Facing up to Facings!

In recent weeks, I seem to have added a fair number of facings to garments, whether for myself or as part of a workshop. It made me think that it would be good to write about this experience for the website. My beginners were getting their heads round this skill in a workshop yesterday and it would be nice to feel that I can help them as they sit down to have another go.

What is a facing?

Well, it is simply a shaped piece of fabric which is attached to a neckline, armhole or waist edge to strengthen it and give a neat finish. It is turned to the inside of the garment and not usually seen from the right side.

I am currently sewing Top 64 by Merchant and Mills and you can see that the neck is finished with a smooth edge and not a frayed edge in sight....

The facing piece in this case is crescent shaped and will fit into the neckline exactly and with no puckers.

I attached medium weight interfacing to the wrong side of my denim and I zig zagged round the long curved edge and the two short sides of the facing to stop it from fraying later. You can also do this with bias binding or, often, I turn the edge under by 1/4" and stitch to hold it in place.

I trimmed a bit of the interfacing along the short curved edge so that I would have less bulk when I sewed it to the neckline.

Next, I sewed the two short edges together and pressed the seam.  My curved piece was now a complete circle, just like the neckline of the top. (Quite often this stage requires you to stitch two crescents together at the shoulder seams.)


With right sides together, I started pinning my facing to the neckline, matching notches and seams for a perfect fit.

I then sewed the two pieces together with a standard running stitch.


Once I had done that, I trimmed half of the facing seam allowance so that when I turned it over to the inside of my top, I wouldn't have lots of bulk.


Clipping into the seam at this stage will also reduce bulk and give the curved edge the movement to lie flat.


In the illustrations above, I am "under stitching" which means stitching parallel to the seamline you have just sewn. You only stitch through  the seam and the facing and NOT the neckline as this is not meant to be shown but is there to help keep the facing to the inside of the neckline.

 Now give your work a good press.....

and you're finished! I also edge stitched around the neckline as this was in keeping with the style and decoration of the rest of the top. I also hand stitched the facing to the side seams just as an extra anchor...... but I probably did more than I needed to!

Happy sewing





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