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Attaching Facings to a Dress Neckline
What am I doing wrong?
amysayssew
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amysayssew
Intermediate
Member since 9/7/08
Posts: 188
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Date: 10/27/10 9:23 PM

I'm sewing New Look 6888 - my first dress - and am having trouble attaching the facing.

When I press the seam allowances up toward the neckline, they won't press at the side seams because they are stitched there.

And, I'm not sure how to finish the raw edge of the facing. I assumed from my sewing instructions that I fold the edge inward toward the inside of the dress and then stitch on top of the seam allowance, but my results were inconsistent and I'm not sure if I'm doing this right.

I posted pictures on my blog: Sewing by the Book

Any help would be appreciated. I'm likely to lose sleep over this.

Thanks!
-- Edited on 10/27/10 9:24 PM --

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ChristinePDX
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ChristinePDX
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Member since 10/4/08
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In reply to amysayssew


Date: 10/27/10 9:47 PM

I can't get my head around the pressing issue (spatially challenged), someone else can help, for the raw of the facing, I tend to just overlock or zigzag that edge to reduce bulk.

Tailypo
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Tailypo
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Date: 10/27/10 10:22 PM

Hey! I wish I had thought of your blog title, I am sewing by the book and blogging about it right now! My book is The Bishop Method of Clothing Construction, and in it she has you staystitch 1/4" from the raw edge of the facing, then turn under along that line and press, then stitch close to the folded edge. That's it!

As for the pressing/seam/cheat thing -- stitch the side seams and press them open. Then put the right sides of facing and dress together and sew at the 5/8" seam line. Trim and grade the facing and garment seam allowances. When you flip the facing up to understitch the facing to the garment, the side seam allowances should be up and in the correct position.

Sometimes the side seam allowance gets flipped over by the presser foot and you end up stitching the seam allowances closed when you stitch on the facing. When that happens I totally cheat and snip one of the seam allowances under the facing stitching line so it will lie flat.

Does that make sense?

If not, let me know and I will post a picture.

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messymethodsewing.wordpress.com

Fannie Rebecca
Fannie Rebecca  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Massachusetts USA
Member since 7/14/04
Posts: 35
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Date: 11/1/10 1:24 PM

Hi, amysayssew,

There are a couple of steps in the process which will give you a more satisfactory finish.

Please rip off the facing. It's not actually a facing, it's a band around the top of the dress. You will now be able to do it better. On the wrong side, pull the thread and slip a seam ripper under it. Pull the stitch loose. You can cut the stitches on the wrong side every few stitches and pull out the remaining threads.

Never use your seam ripper like a little plow to cut a seam apart. It's likely you can cut your fabric that way. Always use the little seam ripper flat to the fabric. The blunt end is still slim enough to slip under the thread, loosen it, and then you can cut the thread by pushing the sharp cutting edge of the seam ripper toward it.

Yeah, I know it's hard to have to rip something, but I promise you it will be worth it.

The side seams of the bodice should be pressed open on the wrong side (get out the ironing board) like a book. Also press open the seam allowances on the wrong side of the facing.

The next step you need to do is STAYSTITCH the neckline edge of your dress. Staystitching is done on the machine using the same thread you use on the dress BUT instead of stitching 5/8" from the edge, you will stitch only 1/2" from the edge. There should be some lines on your sewing machine near the presser foot which mark where the raw edge of the fabric should be. If there are no lines, measure with a ruler 1/2" from the sewing machine needle to the right edge and mark it with a post-it note or tape or something.

This staystitching helps you to get an even neckline. It is usually done on necklines and armholes to prevent the fabric from stretching.

The outside edge of the band must be marked EVENLY on the outside edge. MEASURE. You need a small ruler for this, a sewing gauge (get metal) or even an old envelope you have measured with a ruler and marked. It's important to fold this over evenly so the band will be even on your dress and not wrinkle or pull. Press the non-neckline edge of the band under (evenly). If you want, you can sew all around the outside edge of the band with another row of staystitching, this time to mark the 5/8" you will be folding under and use that stitchin as your guide. Carefully press this edge to fold under. Now put your pink facing (I like your fabric choices) with the right side to the wrong side inside) of the dress. You will be looking at the wrong side of the facing. Pin the facing all around the neck edge. Any seams such as the side seams of the dress and the facing will be folded open and the seamlines will match up with each other.

Now stitch all around the neckline 5/8" from the raw edge. Go slowly so this will be even all around.

At this point it is time to press (iron) again. With the dress turned inside out, press the facing up so you see the right sides of the band fabric. NOW it is Ta Da time. Fold the band to the right side of the dress. Measure it all around to be sure it is even and press it flat all around the neckline. Pin the folded outside edge of the band down all around.

NOW you stitch on the right side edge of the band. Again, measure evenly and carefully from the neck edge to the outer edge and correct your stitching line if it's not even. This is a part of the dress you can even baste all around the folded edge and take out the pins as you go. Because you want this to be accurate and even.

All this measuring and accuracy is important because you didn't like the look of the band the first time you stitched it. It's got to be the same width all around and flat to the dress with no wrinkles.

You should now have an even flat pink band all around the neckline of your dress. You can be proud of your work. This whole description is number 26 on your instruction sheet, emphasizing the need for accuracy rather than to casually fold the band over and stitch it.

Attach the shoulder straps.

Voilą!

ryan's mom
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ryan's mom  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/1/10 5:11 PM

For the raw edge of the facing, many patterns in my stash say to do as Tailypo wrote in her post. Stitch 1/4" from edge, turn under, and stitch close to edge. But...I always think this method just adds bulk at the facing edge.

I do as Christine mentioned, simply serge the raw edge. Just like a lot RTW facings.

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Big 4 Pattern size 12, RTW bottom: 6, RTW jacket 8, RTW top (no size fits me well!)
Measurements: 34 HB/36 FB (34C bra)/27.5/36 (and working hard to keep it that way.)
Machines: Sewing: Elna 760, vintage Kenmore Model 33 (1967), Janome Gem Gold 3, Singer Model 99, Singer 221/Featherweight. Sergers: Babylock Imagine and Babylock Enlighten. Embroidery Only: Janome 300E. Embroidery/Sewing Combo: Brother Dream machine. Coverstitch: Babylock BLCS. Straight Stitch: Janome 1600P.

If you think your sewing is better than everyone else's around here, get out of my way b****. I hate sewing snobs.

My blog: www.phatchickdesigns.blogspot.com

petro
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petro  Friend of PR
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France
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Date: 11/1/10 5:16 PM

Another vote for serging the facing raw edge to reduce bulk.

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Fannie Rebecca
Fannie Rebecca  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Massachusetts USA
Member since 7/14/04
Posts: 35
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In reply to petro


Date: 11/1/10 10:24 PM

Yes, christine99 and Tailypo had helpful messages. Proving that there isn't only one way to do something.

Love, Fannie

skae
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skae  Friend of PR
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In reply to amysayssew


Date: 11/1/10 10:54 PM

[quote]
When I press the seam allowances up toward the neckline, they won't press at the side seams because they are stitched there.

which way did you sew your side seam? If you want to press the seam up you need to have a one coninuous seam there.
Top band sew all together and the top bottom sewed together.
attach your band and top bottom together like you sew a band on a skirt or pants. press up and stitch.

-- Edited on 11/1/10 10:56 PM --

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Ecclesiastes 11:7,8 Nothing on earth is more beautiful than the morning sun. Even if you live to a ripe old age, you should try to enjoy each day, because darkness will come and will last a long time. (CEV)

Tailypo
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Tailypo
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Date: 11/3/10 9:08 PM

I thought based on Amy's blog that she didn't have a serger -- that her sewing teacher has one but when she's at home she is serger-less. Otherwise yes, I am another serged raw edge advocate!

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messymethodsewing.wordpress.com

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