Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!

Mar 30, 2013

Look For the Silver Lining

Friends, there's almost always something on the garments I sew that I would do differently.

Rarely, however, do I realize what the something is before I've even finished my project!  In the case of my still-not-finished 70's sheet blazer, it's the lining.

I picked up this silver poly lining back when I was making my Marc Jacobs daisy taffeta ensemble -- seems like years ago, doesn't it? -- and only used a bit of it to line the sleeves after I chose the much better quality yellow nylon lining later on.

Since I had a lot of the silver lining left over, I decided I'd use it for my sheet blazer.  In retrospect, I wish I'd chosen something more substantial.  For my linen blazer last summer, I used Bemberg poly-rayon lining (below) and it had a much nicer hand while still being very lightweight.

I know many people like silk linings, but I've always heard that silk is hot.  One of the challenges of my silver poly lining is that it's so thin that it's difficult to slip stitch, and most of the lining has to be attached by hand with slip stitches.  Thankfully it hasn't been difficult to machine-sew with, though of course I had to adjust the tension of my Kenmore (my 158.141 in the table) and even the pressure.

There are already a few snags where I inadvertently pulled a thread I shouldn't have.

There's also some minor puckering on the front darts.

I still have to stitch in the sleeve lining and then the major work on the jacket is done.  I also have to decide whether I want to do the buttonholes myself or bring them to Jonathan Embroidery and have them do it.

As you can see, my jacket has a half-lining (and two sleeves).  Thank you, Michael, for being a human coatrack.

I thought a half lining would be easier than a full lining but it has turned out to be harder as there are more exposed seams that need finishing.  I just serged the bottom edge of the back lining, which hangs free; I'd originally planned to use the selvage, but it was ugly.

I find jacket linings like these to be the hardest thing to do, since you can't just bag them; they have to fit neatly in the garment without pulling anywhere, which can affect the drape of the jacket.  Let's not even talk about shoulder pads, which have to be tacked-in upside down while the garment is inside out.

I had hoped to have all this done by tomorrow but it certainly won't have buttons or buttonholes yet.  I guess I'll have to wear something else in the Easter Parade!

In closing, what do you like to line your garments with -- silk, polyester....mink?

Happy Weekend, everybody!


  1. Lovely! Now I Want A Sheet BlaZer Too! :)

  2. I threw a big chunk of lining fabric in the trash last year. I never throw away fabric. But this stuff was so cheap and nasty I didn't want a thrifter to buy and it have the same experience. I bought it retail online from so I thought it would be okay. Then I spent hours on a custom men's vest with welt pockets for my son's wedding. The lining was a pain to work with, like yours, pulling and shifting....but the worst part was that after the wedding I washed the vest very carefully in cold water (it was a wool tweed) and the lining disintegrated. I still get mad every time I look at it. It's been hanging beside my dryer for over a year cause it's unwearable but I put so much work into it. All because of the lining.

  3. Oh that stuff is so ornery! It has absolutely no sense of pride in its grain at all. Like working with chiffon. I love solk cotton at the moment - for its weight and hand it has a lot of body and it feels so nice.
    Having said that, for the past 35 years what I have used mostly is the taffeta style polyester lining that is cheap and cheerful. It has way more body than the twill one and is generally cheaper :)
    BTW, LOVE that jacket. Greg from The Brady Bunch and Keith from The Partridge Family are going to plot to steal it from you, I am sure!!

    1. Sit-com thievery at its finest!

  4. Tack on some buttons and no one will notice it's missing holes. ;-)

  5. I'm working with a silver lining on my current project. Mine isn't giving me any problems though. I don't know what it is, just silver lining that I bought at the thrift store.

  6. It's glorious!
    wear it for doesn't need buttons or button holes.
    ...maybe Michael needs a matching bowtie?

  7. Love it , but silk linings are much cooler as they breathe.

  8. And I will imagine you wearing it to the Easter Parade.............I love your sheet jacket Peter forget the buttons just start wearing it. Cheap lining is the sewers enemy, I find silk very hot in the summer and often line summer jackets with bemberg even though it is a synthetic.

  9. Why not line the jacket with a pre-washed cotton voile?

    1. I never even occurred to me. I think it may be too late at this point...

    2. Well there's always next time, right? Your suit came out amazing, btw. :)

  10. For jackets I love silk linings because it feels so nice against my skin although for coats and skirts I like rayon linings because they wear better and don't cling.

  11. For summer clothing I often use cotton batiste to line or underline - it's lightweight and breathable. It's best with fabrics that have a somewhat crisp hand/drape.

    I'd say that silk can be warm - it's wonderful in winter. But it breathes, unlike poly. So you won't ever get clammy in silk like you would in poly.

  12. It isn't the silk, it is where and how it is made. Silk used to be as easy to sew with as cotton, but then we lost our american fabric mills and now we buy it from china. I can't find much that isn't made in china and it is much inferior. But then I am an old lady.

  13. Alex in CaliforniaApril 2, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Buttons? Yes please.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails