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Pattern Hackers: How to Add a Lining to a Skirt

Break the rules with three pattern hacks for the Kenzie skirt, by Chelsea Eisenberg.

Posted in: Tutorials & Techniques • July 31, 2019

Everyone knows that sewing gives you superpowers. First on that long list is the ability to break the rules and make garments that represent you and your taste. We want to encourage you to think of our patterns as a blank canvas that you can customize to truly suit your style.

Our pattern hacks are designed to teach you hacking basics that help you customize patterns so that you can become a confident pattern hacker. Each month, we will show you how to draft and sew one new pattern hack, and we'll share links to two additional pattern hacks from our pattern hacks library.

These hacks help you give your Seamwork patterns a custom spin—all you need is paper, a ruler, and a pencil!

This month, we teach how to add a lining to your Kenzie skirt! You can also check out two more hacks for drafting side seam pockets and adding a button placket to the center front of your Kenzie skirt.

Note: For best results, be sure to make any necessary fit adjustments before hacking your pattern.

You'll Need:

  • The Kenzie dress

  • Paper

  • Pencil

  • Scissors

  • Clear ruler

  • Curved ruler

HACK ONE: Create a simple skirt lining

Summer is the best time to bring out your lightweight fabrics and feel like a goddess! However, those fabrics may be more on the sheer side, so let me show you how to draft a lining so that you can wear flowy fabrics with confidence!


1. Measure your hip, adding a few extra inches for ease (we did 3). Divide this measurement by 2. This will be the width of your skirt lining.

2. Measure how long your skirt pieces are, then subtract 1" (2.5 cm). This will be the length of your skirt lining. Using your ruler, draw a rectangle with the width and length dimensions from steps 1 and 2.

3. Using your ruler, draw 5/8" (15 mm) seam allowance around the rectangle.

4. Transfer the notches and zipper circle markings from the skirt pattern pieces. Draw the grainline. Label the new piece "lining, cut 2".


Prepare the shell and lining:

1. With right sides together, sew the right side seam of the lining. Press the seam allowances open. Finish the seam allowances separately.

2. Finish the left side seams of the lining separately.

3. Sew the left side seam of the lining below the zipper mark.

4. Press the left lining side seams to the wrong side above the zipper mark and topstitch at 1/2" (13 mm).

5. Gather the waistline of the lining unit.

6. Hem the lining unit using the same hem allowance as the skirt shell.

7. Assemble the shell of the skirt, installing the waistband and zipper. Do not stitch in the ditch to close the waistband just yet.

8. Hem the shell of the skirt according to the pattern instructions.

Attach the lining to the shell:

1. With wrong sides together, baste the waist of the lining to the waist of the shell and waistband.

2. Grade the seam allowance and press up, into the waistband.

3. Stitch in the ditch to close the waistband.

4. Optionally, use a hand needle and thread to tack the lining to the wrong side of the zipper tape.

Add pockets

Draft side seam pockets for your Kenzie skirt using this hack from issue 26.

Add a button placket

Add a button placket to the front of your Kenzie skirt using this hack from issue 44.

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