I’ve been teaching sewing and quilting for several decades. Funny, I don’t feel any different in the inside, but the outside sure has changed!

That parallel can be easily applied to many sewing tips and techniques. The processes haven’t changed—it’s the patterns and styles that are different. Case in point: the “Lined Sleeves” and “Extended Facing” techniques. These techniques were first published in 1984 and then republished in 1988, in my book, The Busy Woman’s Sewing Book. Do any of you have a copy? Last month I found a few being sold on e-bay!

Recently, I included these inside details in a pattern that I designed for The McCall Pattern Company. McCall’s 5668 has been an extremely popular style; my guess is because of the clean lines and lack of buttonholes!

When cutting out the pattern, you’ll notice that the jacket isn’t totally lined. Yet, the facings are designed differently to give shape throughout the shoulder area. Rather than being only half the width of the shoulder seam, I like to have the facing take up the entire width of the shoulder seam and extend halfway down the armhole.

The ¾ length sleeve detail includes a vent, yet I was able to use the same “Lined Sleeve” technique from 1984 in this style. The lure of this sewing technique is that the sleeve is fully lined even if the jacket isn’t lined and it’s hemmed prior to the sleeve being sewn into the armhole. It’s fast—it’s clean.

•  The sleeve lining is shorter than the outer sleeve. (Don’t worry, we figured out the correct lengths for you.) After sewing the side seams of the respective outer and lining sleeves, the hems are sewn—right sides together.

•  When the sleeves are turned right side out and the armhole edges are met, the hem is completely finished—neat and clean!

Here’s the jacket we made in our sewing studio, featuring McCall’s 5668. (Yes, “we” made—sewing is a team sport in my office!) I made a few tweaks to the pattern, particularly lengthening the jacket–something that I must do on every pattern.

Close-up of McCall's 5668

Inside details: Extended Facings and Lined Sleeves/

Soon, these two techniques, plus so many others, will again be in book form. Not a third version of The Busy Woman’s Sewing Book, rather my newest book titled Sewing A to Z. Released date— July 2012.

What’s your favorite streamlined sewing technique? Please share with the readers of this blog and with me! I’ll choose a random winner next week and will send that winner a copy of McCall’s 5668.

Some sewing tips are ageless. Hmm, I wonder if these two techniques will still be used 25 years from now!

Bye for now,