Jupe Droite: La Doublure

I thought you might be interested in seeing how my teacher had me line my straight skirt, so I took some photos. I took the photos after wearing the skirt though, so the lining is wrinkly! You are forewarned! ;)

The bottom hem of the lining is several inches shorter than the skirt hem and it is free-hanging, except along the kick pleat (is that the correct term?). And at that point, it is hand-stitched down for just the length of the seam allowance. You can see how the fabric selvedge (of the fashion fabric) is included in the seam allowance, so there's no finishing needed there.

And along the center back seam, the lining is sewn together a few inches in the very middle, but then it is left unattached to the fashion fabric until just above the kick pleat again. Apparently this is to help prevent fabric stress (and rips) from sitting down, etc.

Can you see the horizontal wrinkle in the photo, just above the kick pleat? Well, just above that, the lining is not attached to the fashion fabric...not until it reaches the back zipper.

(Aside: You maybe cannot see it in this photo, but my lining fabric has already started to show strain along its back (machine-sewn) seam, after only 3 wears. This leads me to conclude it's not very sturdy lining fabric.)

And then the lining is hand-stitched to the back zipper. And the top of the back zipper is hidden in the waist band:

Here's a close-up on the hand-stitching:

Other than that, construction-wise, the lining is enclosed inside the waist band and after folding over the waist band, it's attached by hand inside:

My teacher says that those stitches should be nearly invisible, so by those standards, my work there is not very good! But I'm okay with that. :)

So, overall, the lining is sewn together at the side seams, and then again for several inches in the middle back seam. And you just fold over the fabric (in vertical "pleats") as needed to make it mimic the front and back darts (and get it the circumference as the fashion fabric), then enclose it in the waist band. To finish up, you hand-stitch it to the zipper and at the kick pleat, then hem it.

I was happy with this procedure and it seemed logical to me, until this happened:

The zipper broke! Well, the slider (le curseur, in French) is now only attached to one side. After only 3 outings! This was a minor wardrobe malfunction because it happened on my way to work, or at least, that's when I discovered it. So, I had been bopping along, first in the tram, then the bus, then out walking, with my zipper down. At least I had tights on, so people couldn't see my underwear. And, I tell myself, maybe my bag was masking it a bit 'cuz I often wear my bag across the chest and then turn it toward the back.

At work I was able to pin it together so I taught my two classes without incident.

But now I need to replace the invisible zipper in my practically brand-new skirt! And because of the lining construction, it means at least partially undoing the waist band, as well as the zipper. Unless any of you know a way to put the slider back on? I'm not sure I'd trust it though...

Which brings me to the question part of today's blog post:

1) I used a generic zipper brand; is there a (sturdier) brand which I should be using? YKK??


2) is there another way of putting in the lining which would make it easier to swap out the zipper in such an event? flat lining?

and finally,

3) have you constructed a lined, straight-skirt like this or do you do it differently?

I'd be grateful for any tips you have!!


  1. Zips are my nemesis..just to find one in the same required colour and length combination is a feat in itself.Modern zips are so bulky too...they always look like they are more suited to anoraks or woolly cardis than skirts or dresses!
    looks like a nice skirt so a pity your zip is broken but I am sure you can fix it !

  2. Oh, good trick about a pleat instead of a dart for the lining! I'll have to remember that! I'm sorry about the zip. I broke the one on my winter Rooibos after just a few wearings, too... (a few of the teeth are out of line, now I can't open it more than a few inches. Good thing I can still get it on and of with a little wiggling...)

  3. Sorry to hear of your zipper malfunction! If you're worried about it happening again you could make your next skirt without a lining and make a separate half slip of the lining fabric (i.e. rectangle with one seam and a skinny-elastic waist). Cut it shorter than the kick pleat and maybe put some lace on the bottom so if it shows through the pleat it'll be pretty and won't matter much..
    Oh and also, OpenID doesn't work in your comments, you might want to install disqus to people without google ids can comment without having to type in all their information for every comment they make.

    1. I've been debating about making a half slip. I've read some comments about how they don't function as well and people still have the skirt-sticking-to-tights problem. But I think I'll just try it. I already have some lining fabric.

      Thanks for the tip about disqus. I've been messing with my settings lately. I think the OpenID is back on now.

  4. Oh, nooo! That is terrible news! You might be able to re-thread the pull back onto the other side, but it is really difficult (speaking from experience here) and you are right, it will be forever dodgy from now on. So I would just replace the zip, which means re-doing all the handstitching too... but I really think that skirt is worth the effort. I use Birch zips, with which I have never had a problem. Good luck! and btw I am really admiring the insides of the skirt too :)

  5. Oh no! I can feel your pain. :(

    I *have* a straight skirt made from that fabric! Was reading and then thought "Hmmmm that looks familiar!" Mine is a straight skirt, unlined, with a sort of back pleaty button thing from a 60's pattern...

    I don't hand-stitch my lining to the zipper. I do it by machine.. But I can't think of a clear way to tell you with words... Maybe I'll do a post on that after I quit hemorrhaging lace.. ;)

    Maybe the stiffness of the fabric made the zipper unhappy? It's a really solid fabric, isn't it?

    1. That's funny you have a similar skirt! Do you still wear it?

      Maybe the zipper wasn't sturdy enough to go with that fabric. Maybe I should've not tried to do an invisible zipper with it...hmm.

      I like all the lace on your blog - can't wait to see what you end up making. Today's guest post was really helpful too.

  6. Whenever I have lining issues, I typically resort to using a half-slip, which is totally cheating, but it saves me a headache. As far as zippers go, I think it's just luck that they work when they do - I've yet to find that the brands make a difference. Maybe a metallic zipper would be sturdier? You would see it, of course, but maybe you could pretend that was on purpose?


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