What is underlining and why bother with it? Underlining is refered to as pieces of lining fabric that are cut to the exact dimensions of the pattern pieces and sewn together as one piece. These underlining pieces are placed on the wrong side or back of the material pieces and are stitiched in place to form one piece. The pattern is then sewed as normal and the garment is fully lined.
I disovered underlining recently when wanting to line a dress I was working on. The fabric for the dress was on the thinner side and I would either need to line the dress or wear a slip. I decided to line the dress. However, lining involves making a seperate lining of the dress pattern and attaching it to the inside of the dress. This is like making two dresses. This seemed a lot of work and frankly, a bit intimidating to tell the truth. That is when I ran across the term underlining. Easy! This was for me!
So with underlining, as I stated earlier, one cuts out the pattern in the chosen material and then cuts out the pattern in a lining fabric. The lining fabric is sewn to the wrong side of the material pieces using long running stitches just outside the seam allowance so they will not be seen when the garment is sewn together. This can be done on the machine or by hand. I read that one gets a flatter, smoother outcome doing this process by hand, as bubbles can sometimes form when feeding two fabrics into the machine at the same time. Doing this by hand, one works flat on a table. This keeps the bubbles out. I have tried this both ways. I can say that it does work better by hand. “By hand!” one might whine. “That will take forever!” Oh contrar. The hand method actually does go by quite fast and does indeed give smoother results. If the piece is a garment, I would highly recommend doing this process by hand. I made bags, and sewed the underlining by machine and they were not as flat, but for these bags it did not matter.
So, if wanting a lined, professional looking garment, without the hassle of sewing and attaching a separate lining, why not give underlining a try. As always, Happy Sewing!