“Facings” is the first technique I’ll be sharing with you, as part of a new 6 part Sewing Challenge. This Sewing Challenge is aimed at teaching a technique across the different skill levels, and projects, so that when you are at home, you feel confident to sew for yourself.
Facings are found in all our garments, as they sturdy a section or opening that needs strengthening. They are mostly found on dresses and jackets, but also in trousers and skirts.
But what are facings? It is a piece of fabric that is used to finish off an edge of a garment, usually on a curvy edge, such as a neckline, armholes or openings. Bias Binding could be used as a facing, or it is a piece that has been drafted off the main pattern, to give you an exact fit. It is cut on the same grain as the main garment. I will be showing you the techniques of an All-in-One facing, but other techniques are Grown-on facings, Decorative, V-neckline, and Bias-Strip Facings.
My biggest tip on sewing facings, is to use a fuseable interfacing, also called an iron on Vilene. The cheaper options are paper-like or non-woven interfacings, which have a glue on one side. The better options are woven, with the glue side, and come in different fabric weights. Choose a soft light weight for chiffons and lawn/shirting or a heavier, sturdier interfacing for corsetry, jacket linings etc. But either way, the best interfacing is one that sticks when you iron it!! How many countless times I have started on a project, and my interfacing doesn’t stick because of old or cheap glue!
Fuseable Inter facing works by placing the glue side to the wrong side of your fabric facing. Then you would iron it, making sure the glue bonds onto your fabric. This makes the facing much sturdier, giving you the structure that you would need to finish off your garment nicely. Interlining is different – that is used to add in extra warmth or padding in garments eg a Coat.
This also brings up the point, of which iron to use. A conventional, hot plate iron works the best, or an iron press. A steam iron doesn’t work well for pressing your interfacing. The steam seems to wet or displace the glue, and it hardly ever sticks well. When ironing, press down firmly and use a hot iron. Other advice, would be to use a cloth or paper in between your iron and the interfacing. Make sure that the interfacing is placed glue side down, otherwise you’ll end up sticking it to your iron…disaster! If you are needing an intense heat to bond your interfacing, brown paper can transfer the heat well to the fabric- works like a charm.
The interfacing also comes in a white or grey, so choose the colour that would best suit your main fabric. So, as not to use the grey interfacing, and it would show up on your white blouse!
There is also a fuseable interfacing for knit fabrics, that is stretchy with a glue side.
Ask your sales lady in the fabric shop to show you what stock they have. I’ve also bought metres of cheap interlining, that one would use to drape mannequins with, much to my frustration when I got home!