A facing is a shaped piece of fabric that is used to finish raw edges of a garment neckline, front and back openings, and armholes. A shaped facing is cut to the shape of the edge it will finish off. It is usually strengthened by ironing interfacing on and then stitched to the right side of the garment. Facings can also be used as a decorative feature which is finished off on the right side of the garment.
There are different types of facings. Shaped facings are cut separately, using a pattern. Examples are the round and square necklines as illustrated below.
Bias facings are strips of fabric cut on the bias and shaped before sewing it to the garment edge as demonstrated in the tutorial Three Ways To Finish Necklines and Armholes With Bias Binding.
Combined facings are used to finish off the neck and armholes using the same facing as demonstrated in the post How To Sew The All-In-One Neck And Armhole Facing Tutorial.
SEWING THE ROUND NECK FACING
Depending on the style and type of fabric used for a garment, it may be necessary to interface and staystitch the garment neckline and neck facings before attaching the facing to the garment. It is best to examine the fabric beforehand to determine a course of action that will produce the best results.
Stitch the facing shoulders right sides together. Press the seams open and overlock the raw edge. Pin the facing to the garment neckline right sides together and machine stitch in place, matching shoulder seams up.
Trim and grade the seam allowance to about 7 mm.
Clip into the seam allowance up to the stitching and 1.5 cm apart. On tight curves, make clips closer together.
Press the seam allowance towards the facing. Understitch the facing from the right side through the seam allowance and facing. This will prevent the facing from rolling to the front. Turn the facing to the wrong side and press.
Handstitch the edge of the facing to the garment shoulder seam allowance. Complete the garment and press.
SEWING THE SQUARE NECK FACING
The square neckline facing stitching line can first be marked with dressmaker's tracing paper if so desired.
Pin the facing to the garment neckline right sides together. Stitch the facing to the garment, using smaller stitches for 2 cm on both sides of each corner as illustrated below.
Trim and clip seam allowance as described for the round neck facing. Clip into each corner to just inside the stitching. Press the facing and understitch as described for the round neck facing.
TYPES OF INTERFACING
Interfacing is used to strengthen and to give firmness to collars, cuffs, and facing. It can be woven or non-woven, iron-on or sew-in. It comes in black, grey and white. Interfacing comes in a variety of weights. Always choose interfacing to match your fabric in weight and color. The sew-in type is usually tacked in, which makes the iron-on easier to use. The iron-on is fused to the wrong side of the facing, using a steam iron. Non-woven interfacing can be cut in any direction, and the woven one has a grain and must be cut like we cut fabric.
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