I think you will all agree that there is nothing more frustrating than stitching that final seam of your bag, turning everything out the right way, and discovering that the lining looks like you’re toting the Saggy Baggy Elephant.
Loose lining can be caused by a number of factors. Inaccurate cutting, fabric shrinkage, too small a seam allowance, the thickness of foam/stabiliser/interfacing/fabric. All it takes is a couple of millimetres here or there and your bag will go from glorious work of art, to a sack full of wet cats. The following is a great way to correct all your saggy baggy issues.
I will use the Stand Up and Tote Notice pattern as an example, though the same principal applies to other patterns. This has a seam at each side, one seam at the bottom, and boxed corners.
When it comes time to sew the lining together, follow these steps:
- Sew the side and bottom seams as per the pattern, paying close attention to the seam allowance as you will notice it is smaller than the bag outer. Do not sew the corners or trim the seams.
- Pin the corners in place at the seam line, as if you were to sew them.
- Place your lining inside the outer bag and check it for fit. Pinning or clipping the two layers along the top edge can help hold everything in place.
- If the lining is too baggy, sew it again using a bigger seam allowance. For the side seams, be sure to sew the first 2” using the seam allowance listed in the pattern, then gradually taper out to your larger seam allowance. This will allow your bag to still fit neatly along the top seam. Please note that the seams in the photo below are exaggerated to clearly show the tapering. In reality, you will find you are only tapering a very small amount.
- Test the lining again. Continue with this technique until you’re happy with the size. You may even find you’re regularly changing the seam allowance to the same amount, and can simply adjust your pattern to reflect this.
You can, of course, use this technique to fix the lining after you’ve completed the bag, but it will take a bit more fiddling around, or unpicking. As always, a little planning upfront will save you time in the future.
Have fun and happy sewing! Lisa 🙂