Underlining is a common vintage (and modern) sewing technique in which two pieces of fabric are sewn together and treated as one. This is often done for several reasons:
1. Stabilising loosely woven fabrics:
Using underlining for stabilising fabrics was a revelation to me! I am often drawn to wonderful silky tweeds or handwoven fabrics--many of which are delicate or tend to unravel easily. Once I learned I could underline these fabrics, my sewing world changed! I could now use these fabrics even in very tailored garments such as the 'Kitten Dress' which used Butterick pattern 2181 from the 1950s.
2. Add bulk/warmth to fabrics:
I often think of interlining being used more for adding warmth, but you can also use underlining. I tend to like to use underlining on thin fabrics like the poly-blend fabric I used for my 'Paddington Goes to Scotland Dress' from the 1960s. This pattern actually recommended underlining and I'm glad I did it, not just for warmth and adding bulk but also to have a nicer feeling fabric against my skin!
3. Prevent garments from being see-through:
I use underlining a lot when sewing with white--to prevent the final garment from being too see-through. In these instances, I usually just underline the bodice like I did in my 'Hawk's Eye View Dress' which I made with a Japanese textured cotton fabric for the bodice.
- The amazing Lauren who blogs over at Lladybird did a great post on underlining showing step-by-step pictures,
- Also check out this great article from Threads on underlining,
- Tasia who blogs over at Sewaholic put together a fantastic post on underlining a dress bodice,
- Gertie also has a video on underlining a skirt:
Have you underlined any projects recently? What's the main reason you underline your garments?