How to Bag a Lining: Just Kidding, but Check out My Jacket

By | February 19, 2016


Huh. That wasn’t the plan.

The plan was: make a cool, striped dress for work using 3 random pieces of poly shantung I had in the stash. You know, like Vogue 8805 from Sew Crafty Chemist or Sue at Ilove2sew!

But this fabric had a mind of its own and would not be pigeon-holed into my vision. This fabric secretly knew that it would get more wear and make me happier as a jacket. Thanks, fabric, for knowing better than me.


What really drove the final vision was the fact that I had less of the ivory than I thought, but I was still quite insistent on this tricolor vision. I used McCall’s 6355 as a base (the same pattern I used to make the giraffe dress, the sheer panel dress, and this tank). I did a pretty slapdash, eyeball job of dividing it in three, with the ivory having the smallest stripe by far.

Here’s what that looked like:


It’s not right. It’s not terrible, but it’s not right. It’s definitely not in line with what I’d been picturing.

So, I could power through and finish the project quickly, or I could stop and revise. If I shortened the dress to make the proportions less wonky, I’d get this:


Now this is pretty cute! But (there’s always a but, right?) when would I wear it? It’s a weekend-only dress at that length. And when it comes to the weekend, I pretty much never reach for a woven dress, let alone a short woven dress. I prefer jeans or a knit dress. (I am always wildly optimistic that there is some random possibility for weekend adventure that will require a wide range of movement, even though we usually just end up wine tasting or something.) Even if it was cute, it might get worn just a couple of times. While not all my makes get a lot of wear, I at least *try* to give them a fighting chance in the wardrobe.

I’ve had good luck with jackets and cardis lately. My houndstooth Butterick 6244 has shot to the top of my “most-worn” spreadsheet (cough *nerd alert* cough) in just over a month. So has my ponte waterfall cardigan. Layers are working for me. If I just cut this up the front, could I make it into a jacket?

I didn’t see why not.

I floated the idea by my mom for some feedback on my options. After seeing my inspiration photo of a boxy jacket with no closures, she replied, “…It just might work,” kindly leaving off the “It’s so crazy…” that clearly prefaces her statement.

So I went for it!

No turning back now!

No turning back now!

I used washi tape to create a straight line to cut along, and then I attacked! Of course, it wasn’t *that* easy. I had to draft facings and a lining. Which wasn’t that hard, but drafting anything is not in my wheelhouse yet.

I used the method I learned from Steffani Lincecum’s book, Patternmaking for a Perfect Fit, and pinned around the outer piece that was already constructed, leaving tiny pinholes that created the outline of the piece. I drew a seamline in marker where I thought the facing should end. Then, I traced the pieces (front and back) into two versions, one for the facing and one for the lining, adding a seam allowance to each.

Despite my best efforts at being slipshod and lazy, it appears to have worked. I love the coordinating polka dot lining!


I used a couple of different tutorials and made my first attempt at bagging a lining. I needed a combination of several explanations to figure out what was going on. The explanation over at Grainline Studio was helpful, as were the photos over at See Kate Sew’s bagged lining tutorial. Sometimes the right photo or phrase makes everything click!

I was about 90% successful. My lining ended up being a bit short at the so-called “tricky corner,” which I now refer to as the “naughty corner.” I didn’t have enough lining to hand-stitch to the facing to cover up the raw edges! Not sure how that happened. Not sure I care. The process still feels a bit like magic and, dude, I don’t question magic.

I used a bit of bias tape to patch the area. It doesn’t look terrible, but I did end up catching some of my outer fabric in the stitching, which is creating some bubbles on the outside of the jacket. I’ll go back and fix it soon. So, between the first fix and the forthcoming refix, I’ll end up doing much more hand-stitching than bagging a lining should require. Overall, though, it’s a pretty awesome method.


Long story short: I kinda dig this accidental jacket! It’s super lightweight (just the two layers, and a bit of fusible on the facings), but that’s about all I need on most days. It will be great for commuting. It *seems* like a good idea to put on a heavy coat when I leave in the foggy and cold morning, but I always arrive at work sweating in the sunshine, trapped in an ill-advised wool coat. No more, thanks to my lightweight jacket!

The neckline is a bit unusual and wide for a jacket (since it’s really from a dress). It looks great with items that also have wide necks, but it’s a bit weird with a couple of my navy dresses that I planned to wear with this. Big deal. I’ll probably wear them together anyway. My favorite look with this is just as a topper over plain old jeans and a white tee. It’s fun and unique and I really feel like it’s my own creation.

So, Unexpectedly Opinionated Tricolor Jacket, welcome to the fold!

6 thoughts on “How to Bag a Lining: Just Kidding, but Check out My Jacket

  1. Monica B

    “It *seems* like a good idea to put on a heavy coat when I leave in the foggy and cold morning, but I always arrive at work sweating in the sunshine, trapped in an ill-advised wool coat”- This is me EVERY FREAKIN DAY! I may have to totally steal your accidental jacket! It looks lovely!

    1. Sara in Stitches Post author

      Terrible Outerwear Decision Makers of the world, unite!

  2. Jenni Wiltz

    Please tell me your spreadsheet is a real thing! Or, you know, post a snapshot so nosy people like me can see the awesomeness.

    1. Sara in Stitches Post author

      Of course there’s a real spreadsheet! Only my sister would expect me to exaggerate my nerdiness. I might do a quick post with a screenshot later this week, because I’m all about enabling nosiness…

  3. Calista

    Sara, you are so creative. Oh, my gosh. I’ve been looking for a jacket that goes with everything because this corner of the office is like a meat locker. My 2011 ECF zippie hoodie just isn’t quite the professional image I’d like to project. Someday, I’ll find the perfect jacket or cardi that will go with everything.

    1. Sara in Stitches Post author

      Wait, you mean ECF doesn’t stand for Exceptionally Chic Fashion? I wondered why the meetings were more about HR issues…

      Wishing you well on your cardi hunt! I’ll just be over here with my jacket that goes with very little in my wardrobe.

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