Costume Workshop Sew-Along Badge

costume workshop sew-along: the lining

Costume Workshop Sew-Along BadgeOur first week we messed around with hats and ears and whiskers, that sort of thing. Then, we prepared our pattern and cut and marked our fabrics. Last entry we joined our shell, including our pockets. Today? We are preparing and joining our lining. This is our penultimate post for our basic body – our final entry and email will be a roundup of some helpful costuming resources (and please email me if there are any you’d like to share – I would love to include them)!

Ready? OK!


Wednesday night I had a lovely costume conference via Facebook call from Gwen Gyldenege from Calm Under Tension. While I am not at liberty to disclose the costume she is working on, suffice to say the ensemble includes stretch fabrics, performance metallics, craft foam (probably), and possible papercraft and wire work as well. In short: just my sort of thing. I love collaborating with others on costuming, and Gwen has so many talents that our conversation soon blossomed from the half hour I expected, to two hours!

So let’s get to today’s work, shall we?

After finishing the shell, we will be constructing the lining. This will likely be our briefest installment in this workshop.

You will recall I like to install a safety pin on the right side of the front garment pieces (either the fronts of the sleeve, or the front panels, as shown below):

Costume Workshop Sew-Along: The Lining

With an easy marker like this, we elminate.

Why interface the front lining?

The shell fabric, the faux fur, is very sturdy. I haven’t worked with a faux fur I needed to interface, yet (If I did, I would use a sew-along, not a fusible). But the lining will be undergoing some stress, especially where we install our closure (which, for this project, is in the front). Recall I am going to eschew a zipper (those don’t work well with long-pile faux fur) and fur hooks – I’m installing a snap placket. (For best results, use the highest quality interfacing you can find – I take this opportunity once again to recommend Pamela Erny’s products available at her site Fashion Sewing Supply.)

So – I cut a long strip of interfacing, about 3″ wide, and interfaced from the top raw edge to about an inch past the customized length of the snap placket, curving the sleeve-side edge of the strip (see the second picture below). After fusing, I zig-zag finished the interfacing edge to the lining:

Costume Workshop Sew-Along: The Lining
Now, I mark the seam allowance from that front raw edge, down just a little past my placket join point. This will be used to hand-install the lining, when we are finishing. You can also stitch here, if you don’t want to use chalk. A stitching line can add a little strength here if you want it:

Costume Workshop Sew-Along: The Lining

This is a great opportunity to either mark or stitch the seam allowance distance at your sleeve and leg hems. In the case of this bulky faux fur, we’ll be hand-installing those as well.

Set aside your lining pieces.

Time to create another little piece – if you like!

Now as you know, we don’t have to make a big fuss about our neckline – especially if it will be obscured by a hood or hat or a wig or such thing. But given that faux fur can be a little irritating, I chose to draft a small ribbing piece – from the same soft organic cotton as the lining – for the neckline. I simply measured the faux fur neckline at the stitching line, and cut a strip 3″ wide and the neckline length (the seam allowance of 1/2″ will help “snug” this strip up when we pin and install, in our next post). I then folded this strip right-sides together and lengthwise, and stitched a curved edge at both short ends:

Costume Workshop Sew-Along: The Lining


Costume Workshop Sew-Along: The Lining

Then turn right-side-out, and gently press. Set aside.

Now, we get to join our lining exactly as we joined our shell – join the sleeve two-piece pieces, join all raglan sleeves, join the center back, stitch from center front crotch to placket mark, and finally sew the sides and inseams. Easy-peasy!

And if you like, now is a great time to install a little custom label – anywhere you like, although I often use about an inch down from the center back neckline. You can install the label right after you join the center back seam of the back panels.

Costume Workshop Sew-Along: The Lining

Let’s talk a little bit about that seam where the placket will install. We want a nice, firm backstitch there – just like the shell:

Costume Workshop Sew-Along: The Lining

Now time to create our placket piece! This piece will have a finished length of the vertical distance at the front edges between the neckline stitching line, and the backstitched stop we installed. I used an interfaced, firm babywale corduroy for a folded width of about 2 1/2″ (which means I cut a long strip 5″ wide, folded right-sides together, and will install for a finished width of about 2″ (installing at a 1/2″ seam allowance):

Costume Workshop Sew-Along: The Lining

So here is our neckline ribbing (on top) and our placket (on bottom) – ready for joining in our next post!

Costume Workshop Sew-Along: The Lining

We have finished our lining! Great job!


How are your costumes going? I have finished up about fifty percent of my family’s costume requirements – now we’re getting started on a papier-mâché aspect of my son’s ensemble.

If you have any questions at all – comment here, email, or find me on Facebook!

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