How to: Draft an all-in-facing

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In the last couple of weeks I have been showing you how to draft a simple summer tank top. Today I thought it would be a good time to show you how to finish the armholes and neckline. 

There are generally two methods used to finish the armholes and neckline of a sleeveless top - you could finish them with bias binding (shown in the image above), or draft a facing. I use both variations and make my choice depending on the fabric I am using and the style of the top (or dress) I am making. 

Where to start

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Drafting a facing is really easy, and only takes a couple of minutes. Take the pattern you would like to make a facing for - in this case I am using the sleeveless top pattern that I showed you how to draft in this tutorial

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Consider how deep you would like your facing to be. When it comes to facings, I don't think there's anything worse than a really shallow facing that pops out of the neck or armhole at any opportunity it gets. For this reason, I always draft a nice wide facing.

On your front pattern piece, measure down the side seam the depth of your facing. I would suggest anywhere between 7-10cm (3-4in), but have a look at your ready-to-wear garments with facings, and get an idea of what you like (or don't like). Also mark a point on the centre front (this doesn't have to be exactly the same as the measurement on the side seam, just have a think about how far down you would like the facing to run at the centre front).

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Draw the shape of the facing onto the pattern. You will want it to be a smooth curve so that the edge is easy to finish (with bias binding or overlocking). 

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The section above the curved line is the facing piece.

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Take a separate piece of pattern paper and trace off the facing piece.

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Before removing the facing piece, mark a notch on the armhole (this will come in handy when you are sewing the facing to the body of the top). Using a tracing wheel, transfer the notch onto the top front. 

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Mark a notch on the shoulder seam and side seam too. 

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To complete the pattern piece, add the grainline and cutting instructions (cut 1 on fold). Repeat process to create the back facing, and you're done! 

When attaching the facing, make sure you understitch it to get a really nice clean and professional finish. 


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Posted on August 3, 2016 and filed under pattern making tutorials.