March 20, 2011

Two Faced

As I'm just finishing up my bow blouse (vintage Simplicity 7896), I thought I would show you how I handle facings on a blouse. Typically, women's blouses call for a facing down the front of the shirt where the buttons and buttonholes are placed. Why is this? Well, it reinforces the buttons and buttonholes making the blouse more durable and able to withstand wear and tear better. It also acts as a stabilizer, making those buttons and buttonholes appear smoother rather than bunching up the fabric where they are put. So let's get started.

This method requires a sew-in interfacing (Actually, Tanit-Isis makes a very good point! You can use a fusible too by stitching the seam and then fusing the interfacing to the facing. Keep reading for that "Aha!" moment!). It's really easy and leaves a very nice finish on your final blouse without the use of pinking, a serger or zigzagging! Yay! I used a silk organza for my interfacing. It seemed the perfect weight and stabilizer for this lightweight silk shirting. As you see here, I've cut the facings and the organza.

Now, before we go any further, let's take a look and what the pattern directions say. Look familiar? The pattern directions tell me to finish the edge of the facing by turning under the raw edge 1/4" and stitching. And this you do on the raw edge that is curved! You've probably seen instructions like these many a time. And how may I ask do you turn under a curved edge? If you say, "Very carefully," I'm liable to come at you with my seam ripper! It can be done, I suppose, but mine always end up looking weird and dumb and worst of all turning under the raw edge just leaves a big fat seam imprint on the front of the blouse. Ugghh... So, here's how I handle these types of facings.

First, take your facing and your interfacing, right sides together and pin along the curved edge. Now, stitch a seam the alloted amount of the seam allowance. In this case, the pattern said "turn over 1/4" " and so my seam allowance is 1/4". To ensure that my seam doesn't fall apart in the wash, at the dry cleaner or heaven forbid, at the touch of a paramedic's strong hands (sigh) I stitched another line of stitching 1/8" away from my seam allowance. Now what could be easier than that?

Now, turn the facing right side out and press. If needed clip the curves before turning right side out, if your curves are rather deep. Now, how easy was that? To make stitching the facing unit to the actual blouse easier, baste stitch the raw edges of the facing and the interfacing together. And there friends, you have a beautifully finished facing. Tell me, doesn't this fair better than trying to "fold the curved edge and stitch in place?" I think so.

Hopefully you enjoyed this little tip of the week. Totally easy and a bit of a new take on your facing technique. Go forth and face confidently!


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