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Lauren Venell writes in:

I have a wool peacoat that has held up perfectly on the outside, but the lining is literally in shreds. How can I replace the lining in time for winter without having to sew the whole thing in by hand? I cannot for the life of me figure out how the lining was sewn in by machine without stitches showing on the outside of the coat.

Coat linings are sewn in with the coat entirely inside-out. Just like a plush toy, a small opening is left somewhere so that it can be turned right side out, then the hole is hand sewn shut. This hole is usually somewhere along the bottom edge of the lining. Open it up with a seam ripper and reverse the entire thing. You’ll then see that the lining is sewn by machine to the outer layers of the coat. Use your seam ripper again to free the old lining, and even use it to construct a pattern for the new lining. Best of luck to you! As you can see from these pictures, I’m facing the exact same problem with my vintage peacoat.




Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).

  • !?

    This is good information – my favorite jacket’s lining is in tatters! I’d love to see further pictures/tutorials on this topic if anyone’s up to that task. I haven’t made a pattern from an existing garment before, and it would be really helpful to have some pictures of that process.

  • Allison

    I’ve had a lot of success taking the pristine lining out of a thrifted coat and hand sewing it into the coat whose lining has worn out. They don’t even have to be the same style, most linings are close enough to do the trick.