Lining the Hummingbird skirt

Remember that Pigeon skirt I made last month from the Hummingbird pattern from Cake? And how I made a lining for it, and promised to do a post showing how I did it?

Well, the time for that post has finally arrived!

Here’s how it went…..

(Note that this could be used for either the pink or the orange version of the Hummingbird skirt.)

I didn’t do anything special for the skirt back – since the only seams are the centre back (for the zipper) and the flounce (if sewing the pink version), I just used the original pattern pieces and cut ’em out of lining as well.

For the front though, I drafted a new pattern piece. The Hummingbird skirt front is in three panels – a centre panel, and two side panels with pockets set in them. Since linings should be as smooth as possible, there was no need at all for having a three-paneled front lining, so instead I used the pattern pieces to draft a one-piece front.

However, it’s not as simple as just laying those pieces down and drawing around them. You see, there is some subtle shaping going on in that pretty Hummingbird pattern. Where the centre front panel joins the two side panels is some shaping, as though there were small darts there but they have been incorporated in the seams. Which means, you need some darts in to match the shaping. Also, those pocket pieces need to be turned into one pattern piece.

Ready to draft a lining? Here goes….!

Step 1 – join the side panel with the pocket piece

Have a look at your pattern. See those dots at the pocket corner where you match the fabric while stitching it up? Well, those need to match when making the lining as well. Overlay the side panel piece and the pocket piece, so those two dots line up and the ends of both pieces are in a smooth line.

Line up the pocket piece and the side panel

Line up the pocket piece and the side panel

At this point, you have a choice, depending on what your pattern pieces are made of. Either pin those two pieces together, or draw up a new piece by tracing them as one continuous piece.

Step 2 – Mark the seam allowance on the front panel seams

By converting the front skirt panels from three pieces to one, you’re also removing two seams down the front of the skirt. Which means you’re removing the need for two seam allowances for each panel. So, let’s get rid of those!

On your new side panel piece (from step 1), measure where the seam allowance ends on the bit that would be attached to the centre panel. This will be 1/2″ in from the edge (see those faint yellow lines in the photo below? That’s where the seam allowance ends.)

Do the same on the front centre panel, on the edge that would get joined to the side panel.

Mark the seam allowance  (in this case, 1/2" from the edge)

Mark the seam allowance (in this case, 1/2″ from the edge)

Step 3 – Remove the seam allowance

Now that you’ve marked that seam allowance, it’s time to remove it! Nice and easy – just place your centre front pattern piece overtop of your side panel piece, making sure the seam allowance markings you drew in step 2 are on top of one another.

Overlap your seam allowances

Overlap your seam allowances

You’ll have a nice 1″ wide strip where the two pattern pieces overlap – which equates to 1/2″ seam allowance on either side being removed.

Draw around the outline of all the pattern pieces you’ve pinned together to create your new front lining pattern.

Step 4 – Marking the new dart

See how the 1″ overlap between the centre front and side panels tapers off towards the top of the pattern pieces?

Overlap tapering at the top of the skirt

Overlap tapering at the top of the skirt

Yeah, that’s where that shaping is that I mentioned earlier. It’s not a huge amount of shaping – just enough to make it a nicely fitted straight skirt over those curves us girls tend to have. 😉

But for the lining, since it’s going to be one piece rather than panels, we need to convert that shaping into a dart.

You’ll need to mark three points for this. Firstly, measure out the top width of your dart. This is the same place as where the seam allowance ends would be. In other words, measure 1/2″ in from the end of each pattern piece. (See those yellow lines near the top of the picture below?)

Next, you’ll need to mark where the dart ends. Look at your pattern – you should be able to spot where the overlap of the two pattern pieces starts to taper and reduces in width from the 1″ overlap you have for most of it. At the last point where it’s still a 1″ overlap is where you’re going to mark the end of your dart, right in the centre of that overlap. See where the yellow-headed pin in the photo below sticks into the pattern piece? That’s where the tip of my dart is – right in the middle of that 1″ overlap.

Marking the dart measurements

Marking the dart measurements

Step 5 – Draw your new dart

Now, connect the dots of your dart point and ends to draw in your new dart on your new front lining pattern piece!

Look - it's  a dart!  (Ooh!)

Look – it’s a dart! (Ooh!)

Step 6 – Put it all together!

And you’re done! You should now have one pattern piece for the front lining, complete with a small dart marked on it.

Cut it out on the fold, add it to the lining pieces you’ve cut using the regular back pattern pieces (remember to cut the tail flounce piece if you’re making the pink version of the skirt) and stitch it all up just as you would if it was the skirt itself.

Before you hem it though, remember that lining needs to be a bit shorter than the skirt shell, so it doesn’t peek through underneath. Cut a good inch off around the base, then hem as usual.

(And now you’re done. 🙂 )

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6 responses to “Lining the Hummingbird skirt

  1. Thanks for these instructions- I was planning a winter Hummingbird skirt , lined, and your post comes the right moment!

  2. Thanks for this! I have lined very few things in my day, so when I do line something, I have to get a pattern that includes pattern and instructions for lining the garment.

  3. Very good instructions! I wish the last dress J and I made had had a separate lining (Collette Chantilly) 6 panels in the skirt! Of course we should have done exactly what you have written here but we wanted to test out the pattern.

    I hate linings….

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