Creating a Minifacing
I was working on a dress the other day that has a square neckline at the back. There's a boatneck across the front; at the shoulders the neckline drops vertically then squares off before the two sides meet at the center back.
I generally don't use separate sewn-on facings – instead, I leave a wide seam allowance, staystitch the seamline, then turn the seam allowance back and catchstitch it to the underlining to hold it in place. It's a standard couture treament.
Of course, curved seamlines need to be clipped, and when there's a sharp angle, the clipping for that needs to go right into the corner.
While the seam allowance will eventually be covered with the lining, those clipped corners are still a little bit vulnerable. Once the seam allowance has been clipped and folded back, there's not of lot of support there (while the underlining helps, there's still a chunk of fabric missing). Further, the bigger problem, especially with fabrics that fray easily, is that it's hard to control the raw edges of the fabric that's been clipped. Even with the lining in place, it's easy for those tiny threads to work their way out from under the lining and become visible.
It's very, very subtle – but fine sewing is made up of such subtleties – and happily, in this case, there's an easy solution: a small piece of silk organza (or something similarly firm and lightweight) – can be used to create a facing right where it's needed – right at that clipped vee.
I've made some samples to illustrate the process.
We'll begin with the standard treatment:
The fashion fabric and its silk organza underlining have been hand basted together, right along the stitching line.
The seamline is then machine stay stitched.
After stitching, the basting is removed.