How to draft your own facings

First, welcome to my first tutorial! This is the method I developed to make facings on patterns that don’t come with them. I hope this is clear and concise as well as informative for all levels of seamstresses. I would love to hear your feedback in order to improve! Thanks!

Difficulty: Easy-Peasy

Now why would you want to make a facing? Facings are useful because they change the hem treatment. Rather than the stitching showing on the right side of your garment, the facing finishes the edge with a seam that is hidden inside. Facings can be used on sleeves, hems, armholes, and necklines. Even if a pattern comes with a facing, you may want to make your own if you’ve had to make neckline or armhole adjustments, because its easier to do this than try to adjust the facing pattern piece.

Step 1: Using a scrap of pattern paper (I always save my paper scraps from cutting out in a bag) and pin it over the main pattern piece, in this case the back neckline.

Step 2: With a dark colored marker or pen, mark the neckline edge, this keeps the seam allowances the same, the shoulder angle, and matches the curves of your “finished” pattern piece (i.e. AFTER you’ve transferred your muslin adjustments to your pattern piece). Most of the time I make a 3″ facing pattern, which makes a 2 3/8″ final facing if you use the 5/8″ seam allowance. I finish the raw edge with a hand overcast stitch for woven fabrics OR leave it raw or serge the edge for knits. If you want to hem your facing you need to add the depth of the hem to the 3″ I use.

Step 3: Using my handy quilter’s ruler, which conveniently has small holes down the center, I dot off the bottom edge. Remember these dots are 3″ below the original edge, and be careful to follow that curve as accurately as possible. Sorry for the awkward angle, I just wanted the image to show the dots on my ruler.

Step 4: Connect the dots! Now you have a facing pattern piece. At this point I transfer all the critical information to my new pattern piece such as grain line (super important!), cutting directions, piece name (back or front can get mixed up if you’re not careful) and pattern number. I keep my facing patterns in the envelope with the pattern since these can’t really be interchanged unless the neckline curves match exactly.

Step 5: Trim away excess pattern paper and you’re ready to cut it out of fabric! This facing pattern was the one I used for my Quick and Easy dress.

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