A lining helps to keep your crocheted fashions family-friendly and your belongings in your purse. Unfortunately a lot of crochet enthusiasts turn tail and run when they see a lined project due to their lack of sewing skills. But lining a project is easy!
For your first project (or if you're lazy, like The Animator's Wife), I highly recommend lining in felt. Felt doesn't unravel, so you don't need to worry about seam allowances or finishing the edges of the fabric. It's also cheap and comes in just about any color you can imagine, so you can pretty much match it to any project. It's not very drape-y, so I wouldn't recommend it for clothing, but it's perfect for purses and bags.
1. Begin with a piece of felt similar in size to your crochet project. You can find 8.5x11-inch sheets at the craft store for less than a dollar, or you can buy it by the yard from the fabric store.
2. Use your finished crocheted piece as a template to cut the felt to the correct size. Make sure you block your crochet before doing this step--I cannot stress this enough! The last thing you want is your crochet to stretch and sag around the lining.
3. Trace around your crocheted piece with a washable pen or charcoal pencil and cut it down to size. Note that in the pictured project, we have felt overhanging on the top and bottom. This is because we intend to fold those flaps over for use in our Travel Hook Clutch. If you want your lining to match the size and shape of your project, you will cut your felt so that the size and shape matches your crochet exactly.
4. Pin the lining into place. Yes, it takes a little bit of time, but you'd be surprised how much the felt wants to slide around while you're sewing. It's better to just stick it in place now if you want it to look nice and neat. I've found that placing the pins perpendicular to the edge keeps the lining in place best.
5. Thread a sewing needle with thread to match the lining and knot the end. Start your sewing by inserting the needle through the felt between the felt and the crochet. This way your knot will be hidden under the lining. Pull the thread all the way through the felt.
6. Take your first stitch through the front loop of the nearest edge crochet stitch. Pull the thread all the way through.
7. Make your next stitch by taking a tiny "bite" of the felt with the needle, and then passing the needle through the front loop of the next edge crochet stitch. Keeping your stitches tiny and using your crochet stitches as a guide in this way will help to keep your sewing stitches looking neat and even.
8. Repeat step 7 until the felt is sewn all the way around. Tie of thread, trim, and weave in as you would a tail of yarn.