Tutorial: Add a Sleeve Lining to the Robson Trench Coat

When I made my sister’s Robson Trench Coat, I decided to line the sleeves.  I did this so the coat would slide on and off a little easier.  It worked really well, and I recommend it for this pattern.
MJB Trench Coat

A couple notes on this tutorial.  First, this may not technically be the “right” way to line a sleeve. It’s simply what made sense to me, and it worked. Second, I apologize for the quality of the pictures. I was snapping these with my phone as I sewing late into the night. Finally, I’m going to refer to the sleeve lining as simply “lining” and the fashion fabric sleeve as “sleeve.”

Supplies: 

    • Approximately 3/4 – 1 yard of lining fabric.  I used Bemberg  rayon, which is my favorite lining material.  But anything slippery should work.
    • You may also want to use wider bias tape to finish the armhole seam.  I picked up a package of the “Wide Single Fold” stuff.

Steps:

1. Cut the lining fabric, using the pattern pieces for the sleeve.  BUT – this is important – cut the lining 1″ shorter than the main fabric.

2. Sew the sleeve, as directed by steps 21 and 22 in the pattern, EXCEPT don’t finish the seams or the sleeve hem with bias tape. DO do the topstitching and attach the sleeve tab.  STOP before hemming the cuff.

3. Sew the lining, and finish the seams. (I just pinked mine.)  Do not apply any bias tape, and topstitching is not needed.

4. Insert the sleeve into the lining, with right sides touching.Untitled

5. Line up the bottom edges of the lining and the sleeve, matching the seam lines, and pin.
sleeve lining

6. Sew the lining to the sleeve, using a 5/8″ seam allowance.
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7. Pull the lining down over the sleeve, and then shove the lining back up inside in the sleeve. The wrong sides of the fabrics should now be touching, and the lining should be inside the sleeve.
sleeve lining
sleeve lining
sleeve lining

8. Turn the whole sleeve and lining unit inside out. Turn up the cuff your desired amount and press, making sure to smooth the lining back. (You should be pressing the seam allowance of the seam you just sewed up towards the sleeve cap.) Pin.
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9. Sew the cuff. Do not catch the lining in this seam.
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10. Set in the sleeve, ignoring the lining for now. I pushed my my lining down into my sleeve to keep it out of the way.

sleeve lining

Tip – baste your sleeves first, it makes it easier to set them in.

11. Pull the lining up, and line up the edge of the lining with the edge of the sleeve. (You will have to ease in the lining, just like the sleeve, to get everything to fit.)sleeve lining

12. Baste (or pin) the lining to the seam allowance of the sleeve, matching seam lines and notches. I highly recommend basting!
sleeve lining

13. Finish the armhole with bias tape. Make sure the bias tape fully encases the edge of the lining and the sleeve seam allowance.

NOTE: I started out with the bias tape I had used elsewhere on the coat.  But it was too narrow to easily fold over the bulky seam allowance. (This is a bulky seam because the front and back flaps are also sewn into the armhole.) I switched to the ‘Wide Single Fold’ bias instead, and it worked better for me.
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Once the bias tape is sewn in, remove the basting if it shows, and now the lining is fully attached!
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14. If you turn the sleeve inside out and smooth the lining down the sleeve, there will be a little excess lining that can be pressed into into jump hem.
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MJB Trench Coat
And that’s it!   :)

Completed: The Gift Coat (aka Robson Trench Coat)

I’ll freely admit that I’m a selfish sewer.  But on occasion, I’ll make something for someone, like my latest make – this Robson trench coat.  I made this for my sister’s birthday after she saw my trench and liked it.

MJB Trench Coat

Since she had tried my coat on, I knew this was going to fit her without needing any major alterations.  I cut a size 4, but shaved about 1/4 inch off all the princess seams, since she is a little smaller than me. I also narrowed the flair at the bottom. Because she is petite, I thought a slimmer silhouette would be more flattering.

MJB Trench Coat

I made two other changes worth noting.  First, I took a wedge out of the front flaps to make them narrower.  On my coat, the flaps won’t lie flat and it drives me nuts.  So I pinched out the excess on my coat and transferred it to the pattern piece.  This is what the alteration looks like.  I was careful not to change the top or the sides of the flap.  I wanted to be sure that it would still match at the shoulder, armhole, and neck line.

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It worked and the flaps now lie perfectly!

MJB Trench Coat

Second, I lined the sleeves.  This makes it easier to take the coat on and off.  I took some pics of my process, so expect a tutorial on this soon.

MJB Trench Coat
MJB Trench Coat

The fabric is a cotton twill that I purchased from organic cotton plus.  I’m impressed with the quality and would order from them again.  I used Bemberg rayon for the sleeve lining and black packaged bias tape to finish the seams.

MJB Trench Coat
MJB Trench Coat
MJB Trench Coat

Also picked up an interesting black and white printed cotton for the back facing, and used it under the flaps as well.
MJB Trench Coat
MJB Trench Coat
MJB Trench Coat

Although this pattern has a lot of pieces, it’s not too difficult.  I love all details.

MJB Trench Coat
MJB Trench Coat
MJB Trench Coat

I was so pleased with how this coat turned out, I really wanted to keep it for myself!
MJB Trench Coat

Good thing for my sis, I had already embroidered her initials on the back facing before I realized I wanted to keep it.  :)  So I had to send it to her!  Happy Birthday, MJB!  :)
MJB Trench Coat

 

Completed: Thai Fisherman Pants

I have an affinity for big comfy pants.  So, as soon as I saw Peter‘s Thai fisherman pants, I knew I had to try making a pair.  I’m glad I did, I’m super happy with how these turned out!
Thai Pants 1.jpg

Thai fisherman pants are basically wide shapeless pants that wrap in the front and are held with a tie.  The tall waistband then folds down over the top.

Thai Pants 2.jpg

Here they are flat:

Thai Pants

And tied:

Thai Pants

Black is tough to photograph. Here’s a pic that better shows how the wrap looks in the front. Ignore the totally awkward tree pose, thanks. :)

Thai Pants 10.jpg

I think these pants are perfect for relaxing, yoga, or as a beach cover up.  I plan to toss them on over my bike shorts (aka diaper shorts) when I walk to spin class – cause these things ↓ are hideously unflattering to just wear around!

bike shorts

The fabric I used is a 50/50 rayon and linen blend.  It has a nice drape and is light enough to be comfortable, but still heavy enough that it’s opaque.

Thai Pants 4.jpg

For the pattern, I started with this tutorial as a guideline. My first muslin seemed okay.  But I quickly realized that there was a problem.  Despite being wide pants, they were too tight in the rear.  If I sat down or bent forward, it felt like the back seam was going to rip out.

The reason was because the front and back crotch seams were the same shape.
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But fronts and backs of pants aren’t identical, as illustrated by these pajamas.

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Front

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Back

To fix the problem, I redrafted the back crotch curve. The original curve is red and the altered curve is blue.
pattern alterations

I also slashed the back of the pants open and added a panel to increase the ease across the back. I like how it created princess seams.
Thai Pants

The alterations worked.  I can now sit, bend, and even kick (cause I do that a lot, ha!) without any worries of tearing apart my seams.  Yay!
Thai Pants 5.jpg
Thai Pants 6.jpg

If anyone’s interested, let me know and I’ll post the dimensions of my pattern pieces, and the order in which I sewed everything together.
Thai Pants 7.jpg

As for construction, I serged all the seams except the side seams of the waistband.  I did french seams there since the wrong side of the fabric is exposed when the waist folds down.  Also, the tie is permanently attached to the back waistband.
Thai Pants
Thai PantsThai Pants

I think I might have found my new favorite comfy pants!   So, I’d say Thai fisherman pants are a winner, even though it took a little extra effort to get the pattern just right.

Thai Pants 3.jpg

My First Quilt

I made a baby quilt!  It’s a gift for my first niece or nephew – not sure which yet, it’s going to be a surprise!  So I had to keep this project a secret until I got it mailed off to the parents-to-be.

Baby Gifts

I’ve never had a lot of interest in quilting, and this project confirmed that quilting and I aren’t going to be friends.  I’m glad I made this, but I’m fairly confident that it will be my last one. To be honest, I found the whole process to be a bit boring and tedious at the same time.  I couldn’t wait to be done with it, and that usually isn’t how I feel when I sew.

Baby Gifts

Anyway, it turned out to be a cute quilt, and I hope it will be useful for the new baby.  I went with gender neutral colors, and I really like the “forest friends” fabric. Although the orange squares are a bit brighter than I’d intended. (But bright colors are good for babies, right?)

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Baby Gifts

The backing is a green striped fabric. I bound the quilt by machine so that it will hold up well in the wash.

Baby Gifts

And I signed and dated it, which is how my great grandmother finished her quilts.

Baby Gifts

I also knitted a couple of baby hats.

Baby Gifts

The first one turned out kind of tall (or cone head shaped).
Baby Gifts

Since I was worried it wouldn’t fit, I made a second one that is shorter and rounder.
Baby Gifts

Hopefully one of them will work.

Baby Gifts

So that’s it for baby projects.  Now it’s time to go back to garment construction!

Completed: Another Knit Dress

Well, I took an unexpected blogging break, but I’m back!    And I finally have a finished project I can share.  (I’ve been doing some secret sewing too – more on that soon.)   But I’ll warn you, this make is kind of boring – it’s exactly the same as my last dress (Simplicity 1808, view A).

spotted dress 3.jpg

I’ve been spending most of my weekends working on my house, so I wanted a quick and  easy project that I didn’t have to think too much about.

spotted dress 2.jpg

Trying out our new deck for photos. It connects shedquarters to the house. Can’t wait to get it stained and get some patio furniture out here. :)

This time around, I used an ITY knit that I got at Mood LA earlier this year.  I love that it’s spotty, without being a traditional uniform polka dot.

spotted dress 4.jpg

This knit is a bit slinkier than the knit I used last time, so the neck band was a little harder to sew.  The fabric below the “V” at the back turned out puckery.  Sadly, no amount of pressing has fixed it.  :)

Spotted Dress Details

Last time, I left the sleeves un-hemmed.  This time, I turned the hems under and fused them with some Steam-A-Seam.  It worked great.

spotted dress 5.jpg
Spotted Dress Details

In fact, I cheated and did the same thing to my hem.  I was going to use my double needle on the hem, but the fabric kept puckering and getting wavey.  So I just fused it.  :)  Hope it will hold up in the wash.

Spotted Dress Details

Front

I think the dots ended up blending pretty well along the back seam, especially since I didn’t even try to match the pattern.

Spotted Dress Details

Back

Nothing fancy on the inside.  I do love that you don’t have to finish seams on knits though!

Spotted Dress Details
Spotted Dress Details

I’m glad to have another comfy, easy to wear dress, but I think it’s time to move onto another pattern!
spotted dress 1.jpg