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How to Sew - Sewing the Facing

Sewing Facings - PiecesNow you are ready to sew the facing into your garment. You should have three elements: the garment piece, the facing piece and your selected interfacing as shown here.

Sewing Facings - Pin FacingPlace facing on top of your garment so that the right sides are together and match notches, seams and other matchpoints. Pin in place.

Sewing Facings - Sew FacingStitch seam using seam allowance called for by the pattern. Check seam to make sure there are no puckers or pleats on either side of the seam. Adjust if necessary.

Sewing Facings - Grade and Clip CurvesGrade the seam allowance, trimming the facing closer to the seam. Clip the curves - the more extreme the curve, the closer the clips should be. Don't worry about clipping too much, it is better to have more clips than less.

In the photo, you can see how the clips allow the curved edge to open up and flatten. This is an easy way to check if you have clipped enough. After clipping, gently pull on the edges and if any areas "catch" or twist, you can add another clip or two in that spot.

Sewing Facings - Press Seam AllowancePress the facing seam and push all of the seam allowances toward the facing. A tailor's ham or seam roll can make it easier to press curved seams.

Sewing Facings - Press FacingAfter pressing from the wrong side, flip your garment over and press from the front to make sure the seam is all the way open and flat. And, check out how that plaid lined up! I wasn't even trying to do that since this is just a mock up for the tutorial. If I had been trying, of course, it wouldn't have worked out so well, I am sure. *grin*

Sewing Facings - Sew FacingNow, it is time to understitch the facing. This may seem like an extra (and therefore, optional) step, but this is one of the most important steps to ensure that the facing stays in place and out of sight. Essentially, understitching consists of sewing the seam allowances that you just pressed to the facing, which locks them in place and helps the facing to roll over slightly toward the inside of the garment.

To understitch, lay your garment right side up, with facing folded out, on the sewing machine so that the needle will be stitching inside the facing. Make sure that *all* of the seam allowances are under the facing so they will be caught in the stitching. Do this by keeping your fingers on both sides of the seam feeling the layers. Carefully and slowly stitch alongside the seam on the facing using a 1/8 or 1/4 inch seam allowance. On curves, remember to occasionally release tension by leaving the needle down and raising the presser foot.

Sewing Facings - Press FacingThis is how the seam should look when you are done sewing. Give it a quick press to set the stitches and then you can flip the facing to the inside.

Sewing Facings - Facing understitchingHere you see how the fabric just slightly rolls over when you flip the facing to the inside. The understitching keeps the facing from showing on the right side of the garment. Press facing flat along entire seam.

Sewing Facings - Facing CompletedTa Dah! Here is the finished faced edge. The facing is sitting flat and not showing on the front side at all. Once you have your facings sewn in, you can tack them down to garment seams (like the shoulder or side seam).

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful! Happy Sewing!

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Content copyright © 2013 by Tamara Bostwick. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Tamara Bostwick. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.

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