Basic Construction--Applying Facings

To finish a raw edge, such as a neckline or armhole, facings are used. The facing piece may be separate or cut in one with the garment. A facing is turned to the inside for a smooth finish. Facings should not be visible from the outside. Three basic facings are used.

• Shaped facing. A separate pattern piece is provided for shaped facing. The shape of the piece is the same as the area to be covered.

After stitching, the facing is turned to the inside of the garment.

See Ill. 1. A shaped facing is also called a fitted facing.

• Extended facing. This facing is an extension of the garment pattern piece, so both are cut as one.

See Ill. 2. The facing is then folded to the inside. It is used along a front or back opening.

• Bias facing. This is a strip of bias fabric stitched to the garment and turned to the inside. See Ill. 3. It's used mostly for very bulky or sheer fabrics. Purchased bias tape or bias strips cut from fabric can be used.

Shaped Facing 1, Extended Facing 2, Bias Facing 3

= = = =

SEWING TIP: Hemmed finish. For a hemmed finish on facing, first stay-stitch 1/4" (6 mm) from the outside on the unnotched facing edge. The stay-stitching line makes it easier to turn the hem under. Knitted fabrics don't need a finish; however, a row of stay-stitching around the outer edge helps the facings hold their shape better.

= = = =


Both shaped and extended facings are attached to a garment in the same way. The facing pieces must be stitched together at the ends before attaching to the garment. Then the facing is understitched to prevent the facing from rolling to the outside of the garment. Finally, the facing edge is fastened at each seam allowance. Apply facing according to the steps that follow.

== Wiki Sewing ==

Hand Basting/Running Stitch

Hand basting is the best way to hold fabric together to keep it from sliding or to test the fit before sewing permanent stitches. Hand basting should also be easy to remove. A running stitch is the fastest and easiest way to baste.

1. Thread a needle to sew with a single thread and knot the end.

2. Sew an anchor stitch which will anchor the knot in the seam allowance.

3. Insert the needle next to the seam line and through both layers of fabric. Do not place the needle directly on the seam line so you can avoid machine sewing over the basting.

This will make the basting stitches easy to remove.

4. Using long, uniform stitches, weave the needle in and out of the fabric to hold the fabric in place.

Note: Small evenly placed running stitches commonly replace machine stitching on hand sewn fine delicate seam work.

TIP -- Washable Basting:

You can use a washable glue stick on washable fabric to temporarily "baste" fabric in place. Always test the glue and its washability on a scrap of fabric before using it on your project.

<<== Wiki Sewing cont. ==>>

Constructing the Facing

1. Stay-stitch the notched edge.

2. Pin the right sides of the facing pieces together at the ends, matching notches.

3. Stitch the seams, trim, and press them open.

4. Finish the outside edge of the facing with a zigzag, hemmed, or serged finish. See Ill. 4. (Also see the seam finishes)

Attaching the Facing

1. Pin the facing to the garment edge, right sides together. For extended facing, turn the facing to the right side along the fold line.

2. Stitch the seams. See Ill. 5. Trim or grade seam allowances; trim corners. Clip curved areas. See Ill. 6.

Constructing the Facing 4

3. Press the seam allowances open; then press them toward the facing.

4. Turn the facing to the garment inside. Press along the seam line, rolling the seam slightly toward the facing side.

- - - -

Serging Techniques Facings

A serger can finish facing edges. If the faced edge is straight or a gradual curve, use the serger to attach the facing to the garment. The serger stitch creates very narrow seam allowances that need no trimming, grading, notching, or clipping.

1. Serge facing sections together at the shoulder seams. To reduce bulk, press the seams in the opposite direction of the garment shoulder seams.

2. Serge-finish the outer edge of the facing.

3. Pin the facing to the garment edge. If the faced edge has an opening, fold both the garment and facing to the inside at the opening edge and pin.

4. Serge along the neckline seam.

5. Press the seam allowances toward the facing.

6. Understitch with a conventional sewing machine.

- - - -

Understitching the Facing

1. Open the facing out flat, with seam allowances toward the facing.

Armhole Facing 5

Grading and Clipping Extended Facing 6

2. Machine-stitch close to the seam line from the right side of the facing through all seam allowances. See Ill. 7. Gently pull the fabric on each side of the seam line to keep it flat.

3. Turn the facing to the inside and press. An alter native is to top stitch the garment edge from the outside in stead of under stitching.

Understitching 7

= = =

SEWING TIP: Clipping. If you've clipped the seam allowance, check frequently as you under stitch to make sure the small wedges of fabric don't get folded under while stitching. If the garment edge will be top stitched, facings don't need to be tacked in place.

= = =

Tacking Facing at Seams

The edge of the facing should be tacked, or fastened, at each seam allowance. See Ill. 8.

Use a hemming stitch, blindstitch, cross-stitch tack, or stitch-in-the ditch method. Another method is to fuse the facing and garment seam allowance together with a small piece of fusible web, following the manufacturer's directions.


For a bias facing, open out one long edge of bias tape. Then follow these steps:

1. Pin the crease line of the tape along the seamline of the garment, right sides together.

2. Stitch the seam line. See Ill. 9. Trim, grade, and clip the seam allowances.

3. Fold the bias tape to the garment inside and press.

4. Slip-stitch the edge in place. See Ill. 10.

Tacking Facing at Seam 8; Stitching Bias Facing 9; Slip-Stitching Bias Facing 10.

PREV: Sewing Plain Seams NEXT: Making Casings Home

Wednesday, 2012-04-11 3:36