Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Mackinaw Coat Sew-a-long - Sew the Lining

It's time to sew the Mackinaw Coat!  Today is day 4 of the sew-a-long and we get to finally start sewing.  Keep in mind that these instructions are not as detailed as the illustrations in the Mackinaw Coat PDF pattern.  This sew-a-long is meant to be a used as a supplement to the pattern and help visualize some of the trickier steps.



The lining is made up of three different parts.  There's the lining fabric, the facing fabric, and the main fabric.  If you need a reminder of which fabrics are used for which pieces, check out the Anatomy of the Mackinaw diagram in this post.


For the girls versions (views A and C), the lower front lining needs to be pleated before sewing the lining together.  The boys versions (view B and D) have a lower front lining that is the same size as the girls after pleating so skip to the steps after pleating if you're sewing the boys version.  Start by marking the pleat marks with tailor's chalk on the WRONG side of the lining.


With the wrong side facing up, bring the outer chalk marks in toward the center notches to make box pleats the entire length of the rectangle.  Press well.


Pin the pleats in place along the top edge.


Baste the pleats at 1/4" from the top edge to hold them in place.


Repeat with the other lower front piece and flip them both over so the right side is facing up (this apparel lining looks the same on the right and wrong sides so sorry about that!).  Now the lower front linings have inverse box pleats and are the same size as the boys lower front lining piece should be.


Grab the upper front lining (this is where the boys version should begin!  Just pretend there aren't any pleats, hehe) and match the curve of the upper front lining to the side of the lower front lining that has the notch cut out.  In the picture you can see that it is partially covered by a pleat, but the notch is there.


Place right sides together along the waist seam edge.


Pin the seam in place and stitch using the regular 3/8" seam allowance.


Press the seam up toward the upper front lining and repeat with the other side of the lining.


Now take the upper facing (folded over in the pic) and the lower facings.  My upper facing fabric is a loose weave so I serged all the edges to keep it from completely unraveling during the sewing.  You can see the serging in the rest of the pics, but it isn't a requirement.  I do recommend it if you're using a similar fabric and have a serger on hand.


Match up the edge of the lower facing that has the notch with the edge of the upper facing which is the inside collar.  Right sides together, line them up along the waist seam.


Pin together.


Sew this seam and then press down toward the lower facing.  Repeat with the other side of the facing.


The above pic is what they look like from the right side.


Topstitch along both of the lower facings.  The facing is now ready to be attached to the two completed front lining pieces.  Match the curved edge of the front lining to the inside collar edge.


Right sides together, match the notches, pushing aside any pleats that may get in the way.


Begin pinning from the notches, leaving the seam below the notches free.


Continue pinning all the way up the curve, making sure to match the waist seams in the center.


Stitch this seam, again leaving the seam below the notches free.  Repeat with the other side of the facing and other front lining.


The above pic is what it looks like from the right side.


Moving on to the back, grab the lower back lining.


Fold it in half with right sides together and match the notches at the center top and bottom.  Pin to hold in place.


From each of the notches, stitch a one inch line running parallel to the center back, backstitching to secure the stitches.


With the wrong side up, press these pleats flat and baste at 1/4" from the edge to hold each of them in place.


Stitch the hanging loop right sides together and prepare to turn it right side out.  This Turn it All Tool is my absolute favorite.


Once it's turned, press and top stitch.  Bend the ends back and upward to form a "U" and press well.


Baste the hanging loop and any tag you'd like to use at the top edge of the right side of the lower back lining piece, directly over the pleat.  Grab the yoke facing and finish the edges if using a fabric that may unravel.


With right sides together, match up the yoke facing with the upper edge of the lower back lining.


Pin through all layers, including the basted pleat and hanging loop/tag.  Stitch this seam


If using a faux fur or other tricky fabric it isn't necessary to press and topstitch this seam.  With this woven silk I decided to press the seam up toward the yoke and topstitch just to take extra precaution from the wear and tear of my four year old trying to hang her coat, hehe.


Now we'll begin to attach the front lining to the back at the neckline.  Make sure you have the "stars" marked well at the neck points.  It's hard to see in this pic, but they are marked with the tailor's chalk.


Right sides together, pin the upper front facing to the yoke facing, matching the stars at the sides of the neck.  Pin the back neckline between these points and stitch only from star to star.


In the above pic you can see the stitching from the yoke side (flipped over from the previous pic).


At this point I like to use a bit of fray check right at the stars.  We are going to cut into the upper facing and my fabric will want to unravel once I cut past the serging so the fray check helps to hold it in place.


Clip the upper facing ONLY, right up to the stitching at the star, taking care not to clip the stitches.  Do this at both ends of the stitching.


Here's a close up of  what the clipping will look like.  Normally you'd wait for the fray check to dry, but I was hoping you'd be able to see the "stars" better with those damp fray check spots so I clipped and took the pic before drying.


With the upper facing still on top, use the clip in the seam as a sort of hinge to bring the shoulder of the upper facing down to meet the shoulder of the yoke.  


Pin the shoulder well, making sure the area where the previous stitching ended is flat so your next stitches can meet at that point.  You may need to shift the fabric around a bit at that point, but stitch from the star out to the edge of the shoulder and repeat with the other side.


Once you've sewn the shoulders, the full neckline is complete.  The above pic is what it will look like from the right side.


Now that the neck and shoulders are sewn together, it's time to stitch the side seams.  Place the front and back sides right sides together.


Pin and stitch this seam.  Repeat with the other side seam.


The above pic is what the lining will look like from the front.


Moving on to the sleeve linings, pair the back sleeve linings with their respective front sleeve linings.


Place the back over front, right sides together along the slightly curved edge.


Carefully pin along the curve.


Stitch the seam.


Press the seam toward the back sleeve lining.  At this point, also press up the 3/8" hemline so it has a "memory fold" for assembling the full coat in later steps.


Right sides together, line up the sides of the sleeve lining to make the underarm seam.


One of the sleeve linings needs to have a 3" opening left in this seam to use for turning the full coat right side out in the final steps.  The other sleeve lining will have this seam fully stitched.


In the above pic you can see the opening left for turning the coat.  The entire coat will need to squeeze through this opening so make sure you leave at least 3"


Press these seams open.


Turn the sleeve linings right side out and baste a row of gathering stitches to prepare to ease the sleeve into the armscye.


Match the sleeve lining to the correct side of the lining with the rest of the lining wrong side out.  Insert the sleeve lining into the armscye.


Begin by pinning the underarm first, matching the notches and seams.


Then carefully pull the gathering stitches just enough to fit the rest of the sleeve.  There shouldn't be any puckering or gathering past the seamline.  This can be a bit tricky if it's your first set sleeve so take your time.  Some of the fabric may need to be shifted around a bit to ease it in.  Stitch this seam.


Remove the basting stitches and press the seam.  In the above pic you can see some puckering, but that's because my sewing machine tension is angry and you'll probably have noticed puckering in a few of the lining seam pics so far.  The actual fabric isn't gathered in the stitches though so as soon as I pressed the puckers out it was fine.


Here is what the shoulder seam will look like from the right side.  I have a tailor's ham in the sleeve lining to mimic the arm and I used it for pressing the seam flat as well.


Repeat with the other sleeve lining and your lining is complete!  It's starting to look like a coat, right?  There are a lot of pics in this post and it's a lot of steps, but each step is pretty simple so don't be intimidated.  If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them in the comments or in the Designs by Call Ajaire Facebook group.


You can share your progress using the hashtag #dbcaMackSAL on Instagram and as always you can use the #designsbycallajaire and #themackinawcoat hashtags to see what everyone else is making.  Share any finished coats in the Designs by Call Ajaire facebook group as I know we'd all love the inspiration!

March 2nd - Sew the Lining
March 3rd - Sew the (optional) Bound Buttonholes
March 4th - Sew the Outer Coat
March 5th - Sew the Coat Together and Bag the Lining
March 6th - Final Touches and Sharing

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