technique week marches on!

if you're just joining us: on monday we had a tutorial for making your own fabric labels, on tuesday we discussed some do's and don'ts of french seams, on wednesday we had three reasons you should use straight stitch seams in your next project

today we are talking about facings, which are probably my favorite technique. (i'm only saving hand stitching for tomorrow because so often it's the final step in a project, so it feels right to end the week on it.) 

what is a facing and why is it used?

a really good description and tutorial for hem facings can be found here, but essentially a facing is a way of finishing the edge of a garment with another piece of fabric.

the key benefit of facings is that the facing fabric can mirror the main one. so if you are finishing a skirt that flares out (which a-line and circle skirts do) the hem facing can flare in. as a result you are left with a neat edge that looks good, inside and out.  


facings in a-line and circle skirts

a perfect example of when a facing is necessary is on the hem of circle skirts and a-line skirts. without a facing you would be folding a wider piece of fabric back onto a narrower space, resulting in bunching.

however by having a facing that mirrors the shape of the skirt, like the ones i used for the twirly dresses i made for nora and etta, the hemline has a smooth, flat, and bunch free finish. which allows for optimal twirling:

in addition to allowing for better finishing (and twirling) of circle and a-line skirts, i like hem facings for the opportunity they provide to incorporate an accent color. like in the poppy dresses i made for nora and etta,


facings in other hem lines

in addition to circle and a like skirts, hem facings are also useful for other types of hem lines. for example the badminton skort has a darling scalloped hem that required, you guessed it, a scalloped facing:

i also used a facing in a recent sailboat top i made, which has an adorable shirt tail hem line.


facings beyond skirts and dresses

but it's not just dresses and skirts that can benefit from facings. some of my favorite facings have been for other garments.

in maya's third birthday lorax tunic i used the hem facing as an opportunity to sneak in some contrasting purple fabric for a very seuss like effect.

i also used them for the cuffs of the farmers market jacket.

tomorrow we'll be wrapping up technique week by talking about hand stitched hems and really, how to use hand stitching to improve your sewing.


aunt maggie