Saturday, January 28, 2012

How to Finish Facings

A friend and I are sewing today-- Saturday is such a nice day to sew!-- and I am "on call" to help out with any glitches. We live states apart so I will be posting some little tutorials on sewing techniques as we go along!

First, here is a way to finish curved facings, such as neck facings and armhole facings for sleeveless dresses, on a conventional sewing machine:
 After sewing the shoulder seams together (or the armhole facings as the case may be), iron open those seams and lay the facing flat, wrong side up.
 Fold over the curved edge about 1/4 inch and press.
 I have to keep my finger just ahead of the iron to get that edge folded over-- it is a curve so you have to inch it along. You will have a few wrinkles because that is just the way it is; just make sure they are little ones and not big one-- they should be more like puckers. Iron them down nice and flat as you go.
I have to start sewing a little ways further in than the end of my facing, as you see above I put the fabric under the presser foot a bit past the needle. My machine tends to "bunch up" the material if I don't!

I am using one hand here  because the other hand is on the camera, but this photo shows that you have to have your hand or hands on the material before and behind the presser foot, in order to feed the curved edge into the sewing area. Keep it nice and flat and manipulate the curve consistantly. I zig-zag over the raw edges -- not over the folded edge, but a ways in. 

You can see what I mean in this photo. Clip all those thread tails off of course:)

For a straight or slightly straight facing edge, this is a cleaner finish called a narrow hem:

Fold your edge over about 1/4 inch. Press. 

Then fold the edge over again, using that last edge as a guide for folding. . 

Press. You don't have to have your fingers so close to the iron with this one:)

Use a regular straight stitch on this one.
This is what it will look like.

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