If you’re an experienced sewer or seamstress, you’re familiar with facing and its importance when sewing garments. If you’re a novice at sewing, facing is either an unfamiliar term or one that elicits dread and sometimes aggravation. Actually, it plays a key role in how your finished garment looks and how it lays.
When & Where is Facing Used?
Facing is used in many of our sewing projects, including dresses, skirts, vests, blouses, and jackets, among others. About the only items where you won’t find facing are t-shirts and underwear. Facing is even used in home projects like curtains and quilts. To fully understand what facing is and where it belongs, think of it as the part of the garment that’s facing you. It is used around most openings. The places where you’ll usually find facing are collarless necklines, sleeveless armholes and waistlines that have no waistbands.
Why Use Facing?
The best reason I can think of to use facing in sewing is to give your garment a neat and professional look. You’ve gone through the expense, work and time to sew your own garment, so you want it to look as good as possible, right? When I first began sewing, I tried to eliminate facing by just turning in the ends of my fabric and sewing a thin hem. The result was that the fabric puckered and always looked wrinkly, messy and entirely unprofessionally sewn. I learned very fast the importance of facing. When you use facing, the fabric lays smoothly and will not ravel or fray each time the item is washed.
Types of Facing
Although, but not always the case, facing is usually the same fabric as your garment. It may also be a similar but matching fabric. It will usually be interfaced as well. Interfacing is a type of fabric that is attached to your facing to help you give it better shape and support. You can purchase an interfacing that you’ll have to sew to the facing or a fusible interfacing, which sticks right to the facing. It’s simple to use and really improves the feel and appearance of the finished garment.
Sewing on Facing
You’re probably using a pattern even if you’re an expert or professional seamstress. Patterns give you directions for how and where to sew on the facing. You can find dots or diamonds on the pattern for both the garment and the facing. It’s very important to match up the dots or diamonds to ensure that the facing is lined up perfectly with the garment fabric.
After you’ve sewn the facing to the fabric, trim the edges with pinking shears. If you don’t own a pair of pinking shears, consider buying a pair because they’re a valuable item to add to your sewing supplies. Pinking shears cut in a saw tooth pattern. They may not eliminate fraying completely but will limit the length of the thread that does fray.
Once the facing is sewn on and trimmed, you’ll want to turn it to the inside of the garment. Ironing your garment and facing together will help keep the facing in place and also give the garment a neat and professional appearance. Let’s face it, your project may be homemade, but that doesn’t mean it can’t look as professional as possible.
What is Facing? Watch a Video!