Nameless tutorial #4

The biggest problem with applying this in a commercial setting is habit. It is habit that once one starts to sew a seam, one doesn’t stop sewing the given seam until it is completed. There’s not a stitcher on the planet who enjoys stopping and starting with the necessity of having to pick it up later. One’s natural inclination is to finish the thing off. The illustration below is a good example.

It’s only natural that one would sew the entire facing and front lining seam in one fell swoop but finishing the corner correctly requires that the hem is first sewn to the bottom of the lining. Similarly, all of the apparel management books out there will tell you that a seam is sewn most efficiently provided it can be done in one pass. Therefore, supervisors are loathe to direct stitchers to start and stop too. I suppose one could direct stitchers to sew the lining and hems together first but it would become consequently more complicated to join side seams. Therefore, like it or not, when bagging a suit or sportcoat, the sewing order is as follows (only pertinent bagging directions are included):

1. The front lining and the facing are joined, stopping about 3 to 4 inches above the end of the piece (see the photo above). It would be an excellent idea to place a notch to indicate the stopping point.

2. Proceed with all of the myriad of construction -there’s lots of steps in here- until you’re ready to bag it. By the time you’re ready for the last portion, your jacket should resemble the sketch below.

3. Sew the linings to the hems (as illustrated in tutorial 2).

4. Finish the last 3″ to 4″ of facing and lining seam last (also shown in tutorial 2).

Sewing the back vent of suits
For those of you who are bagging a vented jacket; it would be logical to complete the vent in precisely the same way that you finished the facings. You should use the specifications from tutorial 3 to design the back vent. My preference for the vent overlap and the vent fold-back is a finished width of 2″. For the purposes of reinforcement, I reiterate the sewing operations as follows:

Sew the lining to the hem (below)

Sew the bottom of the vent closed (below)

Unlike the facing, you can sew off the entire vent in one pass without starting and stopping since this is the last portion of bagging the jacket (other than tacking). Stitch the shell and linings together as shown. Other than the sketch below, you can also see the photos in the second tutorial.

If this tutorial has been helpful, I appreciate donations. These hand-drawn sketches take hours. I am becoming increasingly disheartened and depressed that -judging from the dearth of donations- my tutorials would seem to be of no value. At the very least, please consider placing a link to my site on yours and tell your friends about it. Thanks.

Name this tutorial
Nameless tutorial #2
Nameless tutorial #3
Nameless tutorial #4
Nameless #5 (back vent)
Nameless #6 -Troubleshooting
Nameless Tutorial #7
Nameless Tutorial #8
Nameless Tutorial #9


  1. pbird says:

    Oh my, I just found you. I am intensely interested in your lessons. Don’t quit yet. I can’t link to other sewers because I’m the only sewer I know. Will be able to donate in a few days.

  2. Gigi says:

    Kathleen, you might consider going to annual subscription and keeping tutorials for subscribers only. I would definitely sign up! I have added your site to my Links page at I don’t get a ton of traffic but maybe you’ll get a few visitors as a result.

  3. Karmen Flach says:


    Please,please, please continue these tutorials! I’ve been so busy with work that I haven’t had the time to sit down and DO them, but have skimmed each and every one and am printing them off for that time in the future that I can spend a block of time studying. There is no one else out there that is capable and willing to give out this kind of info!


  4. jinjer says:

    okay, I’ really confused about the vent…how does the lining meet the facing in the corner (i.e 2″ away from the edge), but then meet the edge at the top of the vent? (nearest the CB seam)? I sthere a fld of lining tucked behind the facing or something??

    and what holds the top fold of the vent up?

    Whenever you have any time, could you post a pattern for the fabric vs. lining fo the vent????

  5. Danielle says:

    It is a nice sketch!

    I figured out how to do the vent lining thing myself back in the day but it looks different than the sketch. The corners are the same technique as the front corners of the jacket, it’s the edges and the top of the vent that are the tricky bit.

  6. Kathleen says:

    If you follow the instructions on that error page you landed on, you can find any page you’re looking for. Well, nearly all of them. It’s a migration glitch, there’s quite a few broken links (hence the custom error page).

    That’s just informational, for the future. You’ll run into the problem again. But thanks for the heads up, it’s repaired.

  7. Anne Elliot says:

    I am an avid follower of your advice right from discovering your major treatise on The Sleeve. Such insight! This tutorial is still being used, 8 1/2 years later. I look forward to beeing a speedy sewer, who chooses to smartly bag a coat rather than hand stitch as I learned 45 years ago. Love yur expertise!

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