Lined vent sew-along: Drafting the lining

Now that we have the shell fabric sewn up and ready, let’s draft the lining pattern pieces today:

For the front lining you can use your existing pattern pieces adding 1/8-1/4 inch ease at the hips and changing any darts to tucks.

For the back lining we need to draft two different pattern pieces. Start by tracing the back pattern piece twice in a mirror image. Label left and right – this will be your left and right as you are wearing the fully constructed garment.

Lined Vent 13

Let’s alter the left back piece first:

1. Add 1/8-1/4 inch ease at the hips.
2. Convert any darts to tucks (mark the end of the dart legs only – when sewing, match up these markings and baste along the waist line for darted skirts.
3. Lower the diagonal vent extension by ¼ inch.

Lined Vent 14
4. Curve the vent extension corners making a sideways ‘s’ shape and mark the centre with a small notch, it should be roughly halfway along the vent diagonal.

Lined Vent 15
5. Cut out this piece now as we’ll need it to draft the right back lining pattern piece.

Lined Vent 16

For the right back lining:

1. Add 1/8-1/4 inch ease at the hips.
2. Convert any darts to tucks.
3. Slide the left back pattern piece towards the right back lining piece. Align the centre back (don’t over-lap or match the seam lines) and the hem line.

Lined vent 17
4. Trace the curve of the left back lining piece onto the right back lining piece.

Lined Vent 18
5. Mark the two notches level with the left back lining piece.

The last bit of drafting is to shorten the lining pieces. I like my lining to finish just above the hem seam of my shell fabric. If you are using a skirt or dress pattern and following the indicated hem allowance, remove the hem allowance plus 1/8 inch from your lining piece (your hem allowance will be the same for both shell and lining). If you’re sewing a sample, let’s assume you’d press under ¼ inch then turn up a 1 inch hem allowance on your shell fabric. In this case, we need to chop off 1 1/8 inch from the lining pattern pieces and for both hems we’d press under ¼” and turn up a 1 inch hem.

Lined Vent 20Lined Vent 21

Place your lining pattern pieces lining pieces onto the wrong side of your lining fabric, cut and snip the notches. If lining is a new-to-you fabric, check out Amy’s recent post on working with slippery fabrics for some great tips.

In the next post we’ll construct the back lining.

6 responses to “Lined vent sew-along: Drafting the lining

  1. I’ve been enjoying reading along! Saving these posts for when I have a vent to sew 🙂 Thanks for sharing my link!

  2. Just to be sure: the extra ease is only added add the hips, not at the waist and not down to the hem? How high up from the waist do you start to add ease and how low below the hips should you be back to adding no ease?

    • Hi Emmely, thanks for your great question.

      If you are making a skirt or a dress with a waist seam then you do not need any extra ease at the waist i.e. you need the waist of the lining and shell to be the same so you can sew a waistband or waist seam easily.

      From about an inch below the waist I start to taper out so that by the hip line I have 1/4 extra ease (I used 1/4 for my recent dress and the same for the skirt I’m making for the sew-along but as little as 1/8 is sufficient).

      From the hip line, start to taper back in to the original pattern piece line over the same distance you did for just below waist to hip.

      This ease is so that when we sit down, we don’t put too much strain on the lining fabric which will be lighter and more delicate than our fashion fabric.

      How much ease is really needed depends on how much wider our hip measurement is in the sitting position and also the properties of the fabric. I know as a pear shape, I have some spread going on across my hips and bottom when I sit so I use an extra 1/4 inch which gives an extra 1 inch all round when sewn up.

  3. Ijeoma Felicia Ogundare

    Hi Emma, wonderful tutorial here, thanks for efforts and time put into this.

    I have two questions: what’s the purpose of lowering the lining vent by a quarter inch? Did you also lower the notch at the center back of the lining by quarter inch? Thanks in anticipation

    • Hi,
      Thank you for your question. I’m glad the tutorial is useful.
      It’s mostly about ease and a little bit to do with the fabrics working together. Generally speaking lining fabrics don’t have any give where as fabrics used for the outer will have some give. You always want lining fabric to have more room to move and sit. You don’t want the lining restricting the shape and way the outer hangs. Lowering the vent notch allows more sitting ease (between waist and notch) and allows the outer to hang nicely when the skirt lining and outer are assembled.

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