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Charlotte Skirt Sewalong BONUS POST: Lining

Today sewalongers, we have for you a bonus post - how to add a lining to your Charlotte skirt!

charlotte skirt lining - by hand london

Before we get started, you can find the previous Charlotte skirt sewalong posts here.

Our skirts are looking pretty damn sexy so far, no? But here at By Hand HQ, we think our clothes should feel sexy too, and adding a slinky lining to your Charlotte skirts will do just that: no yanking down your hemline to stop it riding up your tights, no itchy wool irritating your bare legs. Add to that a super crispy and profesh finish as the lining will hide all your seams, darts and straggly threads. And you know how much we like a profesh finish! Here's how it's done...

As we mentioned in our last post, to make the lining you will need:

  • a metre of a lightweight, slippery fabric such as polycotton or sateen. Anti-static is best.
  • your Charlotte skirt front and back pattern pieces
  • a hand sewing needle and thread
  • your sewing machine... obviously!

Step 1:

Just as we did in sewalong #2, cut, mark and assemble your skirt front and back pieces in your lining fabric. Omit the zipper insertion, but close the back seam up to the point where the zipper ends. Press and finish your seams and darts just as we did before. When pressing the back seam, make sure you continue pressing the seam allowance at the zipper opening. We'll need a crisp fold to make blind stitching it easier...

charlotte skirt lining - by hand london

Step 2:

Turn the lining inside out and slip it inside the main skirt (the skirt's shell). The two wrong sides should be facing each other hiding all seams, leaving only the right sides showing. Match up the side seams, darts and centre back and pin the lining to the shell all along the waistline. Machine stitch into place, leaving just 3/8" seam allowance as opposed to the usual 5/8" so as not to leave unnecessarily visible stitches once the waistband has been attached.

Step 3:

Now, and for the cleanest of finishes, we're going to blind stitch the opening at the centre back of the lining to the zipper. Pin the back opening of the lining to the zipper. Thread up your hand sewing needle. Starting at the top of the (open) zipper, insert your needle into the fabric of the zipper, picking up just a few strands and coming right out again (shown in fig.1 below). Don't get too close to the zipper teeth, or you might have a problem getting your zipper back up.


Now insert your needle into the lining fabric directly above your current stitch. Using the pressed fold as a guide, slide your needle along a centimetre or so inside the fold and then come out again (see fig.2 below). Repeat fig.1 directly below the point your needle just came out. And so on. Continue this blind stitching down to the point at which the zipper ends, and back up the other side. Securely knot off your stitching and make sure that the zipper still goes up and down smoothly.

bstitch copy

All done and slinkified! Now all we have left to do is attach our waistbands and hem our skirts! If you have some time this weekend and fancy skipping ahead, you can refer to our tutorial, The Perfect Waistband.

charlotte skirt lining - by hand london

Finished already?? You can start emailing us pictures of your Charlotte skirts for our round-up Sew & Tell post to: - please send us high-res images, links to your blog or other social media, plus anything else you'd like to add - maybe your highlights of the sewalong, favourite details on your skirt, ways in which you might do it differently next time round. We'll do our very best to include everyone.

That's it from us for now - have a wonderful weekend folks!

Comments on this post (8)

  • Jun 16, 2016

    Thank you! I am sewing something that is lined and underlined for the first time! I am needing a lot of help and this was great!

    — Erika

  • Feb 04, 2013

    If you are making a skirt with a ruffle, does it change the treatment of the lining at all? That is, do you attach the lining to the ruffle in any way? Or hem it to where the skirt and ruffle meet? Thanks for your help!

    — Marina K.

  • Feb 04, 2013

    You got it. No need for fancy treatment – just hem the lining so it hits the point where the skirt meets the ruffle or just slightly above. Hope this helps!

    — byhandlondon

  • Jan 26, 2013

    Thank you for this post! I put the lining together last night and was debating hand sewing the finish since I never hand sew. Well I have to say I pretty much cursed the whole first side and some unpicking will need to be done. But by the second side I finally found a rhythm and with the full moon just rising here and some jazz playing I’m actually enjoying it. It’s far from perfect but I’m very happy to be learning a new skill!

    — Shar

  • Jan 30, 2013

    Hi, thanks for this. In my head it seemed fairly straightforward, but I wasn’t sure about the zip part.

    Quick question – I am really slim hipped so have taken the main shell in quite a bit at the sides, but that fabric has some stretch so I’ve left relatively little ease. My lining obviously doesn’t have stretch – should I leave a bit more ease in the lining for comfort when wearing?


    — Helen

  • Jan 31, 2013

    I think it’s a question of millimetres here… if you leave extra ease in the lining you risk it feeling bulky (or worse – looking bulky!) in your shell. I would cut it pretty much exactly as the shell, then sew the side and back seams with just a smidge less seam allowance – but literally no more than 2-3mm less seam allowance at each seam, which would give you 6-9mm ease all around, without feeling like your lining is bigger than the shell. Hope this helps!

    — byhandlondon

  • Jan 25, 2013

    Thanks for adding this lining tute. It’s really helpful. I’d better get a move on this weekend as I’m a bit behind.

    — Kirsty

  • Jan 26, 2013

    Don’t worry – the next 2 posts are the easiest and quickest bits spread out over a week, and then’ll have a good few days after that before the round up! Can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

    — byhandlondon

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