How to sew and finish the interior seams and facings of an unlined jacket or coat

Sewing an unlined jacket or coat is a very easy, even beginner-level project. They're perfect for warm weather, when it's too hot to wear a lined jacket. They can be made in a stretch woven or stretch knit and feel as comfortable as a cardigan, with way more polish. But the interiors of many unlined jacket and coat patterns are not well-crafted. Floppy facings and raw edges detract from the beauty of the jacket or coat. You want a jacket or coat that you can slip off and drape over the back of the chair with pride in your work! We'll also share some creative jacket interiors using contrast and print fabrics for an extra-special custom touch. 

We'll explore four jacket and coat interiors in this blog post and show you how to finish the inside of your jacket quickly and easily using a home serger. If you don't have a serger, but your sewing machine has an overlock stitch, you can also get a good result. We'll even show you a sneaky hidden pocket you can sew into the interior hem of your jacket pockets to slip a credit card or your phone. 

The not-floppy facing:

All Christine Jonson jacket patterns (and coat) feature a stitched-down facing designed into the jacket. You'll be topstitching the jacket around the facing edges and the stitching will show on the right side of the garment, creating vertical design lines that are slimming. Your facings won't flop over when you wear your jacket, and you won't be pulling at your jacket's facings to keep them down when you wear it. The bonus of this technique is that you can retrofit a RTW (ready-to-wear) jacket - which almost always have floppy facings -  to create a neat interior as well!

Print Fabric Back facings are almost always separate and offer creative expression. Unlike front jacket facings, they don't fold back as a reveal (although you can also do that for a fun look) but they'll show when you remove your jacket. This spot is where you'll stitch your custom designer label "Sewn By Christine". You'll be proud to slip off this jacket and hang it over a chair! Select a coordinating or contrast print for these areas.

Sew a contrast print under collar. Like the back facing, the undercollar (if it is a separate piece from the collar itself) is a great place for a pop of print or color on a jacket. Sew the under collars out of smaller scraps of the same type of fabric (stretch, care, etc.) as your fashion fabric for a fun detail. 

The serged edge:

Unlined jackets either feature bound edges or serged edges. If you're sewing your jacket with a straight stitch machine, you'll need to come back and finish the raw edges. We love a serged interior - you can even use fancy multi-colored serger threads for a decorative finish. If you prefer, you can straight-stitch the seams, then bind them with bias binding. For bias binding you can use purchased binding, men's ties (raid your husband's closet or thrift stores) or make your own continuous bias binding (tutorial here.) You could also use French Seams or a Hong Kong finish, but these are supposed to be fast and EASY jackets to sew; we won't cover these more couture, and time consuming methods. 

For the shoulder pads, we recommend covering thin purchased pads with fashion fabric and using velcro. The reason for the velcro (the soft, plush side is on the jacket, the hook side is on the pad) is that you can share pads between various jackets, you can remove the pads if you prefer or take them out for washing, if you've made a jacket out of a washable fabric. 

The interior hidden pocket:

Almost all RTW or traditional unlined jackets will have a spot near the side or hem that can be converted into a hidden pocket. This fun tutorial by a fan of Christine Jonson Patterns outlines how this can be done easily. This sewist constructed hers to hold her smartphone, but you can also slip in a credit card, hotel room key or lipstick tube discreetly in this pocket. 

Retrofitting a RTW jacket with a hidden pocket and stitched down facings:

Go ahead, dig out those unlined Ready To Wear (RTW) jackets. You can do the very same thing with them - stitching down the facings and adding a hidden pocket, as you can to your Christine Jonson Patterns jackets.