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How to Create Facings

How to draft and sew these supportive edge finishes
Threads #185, June/July 2016
Photo: Jack Deutsch

Many dress and top patterns call for a lined-to-the-edge finish. This yields an attractive interior, but in some cases, it’s not the best edge treatment. A simple lining doesn’t provide support at necklines or armholes. If the garment’s fashion fabric doesn’t have sufficient body, unfaced edges can sag, collapse on the body during wear, or stretch out of shape. You can avoid these problems by adding facings.

If your pattern doesn’t include facing pieces, you can create them. I’ll show you how to draft facings for necklines and armholes, as well as an all-in-one facing that finishes both at once. You’ll also learn the basic steps for installing a facing. Facings improve the look and longevity of garments, and they are one of the quickest, easiest finishes to apply.

Draft simple facings


1. Prepare the patterns. Select the necessary pattern pieces and press them gently to flatten. Pin all the front neckline pieces together if there is more than one. Be sure to align the seamlines, and draw them on the tissue if needed. Repeat for the back neckline pattern pieces.

2. Prepare the pattern paper. Lay a sheet of tissue or other translucent paper or material over the entire front neckline area. If the pattern paper includes a grid, align one line along the pattern’s center-front line.

3. Trace the neckline edges. Trace the neck and the shoulder seam cutting lines, and transfer all markings. Add seamlines, with a dashed line, 5/8 inch inside the cutting lines at the neckline and shoulder seams.

Trace the neckline edges to create patterns for facings

4. Draft the facing outer edge. Mark a series of dots or short dashes 2 inches to 2-1/2 inches in from the cutting line to indicate the facing edge. Connect these dots to make a smooth line. If you’re planning to…

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Previous: Apply Bias Binding Made of Bias Strips or Prefolded Bias Tape Next: Block-Fuse Interfacing to Facings | Sewing Tip


  1. User avater
    kneedlez | | #1

    Even for the more accomplished sewist, each of the articles posted are a very good review and reminder of best practices. I love this site!

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