27 February 2020

How to Sew an All-in-One Facing

How to sew an all-in-one facing on a sleeveless garment - Tilly and the Buttons

If you’re making a piece of clothing that’s sleeveless, you may find that the pattern replaces separate neckline and armhole facings with an all-in-one facing. This creates a lovely neat finish on the inside of your garment. But it can be a little bit of a head-scratcher to sew if you haven’t attached one before. So I thought I’d show you step-by-step how to do it - with a video as well as step photos!

The tricky aspect is that, if you sewed the facing to the neckline and armholes right sides together in one go, you wouldn't be able to turn it right sides out again. So we’re going to get a bit clever and sew each armhole in two stages.

You may have heard of an alternative way of doing this called the “burrito method”, which involves rolling the dress up. It’s worth giving that method a go too, but personally I think this technique below is clearer to demonstrate – so here goes!

Olive pinafore sewing pattern - from Tilly and the Buttons: Make It Simple

This is an extract from my book Make It Simple, demonstrated on the Olive pinafore pattern from that book - beautifully modelled here by Phoebe.



How to sew an all-in-one facing on a sleeveless garment - Tilly and the Buttons

Lay the facing over the dress with right sides together, and pin them together along the neckline and front openings, aligning the shoulder seams and matching the notches. With the facing on top, stitch them together.

How to sew an all-in-one facing on a sleeveless garment - Tilly and the Buttons

Trim the seam allowances, grading the facing layer so it is slightly narrower than the dress layer. Clip two or three short snips into each curved part, nearly up to but not over the stitching line. Snip diagonally across the corners, taking care not to cut through the stitching. Finger-press the facing and seam allowances away from the bodice and understitch them together close to the seam, backtacking at each end (you won’t be able to get right into the corners).

We need to get a bit clever with the all-in-one facing now because if we joined it to the dress with right sides together, in the same way as we attached it at the neckline, we wouldn’t be able to turn it right side out again. What we’re going to do is sew each armhole in two stages.

How to sew an all-in-one facing on a sleeveless garment - Tilly and the Buttons

Turn the dress right side out, with the facing on the inside. On the front of one armhole, fold a bit of the dress seam allowance and facing seam allowance under, towards the wrong side, and pinch them together with one hand.

How to sew an all-in-one facing on a sleeveless garment - Tilly and the Buttons

Reach inside the dress with your other hand and grab the edges – now you can let go with the first hand. Still holding these edges, turn the dress and facing wrong side out. Pull out the shoulder seams of the dress and facing, line them up and pin them together. Pin the front armholes together between the shoulder and armpit, matching the notches (leave the back armholes unpinned for now).

How to sew an all-in-one facing on a sleeveless garment - Tilly and the Buttons

Stitch along the pinned front armhole seam, backtacking at each end – take your time, pausing with the needle down when needed so you can pull any bunched-up fabric or other layers out of the way of the stitching.

How to sew an all-in-one facing on a sleeveless garment - Tilly and the Buttons

Repeat the previous three steps to join the facing to the dress along the back of the armhole. Attach the facing to the dress around the other armhole in the same way.




And that’s it! Now you can trim and grade the seam allowances, clip the curves if your fabric is on the heavier side, and understitch the seam allowances to the facing, before turning the facing right side out. Then follow the rest of the pattern instructions to finish your beautiful self-stitched outfit.

I hope you found this helpful!

***
This is an extract from Tilly and the Buttons: Make It Simple published by Quadrille
Author: Tilly Walnes
Photos: © Ellie Smith
Denim fabric: gifted by Higgs + Higgs

Make It Simple sewing book