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You’ll mostly find facings on a garment’s neckline, armhole, or waistline. A facing creates a nice finish on the edge of your fabric where you don’t want topstiching to show. I recently made a crop top that faces the neckline and armhole of the top, and I’m going to show you my step-by-step process!

Since my top needed both neckline and armhole facings, I inserted a combined neckline armhole facing into my garment. This is much easier than trying to sew in separate facings that create overlapping bulk at the shoulder seam. I am going to demonstrate one method of doing this, but there are certainly other ways to sew this type of facing into a garment.

For this project I used the Theater Dress, which I split apart at the waist, and drafted my own combined facing. See more of my project here.

Once I cut and interfaced the combined facing, I pressed the seam allowance (in this case it was 3/8") to the wrong side. From there, I placed my facing on the front top neckline, right sides together and stitched the facing to the neckline edge.

Once my facing was sewn to my top front neckline, I graded (trimmed) my seam allowance to half its width. Then I pressed my seam allowance to the facing side and understitched the seam allowance 1/16" – 1/8" away from the seamline. The understitching is always sewn on the facing piece, and prevents the seam from rolling to the outside of the garment.

Repeat this same process for both the front armholes. Understitching is a little tricky to do for the armholes, but it makes it easier to push up the facing so your sewing machine presser-foot can reach the start of the seam.

Again, repeat exact same processes for the back top neckline and armhole edges. I am inserting a center back zipper so I did each piece separately.

Flip all facings to the inside of the garment, so you can’t see any of the seams. At the shoulder line place the back and front pieces, right sides together and pin. Stitch these seams together right next to where the facing seam allowances are pressed to the inside. It is sometimes easier to use a zipper-foot for this particular seam. Once this seam is sewn together press the seam allowances open, and then hand stitch the facing folds together.

To then sew the side seams, flip up the facings away from the top and sew the facing side seam and top side seam as one continuous seam. Make sure the armhole edges match!

Both our Bow Front Dress and Shift Dress incorporate a combined neckline armhole facing, so you can give this technique a try yourself!

Here is my finished project of our Theater Dress that I transformed into a two-piece suit! I have seen a ton of these matching high waisted skirt and crop top combos on the runway and red carpet.

Now I know all of you are admiring the awesome spray can fabric that I used! The fabric is a digital image of a spray can installation by Toronto artist Julian Michael Majewski, and the lovely people at Spoonflower printed this print on cotton silk. The fabric had such great color tone, and sheen! See more of my project images here.

Happy Sewing!

Meg

21 Comments

  • Img_1943_large

    Jun 22, 2014, 03.17 AMby blackbirdandthehun

    After not having time to make a video to demonstrate the facing method with no hand sewing. I found a blog post today which illustrates it well. It feels a bit weird to sew the armhole seam with the other side of the garment rolled into it, but it works, is easy to do and gives an excellent result. (I learnt this method when I was 13 at school). If you make the facing a little bit smaller than the outer fabric by a couple of mm, the facing will sit nicely inside. This is from Heidi at Elegance and Elephants blog. I could only find one video on line with this method but they made their sample a bit too small to see what is happening. Yay for no hand sewing! http://www.eleganceandelephants.com/2014/06/adding-full-lining-to-bodice-without.html

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    Mar 19, 2014, 07.10 AMby maggiemc

    Wow, that was neat! Thanks for the share.

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    Sep 7, 2013, 08.24 AMby Chiomzie Chifrost

    how would this technique work if you had a side zipper?

    1 Reply
  • Shelleystanding_large

    Sep 4, 2013, 02.55 AMby shelleysews

    Great technique, Meg. Thanks for taking time to share with us.

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    Aug 22, 2013, 11.12 PMby blackbirdandthehun

    Hi I learnt a technique at school in year 8 (Australia) where you don’t need to hand sew the shoulder seam. It is a bit like origami and you get a good result minus hand sewing. It doesn’t involve any tricky sewing at the shoulder seams. If you haven’t seen this method I could make a video and post on YouTube.

    1 Reply
    • Shelleystanding_large

      Sep 4, 2013, 02.54 AMby shelleysews

      I for one would love to see a video that simplifies tricky seams and doesn’t involve hand sewing! If you decide to make a video & post it, let me know.

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    Aug 22, 2013, 06.49 PMby jilldeville

    Sew Cute, Meg! Thanks for sharing!

    1 Reply
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      Aug 22, 2013, 07.24 PMby MegH

      Thanks!! and your welcome :)

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    Aug 22, 2013, 05.36 PMby Ernie Kocats

    This is a great technique for stable, woven fabrics, still good to use two pieces on a bias style. Hope you got the permission of the photographer to reproduce the image.

    1 Reply
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      Aug 22, 2013, 06.04 PMby MegH

      Thank you, and yes there are multiple techniques for this application that I use on various garments. The bias is great as well! Also, yes I know the artist personally and we worked together to create the print, fabulous isn’t it?

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    Aug 22, 2013, 04.55 PMby rosiolady

    My mom taught me this technique back in the 1960s! It’s a great one; I use it all the time. I’ve not seen anyone else who does, though. It’s great to see it on your blog. It’s so good it should be shared.

    1 Reply
    • New_avatar_large

      Aug 22, 2013, 06.06 PMby MegH

      That is amazing that these techniques can stand the test of time! I love that sewing fundamentals change so little throughout time. Thanks again, I love that I can share these with the community!

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    Aug 21, 2013, 10.59 AMby Donata Kinčiūtė

    Hello, beautiful fabric. I i want this fabric too, can i get it ? :O

    1 Reply
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      Aug 22, 2013, 06.15 PMby MegH

      Hi! Thanks, this fabric is currently not up for sale on Spoonflower.

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    Aug 21, 2013, 04.04 AMby Manic Pop

    I actually flip my all-in-one facing shoulder edges together at that part, much like sewing a sleeve in and stitch it all with the machine. I think some people hand-stitch, but the machine is faster for me.

    I also seem to add my facing pieces last , after sewing the side seams and tack parts of it down by hand but in your version you might not have to tack at least the underarms down? I might have to try that.

    And Spoonflower is AWESOME!!!

    1 Reply
    • New_avatar_large

      Aug 22, 2013, 06.16 PMby MegH

      Oh wow, that seems like a great technique, I will have to try!

      and yes, Spoonflower is the best!!

  • Img_20140120_225939_1__large

    Aug 21, 2013, 12.20 AMby bijouxbetty

    There’s also the tutorlal from 2007 to sew it all in one by machine http://www.burdastyle.com/techniques/sew-an-all-in-one-facing

    1 Reply
    • New_avatar_large

      Aug 22, 2013, 06.17 PMby MegH

      Thank you, I have yet to try that method, thanks for sharing!

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    Aug 20, 2013, 09.50 PMby sarahtini

    Brilliant – thankyou! I have been trying to work out for ages how to neatly join facings to sleeveless dresses.

    1 Reply
    • New_avatar_large

      Aug 22, 2013, 06.17 PMby MegH

      Thanks so much! I love this method of finished sleeves dresses, so clean and sharp!

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