Monday, November 26, 2012

Re-Lining a Vintage Coat

Re-lining old coats and jackets is really a fun project - and pretty straight forward.

The first step is most important - taking out the lining and remembering how it was sewn in. I took notes, drew a little diagram and took some pictures. Most linings aren't this involved but even with more simple patterns, these preliminary notes are really handy to have, especially if you take the whole liner out at once.

Since this coat had an insulating liner as well, there were more construction notes than usual.

I ripped the seams around the cuffs and along the collar and front lapels. Then I took note of where the tailor had tacked the lining into place.

Once the liner was out, I carefully de-constructed one side completely so that I could use the pieces to make the new pattern from. I left the other half so that I could see the way it was put together in case my notes were incomplete. This came in really handy.

These are the three pieces. I took out the seams and darts and pressed them well. Then I traced these onto paper to make a new pattern. The arm holes were pretty deteriorated so I was very careful to keep the pattern as close as possible.

This is the pattern complete with dart markings. I cut out the new pattern and used my notes to construct the first half. The new fabric was satin so I finished the edges with my over-lock machine to keep it from fraying before attaching the pieces together. 
The dart in the sleeve elbow was sewn together with the insulating liner. I re-used the gray insulating liner because it was in fine shape and saved a lot of time and money. You can see from this picture how there are cutouts in the insulation to allow for movement. The gray liner is also the part that is tacked into the outer shell to hold everything in place. 

I attached the front pieces together and then attached the sleeve. There was a slight gather in the shoulder located at the top, which was part of the pattern. 

I constructed the other half the same way and attached them at the back center. 

I removed the rest of the old, red liner from the insulation and sewed the new one into place.

It's ready!

I had the shell of the coat dry-cleaned and then I replaced the buttons since there were several broken or missing. There were some minor repairs to the seams, the hem, the pockets and the belt. I also reinforced the hood and collar in places. 

Yay! Almost done!


Pulling the sleeves inside-out I pinned the liner cuffs to the shell cuffs and sewed them together.

With those in place, I turned the coat right side out and flipped the liner inside. 

At this point I tacked the shoulders in place and then flipped he liner back out to pin the raw liner edges to the outside shell. The lapels needed some tailor tacking to keep them laying properly.

Tailor tacking 


I steamed the liner instead of pressing because the material is a bit delicate.

The hem of the liner I stitched by hand.
More projects coming soon!

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