Finishing this project, here is where it gets tricky. There are a lot of steps and it might seem daunting, but just go slowly, taking each thing in its turn, and you’ll be done before you know it. First, pin the lining to the facing of the coat right sides together. To do this, the lining should be wrong side out and the wool shell right side out. Place the lining over the outside of the shell. This will take a bit of maneuvering, just try to match up the center back at the top and align the shoulder seams. Then pin all the way down the front on both the right and left shell facing. Sew the seam around one side of the front then over the neck and back down the other front side.
Remove all the pins, then push the lining sleeves down the shell sleeves. Then, turn sleeves wrong side out with the lining on the outside right side out.
Pin the lining to the cuff on the inside of the cuff, turning under the raw edge.
It is helpful to have the coat hanging to do this step to be sure the length is correct. Hand whip the lining to the sleeve. If your sleeve doesn’t have the overlap and button like mine, you could turn it wrong side out (pulling it from the bottom between the lining and shell) and machine stitch the lining to the sleeve right sides together. I found it easier to hand stitch, it only took about 20 minutes to do both sleeves.
Hang the coat right side out and pin the back vent lining to the shell right sides together, turning the lining under. Hanging it up ensures that the lining isn’t pulling on the shell. Repeat for the other side of the vent.
To get the raw edge free, reach under the hem between the shell and lining, and pull it to the outside. Machine stitch the lining to the vent right sides together.
Hang it up again, and check to be sure that the lining is properly inserted, not pulling the outer shell out of shape. I had to restitch one edge as I didn’t get it right the first time. Hand stitch the point at the top of the vent that may still be open. It was impossible to get this completely machine stitched.
Pin the hem at the proper length to end about one inch shorter than the shell hem.
Hand whip or top stitch the lining hem. Don’t stitch the hem to the shell, it works best to have these separate. Then the coat will hang nicely and move comfortably with you.
Finish any corners or joining points not sewn. For my coat, this included the front corners at the bottom, and the center lining at the top of the back vent. Also, put in the tacks that you may have to keep the lining in place. I tacked at the shoulder seams and under the arm seams. This helps keep the lining in place while putting on and taking off the coat.
The extra bonus is the new lining is thicker than the old, making the coat warmer. Plus the higher quality lining will last another 20 years.
All done, and already worn once last week. It was warm and I wasn’t embarrassed about the ratty lining anymore.
Have you ever done a big project like this? Do you have a coat that is just too good to give away but needs a new lining?