Pattern Hacks & Modifications

Lining a Jacket: The Explorer Cloak

I’m Carina, an avid hobby sewist, stay at home mum, and first time blog writer. I participated in the test for the Explorer Cloak from Buttons & Bibs, and because I can’t resist adding extra touches to everything I make, I felt compelled to add a lining and some piping to the contoured version with inseam pockets (You can read about adding piping in the extra tips at the end of this tutorial). I’ve put together this tutorial because I think sewing should be fun, and let’s face it, these things can be a real head-scratcher to figure out!

**Please read through the entire tutorial before cutting your fabric, as there may be something you’ll want to do differently.

You may want to line your explorer cloak if:

  • You’re using a fabric with a rough, scratchy, grippy surface like boiled wool
  • You don’t want to add pretty seam finishes inside your cloak
  • You need that extra wind barrier if your main fabric is a looser weave
  • Simply to give your cloak that extra little something

For the sleeves, I’ve provided three options, take your pick. In my photos I used option #3. These options are for the version without cuffs.

Option #1 Both MAIN and LINING fabrics are hemmed 1″. Here, both LINING and MAIN are the same lengths and raw edges are hidden. For this version, cut both MAIN and LINING per the pattern.

Option #2 MAIN fabric is double folded and hemmed 1″ and LINING fabric is tucked into the hem. Here, the LINING is visible 1″ up from the end of the finished sleeve and all raw edges are hidden. For this version, cut your MAIN with an added 1/2″ hem allowance to make it a total of 1 1/2″, and your LINING will be cut without a hem allowance.

Option #3 MAIN fabric is single folded and hemmed 1″ and LINING fabric is tucked into the hem. Here, the LINING is visible 1″ up from the end of the finished sleeve and the raw edge of your MAIN fabric is left exposed inside the sleeve. This is for fabrics that do not fray, or have been overlocked to prevent fraying. For this version, cut your MAIN per the pattern, and your LINING will be cut without a hem allowance.

If you’re using cuffs on your sleeves, your main and lining are cut the same length and the cuff is attached as per the pattern tutorial, with both main and lining fabrics included in the seam. You may want to baste your MAIN and LINING together at the sleeve end before adding the cuffs. You could attempt to hide the seam, but it’s fiddly to sew that far up the sleeve, and may cause frustration, rude expletives, and a messy finish. So we won’t go there.

Other than that, the only other modifications you need to make when cutting your fabric are:

  • Use the solid front piece, not colour blocked, for your LINING
  • Cut LINING front and back pieces 3/4″ shorter at the bottom hem.

That’s it. Here’s what your lining pieces will look like:

Lining pieces, cut out.

That’s 2x mirrored front pieces, 1x back piece, 2x mirrored sleeves, and 2 sets of mirrored inseam pockets (if you’re doing those, lining is not so bulky, so it’s good to use for the inseam pockets)

For sleeve option #1 and #3 you will press the MAIN hem 1″ to the wrong side to create a “memory hem”. You’ll do the same with your LINING sleeve for option #1. For option #2, press 1/2″ and again 1″.

Hems, folded up and pressed.

Construct your MAIN fabric as instructed in the pattern tutorial up to and including step 17. For your hood/cowl, you’ll want to prepare it for a hidden seam finish.

Construct your LINING fabric the same way as your MAIN, excepting steps for colour blocking, pockets and collar/hood, of course.

Assembled lining hanging on dress form.

Now press your MAIN bottom hem to the wrong side 1″ to create a “memory hem”. Place your MAIN and LINING right sides together and sew the bottom hem together with a 1/4″ seam allowance. I simply used my overlocker here because it’s faster hehe.

Lining sewn in using an overlocker and 1/4″ seam allowance.

Turn right sides out and press your hem with the seam up before top stitching.

Inside of hem, lining sewn to shell.

I top stitched from the right side, my precise pressing resulted in a neat finish inside.

Lining is finished nicely with a row of top stitching.

Time for the sashing! Start by pressing one long edge of the sashing 1/4″ to the wrong side to create a crease.

Unfold the 1/4″ again and fold your sashing right sides together lengthways and stitch the short bottom edge (double check that it will match to the side you are working on, ask me why I know…), starting/stopping 3/4″ from the raw edges. Clip the corner, turn, and press.

Measure 3/4″ away from the edge.

This is how it should look now with the pressed long edge tucked under:

Sashing, after pressing.

Pin the uncreased edge of your sashing right sides together to the bodice fronts, including both the MAIN and LINING. Make sure the short raw edge is at the top. Sew only the unpressed edge at 3/8″ seam allowance. I finished my seam with an overlocker.

Press the seam allowance towards the sashing. Now pin or tape (with Wondertape) the creased under edge over the seam allowance, going just a bit past the seam line to hide it. If you’re using pins, use plenty, but be very careful not to sew over them! I used pins with ball heads, so I could feel for them from the right side and pull them out as I went.

Sashing, pinned to lining, ready for stitching.

Stitch in the ditch from the outer side, catching the edge underneath

Stitch in the ditch from the right side of the garment.

Repeat for the sashing on the other side.

My first one wasn’t so neat, so I used more pins on the second one. Wonder tape would be even better!

You can finish the bottoms of your sashings by slip stitching the little hole closed.

Onwards to the sleeve hems! With your cloak turned inside out, tuck the MAIN sleeve into the LINING sleeve and:

Option #1: With both your MAIN and LINING sleeves turned up 1″ to the wrong side, line up the sleeve seams and topstitch at about 3/4″. You may want to move the bottom fold of your LINING about 1/16” up from the bottom fold of your MAIN so that it’s not as visible on the finished garment.

Option #2: Bring the raw edge of your LINING to the crease 1 1/2″ in from the end of your MAIN. Fold the MAIN hem over the LINING and topstitch.

Option #3: Bring the raw edge of your LINING to the crease 1″ in from the end of your MAIN. Fold the MAIN hem over the LINING and topstitch.

I did it a bit backwards by putting my sleeve lining into my main sleeve instead of the other way round. That’s ok, but it means I had to topstitch from the wrong side.

Give it all a good press with steam (if your fabric allows), and continue on with step 23 in the pattern tutorial: Hidden hood/cowl seam method

Extra Tips

  • Use a lining fabric that will let you slide your arm into the sleeve easily without catching, like silk or polyester.
  • To sew lining fabric, a microtex/extra sharp needle will work best.
  • Always prepare your fabric before sewing by treating it the way you would after it’s sewn. For example, I threw my boiled wool in the dryer with a wet towel on a medium heat to make sure it wouldn’t shrink when I steam pressed it.
  • Press everything with steam, but first test on a scrap to be sure your fabrics can handle it 🙂


If you’re doing inseam pockets and want to add some piping, it’s really easy to do!

First, measure along the curved seam allowance of the centre front piece to get the length of your piping piece. You can use ready made piping or self-made piping.

For self piping, I cut mine 1 3/4″ wide, so that 1/2″ would be showing once sewn up. Fold your self-made piping pieces along the length and press.

For both self-made or ready made piping: Pin (or use Wondertape) your piping along the curved colour blocking edges of your centre front, then place the pocket piece over the piping.

Pockets and piping are pinned on.

Sew over the pocket with 1/4″ seam allowance, then fold your pocket away, press, and top stitch the pocket onto the seam allowance.

Folded out and top stitched pocket.

Starting 3/8″ down from the top edge of the pocket and ending 3/8″ from the bottom edge, sew another line of stitching on the piping only, with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Don’t forget to backstitch! 🙂

Piping tacked down.

Continue as instructed in the pattern tutorial with joining your centre and side fronts. Press your piping towards the side front, and you’re done 🙂

Feel free to visit the Buttons & Bibs facebook page and share what you make! If you have any questions about lining or piping, just ask in the group and tag me @Carina Hollænder 🙂

Thanks for reading, and happy sewing!

**You can follow Carina on Instagram, @sunny_pants

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