In continuation of yesterday (be sure to read the comments!) I recut my sample to incorporate that pleat (below). You’ll also note that I rounded off that lower center front in order to make it look more similar to the samples I showed yesterday.
I’m of two minds when it comes to that pleat. Adding that pleat at the bottom is not a big deal with one exception: where is that extra length coming from? [If you have a copy of my book, the rest of this discussion will go much better if you open it to page 154] If the extra length needed in the lining piece has been added directly at the bottom of the jacket, forming the pleat is no problem. However, most suit makers add that length in the upper body of the garment, usually just below the armhole. As one of the commentors mentioned, you need extra lining length right there to aid in pulling the jacket off and on. Your arms move around a lot so that’s why we put extra lining length right there.
That extra lining length in that area is taken up as it is eased onto the front facing, typically between two notches on the facing. One notch is at the upper end of the facing and one is at the lower. If you have my book, see pages 154-157 (how to draft linings). If you look at figure 5.26 on pg 155, that horizontal line is where most pattern makers put it. Accordingly, you need to ease in that excess in that same approximate area. As an example, here is a picture of a front lining piece and the anticipated ease radiation when sewing the lining to the facing in between the upper and lower notches.
Now, if you’re not easing in that extra length in between those two notches because you’re saving it to form a pleat at the hem, you have a problem -in my opinion. The direction of the ease radiation is distinctly different as compared to it’s point of origination which you can see in the sketch below:
Considering the above, while you may not notice this effect in meltons or leathers, it will be obvious in lightweight wools and silks. Your lower center front is going to “hang up” and no matter how much you tug it forward and down, it’s not going to want to lay right. Therefore, if you want that pleat at the bottom, you cannot borrow the upper ease to do it. Rather, you have to add length at the bottom of the lining to form the pleat.
Now another thing to consider is that since the lining is already 1/2″ longer than the garment (once you allow for the hem upturn and seam allowances), adding additional length at the bottom means you’ll have to be diligent about tacking the lining to the shell side seam allowances in order to keep it from hanging out. I mean, once you have the garment on, the lining won’t be hanging out but it will on the hanger so people won’t want to buy it.
Okay, now that I’ve explained the qualifiers for that bottom pleat -and actually sewed a comparative sample for you, can we continue the discussion of how we know this is right even though we’ve never seen it before? Thanks.
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