the edges of the fashion fabric, enclosing them neatly. Method one can be used with any fabric weight. It is very helpful with bulky fabrics. A 5/8 inch seam can be stitched.

Method two is used with soft, lightweight fabrics. The lining will not wrap around the edges of the fashion fabric. A 3/8 seam will be stitched.

Flat lining can be used to underline pants, skirts, jackets, tops and dresses. Seams and darts will be invisible from the right side of the garment. It also helps to secure fabrics that fray easily. If you are sewing an unlined jacket, flat lining the sleeves will make the jacket easy to slip on and off.

Note: Flat lining is not suitable for horizontal seams, waistlines, necklines, armhole and hems. Practice this technique using squares of fabric and lining.


1. Cut pattern pieces from the fashion fabric.
2. Cut the lining from the same pattern pieces, but ADD 5/8 INCH to each suitable seam. Each lining piece seam will be 5/8 inch WIDER THAN THE FABRIC PIECES.
3. Mark darts on the lining.
4. Pin the fashion fabric and lining, right sides together, so that the edges meet.
5. Using a one-quarter inch quilting foot (Little Foot,, stitch the edges together in a one-quarter inch seam. If the fabric is very bulky, sew a 1/8 inch seam using the inner edge of the (Pfaff) quilting foot. For any weight of fabric, you may trim the seam to 1/8 inch, if you like.
6. Turn the garment right side out. Clip as needed for turning.
7. On a flat surface, smooth out the fabric layers. The lining will wrap around the edges of the fashion fabric.
8. Press to set the edges.
9. Stitch in the ditch to secure the edges.
10. Stitch the garment using a 5/8 inch seam.


Use the same procedure as above, EXCEPT:

1. Cut the fashion fabric and lining the same size.
2. Sew the garment using a 3/8 inch seam.

Sew Smart; Judy Lawrence and Clotilde Yurich; OUT OF PRINT. Clotilde is the founder of sewing supplies.

The Complete Book of Sewing Shortcuts, Claire B. Shaeffer. Apart from Sew Smart, this is the best of the best sewing handbooks. New edition available at and Do not mind that its visual presentation (black and white line drawings) is totally unappealing. Buy it if you can.

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2 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
pottedpancake said...
Hmm. This is intriguing, and I'd love to try it. But I'll be darned if I can visualize how it works. Is there a drawing, photo or web site link that illustrates this technique? Thanks!
10/3/10 6:52 AM
pottedpancake said...
Hmm. This is intriguing, and I'd love to try it. But I'll be darned if I can visualize how it works. Is there a drawing, photo or web site link that illustrates this technique? Thanks!
10/3/10 6:52 AM

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