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Four Smart Ways to Finish a Facing Edge

Threads #185, June/July 2016
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Faced neckline and armhole edges are smooth, crisp, and well supported.

Four methods for finishing a facing’s outer edge

Facings provide a smooth, clean finish to garment edges, typically at the neckline, armholes, and center-front openings. But how do you ensure that the facing has a bulk-free, nonraveling edge? Here are four methods for finishing a facing’s outer edge. Choose the one that best suits your garment.

Serge the edge

This is the fastest and easiest edge finish, and is appropriate for many garments. After joining the facing pieces to form a full facing unit, simply serge the outer edge, with a three- or four-thread overlock stitch.

Serged edge

Face the facing with interfacing

It sounds confusing, but it’s a terrific technique, suitable for light- to heavyweight fabrics. As usual when creating a facing, cut fusible interfacing the same size as the facing. With right sides together, join the facing and its corresponding interfacing piece along the outer edge, using a 1/4-inch-wide seam allowance. Clip or notch the seam allowances along any curved edges, then turn the piece wrong sides together. Finger-press along the edge, and smooth the layers. Finally, press to fuse the interfacing to the facing wrong side.

Bind with Seams Great

Apply this bias-cut nylon tricot material along the edge. It provides a sheer, extremely lightweight finish that’s compatible with lightweight fabrics.

Use a Hong Kong finish

This finish is attractive and well suited to unlined garments, like jackets and coats, whose interiors may show. Cut 3/4-inch-wide to 1-inch-wide bias strips of lightweight fabric, such as lining or silk charmeuse. With right sides together, sew a strip to the facing outer edge, using a 1/4-inch-wide seam allowance. Wrap the strip’s free edge to the facing’s wrong side, pin, and, from the right side, stitch in the ditch, securing the free edge in the stitching line.

Facing edge finishes

What’s your preferred method for finishing a facing? Do you vary the finish depending on the garment? Let us know in the comments section.

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  1. OlgaJV | | #1

    Excellent overview of various finishing options. Thanks!

  2. OlgaJV | | #2

    Excellent overview of various finishing options. Thanks!

    I have not yet tried "Bind with Seams".

    For lined garments, at times I also use pinking scissors to "finish"the facing outer edge.

    For unlined garments at times when I do not want to fuss around, I use the serged finish.

    For special occasion unlined garments I like to use Hong Kong finish technique.
    When I "Use Hong Kong finish", I apply it to the overall, completed facing (i.e. front and back sewn together).

  3. user-3059980 | | #3

    I've used Seams Great (and the others like it) for years. It doesn't add bulk which is what I like.

    I've also made the facing with an organza backing, turned it, and then applied the facing to the garment. Maybe overly fussy, but perfect!

  4. User avater
    Bevila | | #4

    Great article.

  5. RobertaJoAnn | | #5

    I use the Face the Facing with Interfacing method. It works great!

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