Tutorial ~ Lining Tutorials

on July 18 | in Sewing + Quilting Tips | by | with 14 Comments

Autum from Creative Little Daisy‘s done it again (You didn’t miss her Zippered and Slip Pocket Tutorials, did you?)! Here are two different ways to add a lining to a bag, brought to you by Autum:


Lining Tutorial, number one
There are various ways to put a lining in a bag; I am going to try to describe two methods I use. The first method involves simply inserting the lining into the bag and finishing the raw edges with a binding. You could use this method with most any style of purse; the one I’m making is a gusseted purse with a rounded bottom.

First cut out all your bag and lining pieces and interface as desired. The type of interfacing you use is a matter of personal preference and can vary depending on the style of bag you are making. Unless you are making a very unstructured bag some sort or interfacing or interlining will make a stronger, better looking bag. Ideally you want a bag that is sturdy without being “crunchy.” For the purse in this tutorial the outer bag is quilted and fusible fleece was used and the lining was interfaced with heavy-weight fusible.
For the binding you can use purchased binding or make your own. Making your own binding is very easy. If you will be binding around a curved edge you will need bias cut binding. For this project straight cut binding will be fine. For this purse I cut the strip for my binding long enough to go around the purse plus about four inches by three inches wide. Fold the strip in half the long way and press. This next step is not necessary, but is oh so helpful. Apply ½ inch double sided fusible tape along the length of the binding strip, close to the folded edge. Let cool for a few seconds and remove paper backing. This tape will be a life saver later.

TAlining 1

Assemble outer bag and lining.


TAlining 2

Insert lining into outer bag, wrong sides together. Match up the side seams and pin around the top raw edges.


TAlining 3.jpg

Stitch around the top of the bag about ¼ inch from the raw edge.
Now to put the binding on. Fold back the raw edge on one short end of the binding about 1 inch. Continue pinning the binding to the bag leaving the end loose.


TAlining 4.jpg

Begin stitching about a couple of inches away from the folded end using 3/8 inch seam allowance. Continue around the bag overlapping the binding at the end, cut off any excess. Fold the binding upward toward the top of the bag and back toward the lining. Pull it nice and tight so that it covers the visible stitching on the lining. Now is when you’ll be glad you applied that fusible tape. Press the binding to the lining making sure to cover those stitches. Now, if you enjoy hand sewing and are good at it, you may want to hand stitch the binding in place. Me, not so much. With the binding fused securely to the lining side, stitch it in place by stitching in the ditch on the outer bag side. Do this by stitching in the seam line where the binding and the outer bag meet.






TAlining 7.jpg

Another little trick to make the stitches nearly invisible: use invisible thread.


Lining Tutorial, the second
The other method I use for inserting a lining in a bag does not use a binding. I will be making an unstructured tote, but the same techniques can be used for almost any style of bag.



First assemble your bag and lining pieces. Attach straps to outer bag.



Place outer bag inside lining, right sides touching. Match side seams and pin around the top raw edge.



Stitch around the top of the bag using a ½ inch seam allowance. Leave a section open for turning. I leave the section on the side, between one front and back strap open. For an unstructured bag such as this one, a small opening is fine. For a more structured bag or one with bamboo/plastic handles you want the opening to be big enough for the handle to get through. Press a fold in the lining and outer bag at the opening. Turn the outer bag right side out and push the lining in place.





Pin the opening closed and topstitch around the bag about ¼ inch from the edge.

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14 Responses to Tutorial ~ Lining Tutorials

  1. jennifer says:

    jennifer here again….
    oops! I meant to also suggest these types of tutorials would be great as a PDF link. Just a thought.

  2. jennifer says:

    Thanks for the helpful tutorials. I am such a visual learner – I knew these steps in theory but have such a hard time seeing them in my mind so the pics really help a lot. I’m ready to start my bags!
    Great blog!
    jennifer in KS

  3. ann says:

    you have no idea how excited i am about your blog, ideas, fabrics, patterns, and your fun contests! how clever! you came along just when i’m ready to sew and create! i just ordered the new flea market bag pattern and can’t wait to get it! i have been a regular reader for a few months and now a shopper! thanks!!!!!

  4. Sonnja says:

    The bags look fabulous



  5. Fiona says:

    Thank you, another tutorial to save to file, and by Autum. I will have to start an Autum file.

  6. Korie says:

    I do the same as you Marie, works best for me. Love the bag with the binding, beautiful bag & color combo. As someone who makes mostly bags, I am really enjoying this bag month & seeing others ideas & methods!

    My 2 cents in response to Nicole (#2), when it comes to cutting the lining, I cut the same size (ease of cutting with my templates), but I increase the seam allowances by 1/4″ on each side of the lining when I sew them together.

  7. Marie says:

    I make bags alot. I love the tutorials because it gives me new idea. I usually sew the handles into the top seam where the lining and outside meet. I sew everthing together right-sides together being careful to leave a hole in the lining large enough to turn the bag right-side out. Then I carefully turn under the edges of the gap and topstitch close to the edge. I guess you could slip stitch it closed if you handsew. I hope that this makes sense.

    Thanks for the great ideas!!

  8. this is so great! i wish i would have read this before the little adventure i went on last night with a few tote bag linings! thanks for the tute.

  9. Kristin says:

    Really great tutorials, Autum. I love the blue trim detail–such a nice alternative to just sewing the lining to the bag.

  10. Nicole says:

    Thanks, Autum. I appreciate it.

  11. Autum says:


    This isn’t an expert opinion, but I have done both. It really depends on the bag. Often times you get a smoother lining if you cut it slightly smaller than the outer bag. It is important that you keep the upper edge of the bag and lining the same size. Taking about 1/4- 1/2 inch off the bottom of the lining will keep the lining from peeking out over the top of the bag when you topstitch. You can also sew the side seams of the lining with a 1/4 inch greater seam allowance. Just begin stitching with the same seam allowance for ~ 1.5 inch, so that the top of the bag and lining will match then taper to 1/4 inch wider seam allowance.

  12. Adrienne says:

    Another great tutorial! TFS!

  13. Nicole says:

    Thanks so much! Quick question — I’ve trid a couple different ways but wanted an expert opinion.. Do you cut your lining the same size as the outer fabric or do you cut smaller? I’ve heard people doing both.. Thanks again.

  14. Mary says:

    More great tutorials! I’m really learning a lot about bag construction, and it’s so inspiring to see these projects come to life, too.

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