Adding a Lining to an Unlined Pattern

Add lining to a Jacket
Add lining to a Jacket

I picked up a fun piece of fleece this winter on super sale at the fabric store. I love it because it has all of my favorite bright colors. The turquoise flannel added just enough zip to the dark background on the fleece. Originally, I had intended on quilting the fleece using the flannel as the backing, then cutting the jacket pieces and sewing the whole thing together. Well, “the best laid plans” as the saying goes. I had done something similar when my children were small using all cotton. It seemed like this would work and be all that much warmer. Well in the end the fleece and the flannel are separate, but I think it will still provide the warmth needed for the chilly midwest springs as well as the fall season.

Adding a Lining to an Unlined Pattern

Simplicity 2526I started with a simplicity pattern that I had on hand. This was an unlined coat with a collar. I knew that I needed to line it and I wanted it simple so it would be easy for a toddler to get in and out of. So I skipped the collar and added a lining.

I cut the fleece which would be the outer body of the jacket as the pattern called. The flannel lining I cut just slightly larger. May be 1/8 inch. These pattern companies call for 5//8 inch seams all around. This usually gets me in trouble, because in todays world no one sews with a 5/8 inch seam. I really tried to be good this time. Then I sewed the lining with a 1/4 inch seam, giving me a slightly larger lining than jacket.

By making your lining just a snitch larger than your jacket, it allows for better movement in the body. Matching right sides I pinned the outer edges and sewed all the way around, leaing an opening in the bottom for turning. I pulled the lining through and slipped the sleeves together. Turn under edges of sleeve and sleeve lining, top stich. Slip stitch the opening closed. Top stitch around if desired.

Add lining to a Jacket


I added buttons and buttonholes because I knew little Miss M would wear this in the cooler weather and it would need to be closed up. If you are making a lighter version, you may only add a top button, or skip the lining all together. I love buttons and am always on the look out for something fun and brightly colored. I picked up all the colors of the fleece using four different colored buttons with a slightly different shape to each.

Add lining to a Jacket

We are certainly ready for some spring here in the midwest. Last week we got 17 inches of snow.   This week they are predicting 9 more inches. Sigh….it will take a while to melt that all, still April cannot be that far behind. Can it?

Happy Sewing,

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Jill Flory March 5, 2013, 10:15 am

    Cool! I didn’t know that about making the lining a little bigger. Do you do that for dresses too? I usually just cut the lining the same as the dress when there are no lining pieces in the pattern. Wondering if this is just a good idea for coats and outerwear or if it would make a dress fit better?
    And I do use 5/8 seams 🙂 It’s what I’ve always been used to. I am finding though as I start making more and more stuff from my own designs that I only add 1/2 inch for seam because it’s easier to figure quickly when cuttting out!

    • onceuponasewingmachine March 5, 2013, 6:36 pm

      It definetly helps outerwear to fit better. I think it allows more give in the armhole and across the shoulders. I must say with dresses I have only lined the bodice and skirt and not the sleeves, but I would think the same principle would hold. I also don’t think it is quite so critical when using fabrics that are a little more slippery. Flannel and fleece like to stick together and the extra in the lining really helps.

  • Tara March 5, 2013, 10:33 am

    I love love love this!!!! Every aspect from the fabric to the buttons to the lining!! Great job!

    • onceuponasewingmachine March 5, 2013, 6:36 pm


  • Pam March 5, 2013, 6:19 pm

    Apart from lining a bodice, I’ve only ever lined a full outfit by following a pattern. It makes sense to make the lining a little larger, but I didn’t know that. Hope you don’t mind, but I’m pinning this. I’d love you to add this one to the Sewing Tips & Techniques link party

    • onceuponasewingmachine March 5, 2013, 6:38 pm

      We are happy to have you pin this Pam! Thanks for the invite.

  • Venus March 6, 2013, 11:32 am

    Oh wow… I always thought of making the lining a smidge smaller or the same. I learned something new today. THANKS!!!

    • onceuponasewingmachine March 6, 2013, 11:07 pm

      It’s funny how some construction things seem to logic out backwards isn’t it!

  • Olga Becker March 7, 2013, 8:12 pm

    What a fun and cheery coat. Perfect for spring!

  • Reecea March 7, 2013, 10:51 pm

    I saw your link on Chic on a Shoestring: Flaunt it Friday #143. What an adorable jacket. Love this post about the lining. Lining can be such a tricky thing, and a lot of people are hesitant to even try to make a piece with a lining. But, it is so NICE when you learn how to do it!!! Thanks for sharing:) My post is #82.

    • onceuponasewingmachine March 8, 2013, 11:01 am

      Agreed Reecea! It is a skill that seems daunting, but it’s great to have.

  • Upstatemamma March 8, 2013, 12:06 am

    I so hear ya!!! I’m way past done with winter. Very cute coat 🙂

    • onceuponasewingmachine March 8, 2013, 11:01 am

      Bring on the sun!

  • Pam March 9, 2013, 6:22 am

    Hi Donna, I’ve featured your Jacket lining tutorial today… Threading Your Way Features

  • Christine March 10, 2013, 5:52 am

    I love the jacket and the tutorial. I am looking forward to exploring it more. I just came here from Sew Country Chic.

    • onceuponasewingmachine March 10, 2013, 12:57 pm

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Andrea from The Train To Crazy March 14, 2013, 11:37 am

    Love it! I can never understand unlined jackets =)

    • onceuponasewingmachine March 14, 2013, 2:05 pm

      Thanks! The lining does make them more practical and finished, especially for everyday wear.

  • Bonnie j March 2, 2016, 6:25 pm

    Thanks a bunch.wanted to know how to line a fleece jacket.Mine has a collar but i think this method will work.Going to try it .

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