Friday, March 16, 2012

Tutorial - Facing the Fear of Facing

Last week, I Guest Blogged over at The Oz Material Girls!  I was wrapt to contribute with my first ever tutorial.  If you sew clothing you may just find it helpful!

A few weeks ago, I bought the "Scientific Seamstress Aline Dress" pattern.  I was after a basic pinafore pattern to get started on some Winter garments and this was perfect!  I received the pattern straight away and began reading the instructions to plan my attack.  I then realised that the reversible version of the pattern required quite a bit of hand sewing, something I steer clear of due to my lack of ability.  So I thought "No worries, I'll just make it one sided".   The e-book did have some instructions on doing so, however, it did not have instructions how to assemble a facing and sew it in.  Right then and there, I gave myself the challenge of working it out.....  And to my excitement - I did!  So here is how I did it....

I started out by following the directions and drawing out my pattern as per instructions.

Then using the template for the bodice of the dress, I cut out another pattern piece, but only a few inches long in the body part.  As indicated on this line on the pattern.

Once all cut out, you should have four pieces.

Next, put your front bodice and facing piece right sides together, then your back bodice and facing piece right sides together, and pin from the armholes around.

Now it's time to start sewing.  Using the seam allowance as recommended in the pattern, start sewing from one armhole, all the way around to the other one, remembering to backstitch 
at each end.

Bodices and facings sewn together.

At this point, you can either overlock the edge of the facing, or if you prefer do a regular
 small seam to neaten.

Clip the seam allowances around the curved parts of the garment, being sure not to cut the stitching.  This will help when turning the pieces right side out.

Then turn both your front and back pieces right side out.  You can use any blunt instrument to help get the corners out beautifully.  Chopsticks work wonders! 
You can also add size and/or care labels if you choose.

Once you have it right side out, lay your front and back together, right sides facing each other.  You will pull the facing pieces upwards, opening them up and pinning together also.  

Make sure your seams match up at the armholes.

Sew your front and back together using recommended seam allowance.  You will start at the edge of the facing and follow all the way down to the hem of the dress.  

If you have an overlocker/serger, go over the same seams to neaten or use a zigzag stitch

Pull the facing back down so it covers the stitching.  

It looks nice and neat on both the inside and outside!

Topstitch around the entire top half of the dress, starting just behind one of the armholes and following all the way until the stitches meet again.

You have now successfully sewn a facing into the dress!  
Follow the remaining instructions on the pattern to complete the garment.  
These instructions could be used for most dresses and tops that require a facing.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful - I certainly had a "lightbulb moment" when I realised it had worked!  You can purchase this pattern from Patterns Only, as well as hundreds of other great patterns!

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