Knitted sweaters and coats look beautiful and are warm, but the yarn scratches the skin and makes things itchy. Lining the coat not only removes the itchiness, but also gives the garment a more professional look. The process takes some basic hand sewing skills, making it possible for beginner sewers.
What You Need:
1) Make a lining pattern before sewing the knitted sweater pieces together.
Spread out the pattern material and place each of the front and back pieces of the coat on the material so they don’t overlap. Pin each piece to the material. Cut out the pieces starting 1/2-inch from the edge to allow for the seam. It’s OK to mess up or make adjustments. That’s why you are using an old sheet or other material to cut out the pieces instead of the lining material you so lovingly picked out.
2) Make a pattern for the sleeves of the knitted coat.
If the sleeves are knitted flat just cut them out the same way as the front and back pieces. If the sleeves require circular needles, the process is different. Fold the pattern material in half. Flatten the sleeve and rest the long edge along the folded edge of the material. Cut out the sleeves starting 1/2-inch from the edge of the sleeves for the seam. Unfold the material once cut.
3) Use the pattern pieces to cut out the lining pieces.
Spread out the lining material and rest the pattern pieces on top. Pin the pieces in place and cut them out. Fold the sleeve pieces in half and sew them up along the edge using the sewing machine. Do not sew up the ends of the sleeves. You can now finish the sweater by sewing the knitted pieces together.
4) Sew the front lining pieces to the back piece.
Sew one front piece to each side of the back piece. Only sew the sides, ignoring the rounded areas for the sleeves. Use the sewing machine for quick work.
5) Sew the sleeve lining pieces to the front/back.
Turn the sleeve right side out. Put the sleeve through the opening on the front/back from the wrong side. You want the larger end of the sleeve to line up with the opening for the sleeve. Make sure the right side of the sleeve is on the right side of the front/back pieces. Sew the sleeve to the lining by sewing around the opening on the wrong side. Repeat with the second sleeve. Turn the sleeves wrong side out.
6) Sew the lining to the knitted coat or sweater.
Shove the lining sleeves into the sleeves of the sweater. Make sure the lining matches up with the end of the sleeves and the edges of the coat. Sew the lining to the coat by hand. Fold the edge of the lining under. Sew along the edges first and then sew the end of the sleeves.
You have two options for hand sewing: straight stitch or slipstitch. With straight stitch, the thread is visible, but if you use a contrasting color, the result looks decorative. The slipstitch makes the thread invisible. If you choose the slipstitch, push the needle through a couple strands of yarn at a time. No matter what you choose, the process is time consuming. It will make you wonder why you wanted to sew a lining in the first place.
7) What if the knitted coat or sweater has buttons?
Cut a slit in the lining where the buttonholes belong. Use the buttonhole maker on a sewing machine or hand sew around the slit to make a button hole. Sew the lining buttonhole to the sweater along the edge of the knitted buttonhole. Alternatively, do not sew the lining to the coat where the buttonholes belong. Instead, only sew the folded seam of the lining and then continue to sew the lining to the coat once you are past the buttonhole.