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How to easily add a lining to any quilt coat

Updated: Jan 5, 2022

So you're ready to jump on the quilt coat bandwagon, but the pattern you've chosen doesn't have instructions for a lining. Or worse, it gives instructions for a faced lining but that's a bit too overwhelming for your straight line sewing, 2D quilter skillset (it certainly was for me!). You could use binding, but the thought of finishing your quilt coat by hand makes you gag (again, me!). Luckily, there's an easy hack to add a lining to any coat pattern.

Step 1: Prepare Coat and Lining

Sew the major pieces (front, back, sleeves, hood, etc.) of your quilt coat exterior according to your pattern. Your coat should be complete apart from the lining so any pockets or adornments should already be installed. Leave off any pieces meant to cover or reinforce seams. I like to just quilt my exterior pieces to batting (no backing) since I'm going to line my coat with another fabric anyways.

Prepare the lining the same way using the exact same pattern pieces. I used flannel for my lining but any material will work. The important thing is to make sure that the lining isn't interfaced or quilted in any way; just plain fabric.

Step 2: Align and Sew the Lining and Exterior Together

Lay out your exterior and interior the way they will be in the final coat, i.e. the outside should be right side out and the interior will be wrong side out.

Next, switch the position of the lining and exterior so that the lining is on the outside and the exterior is on the inside. Align the raw edges of the front opening of your coat matching seams with right sides together. Pin everything in place. I like to use wonder clips for this since the layers are quite thick with the batting.

Sew the pinned opening of the coat using the seam allowance specified in your pattern leaving an 8-10 inch opening in the bottom hem of your coat.

NOTE: Nothing has been done to the sleeves at this point. This is really important to make sure you are able to turn your coat! It's possible to sew one sleeve together before turning, but it gets messy so I prefer to just attach them after turning. Attaching both will prevent you from turning.

Step 3: Turn and Attach Cuffs

Clip any corners to reduce bulk then reach inside the gap left in the hem of your coat and turn the entire coat through that hole until everything is right sides out. The sleeves should be separated at this point. Your coat will look a little funny but bare with me.

Next, push the lining sleeve inside out through the armhole and into the exterior sleeve so that both the lining and exterior sleeves are wrong sides together. As you do this, make sure that the lining sleeve doesn't get twisted in the process. This is easiest to check after the cuffs are pinned together (see below).

Roll the lining cuff outward by approximately 1/2" inch (or whatever the seam allowance specified in your pattern is). Roll the exterior cuff inward by the same amount and match the edges together pinning as shown. It can be helpful to press both cuffs before pinning to keep everything nicely in place.

Check that the lining sleeve isn't twisted by putting your arm through the sleeve. If it can get through, you're good to go! attach the lining and exterior cuffs by topstitching (straight stitch with 3 mm stitch length) approximately 1/8" from the edge. I like to add two rows of topstitching for a decorative finish. Repeat this process with the other sleeve.

Step 4: Topstitch around Front of Coat.

Press the edges of the coat attached in Step 2 so that everything is aligned and flat. Press the edges of the opening in the hem by 1/2" (or whatever seam allowance you used when attaching the lining and exterior edges). Topstitch 1/8" from the edge around the entire pressed edge and over the opening, closing it. Again, I like to use two rows of stitching to give the edge a decorative finish.

And just like that, your quilt coat is finished! Easy enough, right? Questions? Comments? drop me a line below!

Some details about my coat for those interested. I used the Two-Sided Coat pattern by LEKA Patterns modified slightly to get the look I wanted. Only the back was pieced and it's my own fractured braid design (which I may someday write the pattern for), a modern take on the traditional French braid block. I used Essex Linen for the bulk of the exterior and Stitch in Time bamboo batting to give the coat a nice drape without too much heft (and no, this is not an affiliate link, I just really like Batting Supersale) It is ultra-warm and wonderful!


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