Facings

Facings in period are a bit different than modern facings. With modern facings you typically cut out a piece of fabric that mirrors your neckline.  It is rounded by cutting and tends to look like a “U” or a “C”.  In period this would have been wasteful for something that wasn’t seen.  So far, the evidence for sewn in facings is the use of strips cut or torn on the straight of grain.  The facing needs to be very narrow.  The wider the facing the more difficult it will be to ease it around your neckline.  And it will be uncomfortable to wear as well because the straight grain will pull and you will loose any give you have from your curve.  It can cut into your shoulders quite uncomfortably.  I make my facings about 1/3″ inch wide after sewing in. I start with an inch wide strip.


Please click on small thumbnail images to download a larger image in a new window/tab


facings1 - Copy

Step 1: Cut or rip your facing strip on straight of grain from linen or silk. Cut it 1" longer than your final length. Button and eyelet placket facings should be approx 1.5″ wide and neckline facings 1″ wide.

Neckline facings need to be much narrower than the other plackets because they are sewn on the curve. The wider your neckline facing the more you will constrict your bias cut neckline and run the risk of pulling at the shoulders or across the back.

Sew your facing strip to the right side of your garment seam using small running stitches. I use waxed linen thread for both linen and wool garments.


facings2 - Copy

Step 2: Fold your facing over and finger press so that it now lies on the wrong side of your fabric.


facings3

Step 3: Sew the facing down with small running stitches.


facings4

Step 4: Fold under your raw edges and stitch down with running stitches


facings5

Step 5: This is what your right side would like. You may or may not use matching thread. There is no conclusive evidence that there was a concern about matching thread. Well into the 18th century formal gowns were still being sewn with white linen thread so the choice of matching thread is up to you.  I used a contrasting color only to better show the stitches.


facings6

Step 6: For sleeve hems and using linen or silk facings, I fold over the hem twice.


facings7

Step 7: Sew down the sleeve hem using whip or running stitches making sure to close off the end so that your threads don’t ravel.


facings8

Step 8: Here you can see a neckline facing over an eyelet facing. The only difference in  how they are attached is the width of the facing.

This is what your right side would like. You may or may not use matching thread. There is no conclusive evidence that there was a concern about matching thread. Well into the 18th century formal gowns were still being sewn with white linen thread so the choice of matching thread is up to you.  I used a contrasting color only to better show the stitches.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s