Today’s sewing is the most complicated part so let’s take it slow and steady with plenty of photographs. I’ll also do my best to answer any questions you have. By now you should have your shell sewn up, lining back pieces drafted and sewn up and gone as far as possible your order of construction for your dress or skirt.
1. First lay out your shell with the wrong side of the back pieces facing up. To the right of your shell fabric lay out your lining with the wrong side of the back pieces facing up. (If you’ve had to sew your neckline/waistband already, place your garment with the right side of the shell facing you and for the next steps the part of the lining and shell that will be sewn together will be already adjacent to eachother so you just need to roll the edges back on themselves in order to pin right sides together.)
2. With your left hand pick up the side of the shell vent that is hidden and with your right hand pick up the right lining vent (the smaller piece).
Bring your hands closer to each other to place right sides of the fabric together. Pin along the straight part of the vent extension matching the notch that we marked two inches below the diagonal.
3. Sew from as close to end of the diagonal seam as possible towards the hem.
It should look something like this…
and on the other side…
4. Press this seam open and press the seam allowances toward the lining.
5. Bring the left lining piece (the larger one) up and around allowing the lining to fold at the centre seam. This positions the right lining piece (the larger one) close to the upper most shell vent extension.
Pin these right sides together aligning the notches.
6. Sew from as close to the vent diagonal as possible towards the hem.
7. First press the lining away from the shell on the right side. Then bring the lining around to the wrong side of the shell and press along this fold.
If everything went to plan, your shell and lining fabrics should be wrong sides together and it should be looking almost there.
8. Lay your lined vent with the right side of the lining facing you (as in the above image). Pull the centre seam towards you to reveal the curved part of the lining.
N.B. If you’ve already attached your lining at the waist/neckline then instead of pulling the lining down, reach up inside between the shell and the lining (I find from the left easier) and pull the lining out between the two hems.
Pin and sew together. On a full garment, ease as much out as you can, smooth as you go and try to avoid the main bulk of the garment pulling as you pin.
Sew the lining between the end of the centre back seam and where the two back lining pieces separate to attach to the shell vent. After sewing, check for puckers, unpick these areas and try again smoothing the excess fabric away. I find it easier to have the excess fabric on the bottom – as I sew, the feed dogs pull this through for me and this eases an outside curve into an inside one.
9. Clip into the tightest curves to help everything to lay flat and press both sides.
10. After a good press, remove the basting stitches in the shell fabric and admire your lined vent.
Great… put feet up, rest that brain we’ve completed the hardest part. If you’re making a full garment, you can finish any other construction points except the hem. Because… in the final post I’ll explain how to make a mitred corner for the shell hem and vent.