Friday, August 19, 2011

summer reruns: make a quickie skirt lining

Another rerun from the blog time-machine, a post from March 2010:

 Closeup of the lining sewn to the skirt facing.
Sorry about the purple thread.

Closeup of hem of lining inside the skirt. It's just overlocked, not hemmed.

I have a perfect straight dark denim skirt from the Gap that I love, but every time I wear it with tights, the denim catches on my knees. The visual effect being that as I walk, the skirt also walks. Up my thighs.

Of course I have a half slip that I wear to avoid this, but it adds bulk at the waist and doesn't solve the problem completely because it is not the ideal length and tends to ride up as well. I find myself constantly either trying to reach in and pull the slip back down (nice) or grabbing the hem of the skirt off my tights. Not a great way to look all ladylike.

I had a eureka after I made this dress with a lining. Why not just line my favorite skirt and solve this annoying problem for good? {smack of hand on forehead} I can't believe I didn't do this a long time ago.

It was so easy. I can now wear the grabbiest, knubbliest tights under the skirt with no problems.

NOTE: I make no claim that the below is the correct way to line a garment professionally. As a matter of fact, it would probably make any self-respecting tailor feel pretty queasy. No, this is all about Easy, Fast, and Solving The Problem Already. Not about tailoring excellence.
1) Lay your straight or A-line skirt inside out on the floor and measure it across the widest part (this is probably the hem). Double this number. That is your skirt's circumference. Now add an inch, for seam allowance. This is value [A].

2) Now find the bottom of the waistband facing. Measure from this part to your hem. Now subtract a half an inch. This is so your lining won't hang below your hem. This is value [B].

3) Cut a piece of lining fabric that is [A] wide and [B] long. This is slippery stuff, I know. I found it was more manageable to lay it on the carpet* to cut than on my worktable, because it kept slithering off my worktable.
*Listen, I have builder grade el-cheapo carpet in my house, so scissors can't do much damage. If you have costly looped Berber, then for Pete's sake get back up on your worktable!

4) Pin it right sides together and sew the back seam with 1/2 inch seam allowance, locking your stitches and leaving the seam open the appropriate length to accommodate your skirt's zipper. If your skirt has a slit, leave an opening to correspond to that also. Trim and finish your seam.

5) Now overlock or zig zag all the unfinished edges of your lining piece. I have an overlock stitch on my machine that I use for this. (I didn't turn any nice hems for the lining. Remember? Easy. Fast. Not excellent. Of course, you always have that hem option, just remember to add the hem allowance in before you cut.) Now, iron the whole lining on the synthetic setting.

6) Turn your machine to the longest stitch length and sew around the top of your lining to create a gathering stitch. Sew two lines of this gathering stitch if you tend to break your thread when gathering.

7) Turn your skirt wrong side out. Pin the lining wrong sides together to the waistband facing at the zipper, side seams, and the middle of the front. Draw up your gathering stitches to fit, pinning as you go. The gathering doesn't have to be all perfectly distributed. No one will see it unless your suitcase pops open in baggage claim, and if that happens you'll likely be more focused on chasing your underwear around the conveyor belt.

8) Sew the lining by hand to your facing with a whip stitch, catching a small bit of facing and then the lining below the overlock/zig zag stitches. Take care to only sew through the layer that makes up the facing and not the outside layer, or your stitches will show on the outside of your skirt.

9) Tack down the lining around your zipper with a few stitches, and do the same for your slit if you have one. You can also anchor your lining to your side seams with a few stitches close to the hem if you like.

Like I said. Quick. Easy. Done and done!


Click your heels three times and *ding* now you are back in August 2011. I've used this slap it on method with other skirts. I love not having to wear a slip with tights. And I so looooooooove to wear tights in the winter. No shaving necessary! (Hmmm. I should probably pretend I'm only joking here.) Ha ha! Just kidding. My legs are never stubbly. Ha ha. Yeah. I also have this same grabby legs issue with knit tunics over leggings. I keep thinking that a wide satin ribbon hand sewn around the hem at the bottom of the tunics might fix the this annoying problem but I haven't tried it yet.


  1. Great idea! I hate wearing slips for the same reason...they're never in the place they need to be.

    I'm remembering a scene where Lucille Ball's slip slides off on a date and she has to kick it out of the way...

    Thanks for the tutorial. Maybe the professionals will learn something from you!

  2. Hi Larissa!Sorry about that...i had no intention to abuse...thats why i link it...Thanks for your opinion and sincerly congratulations for your blog. I love it!


  3. Aw, Dreamlu, thanks for understanding! And thanks for the link! Have a lovely day.


Hello. Enough about me. Let's hear from you! If you have a question, I answer with a reply comment, so be sure to click the 'subscribe by email' link as you post your question to receive the answer via email. Thanks!