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Eastern European:

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- Pouch Hinges, Part 1
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Demonstrations>Sewing Tech>Facings

Mysteries of the Unexplained -

Facings are most commonly a type of edge treatment for neck and arm holes and occasionally slits. The essential mechanics required of a facing are that it 1) bind the edge and 2) be either decorative or invisible. Because we are most often working with rounded edges or a slit, clipping and grading seams is important. Otherwise, we end up with puckers and edges that won't stay put.

In this demo, we will be going through three types of facings; A 'common' facing, a 'placket' facing, and a 'slit' facing.

A common facing is any type of facing, using contrasting fabric if decorative (and placed on the outside of the garment) or of same fabric if utilitarian, required to finish the edge of a curve such as a neckline or armhole. When cut for a neckline as illustrated to the left, it is often referred to as a 'keyhole'. Most of the time, unless the facing will be used for decoration, I opt to bind neck edges with bias binding.

A slit facing is a type of facing that is most often used only for slits.. The facing can be either decorative or hidden. Often, I will opt for this type of finish if I am making a shirt with a collar and slit front.

A placket facing is a type of facing for slits, which involves a single strip of cloth. This is a common treatment for modern dress shirts. Essentially, the strip is bound to the edge of the slit and then turned over and sewn down.

Below are three types of treatments with step-by-step instructions -

Decorative facings vs. Utilitarian facings -

If the facing is meant to decorate the outside of the garment, place the right side of the facing against the wrong side of the fabric and sew your seam. If the facing will be hidden, place the facing on the right side of the fabric and sew your seam.

This method of facing is also known as a 'yoke', which is not entirely accurate. This method is also somewhat wasteful. Historically, a combination of plackets and bias binding would probably have been used.

1. Begin by cutting the neck hole and the keyhole facing. In order to mark center back and center front, I iron in light creases on both and then line them up accordingly. 2. Sew a very small seam (1/8") around the neck opening. If need be, grade the seam down to 1/8" after sewing but be aware that this will widen the neck somewhat.
3. When you get to the corner, stop the machine with the needle still in the fabric. Lift the presser foot, turn the fabric 90 degrees, and re-seat the the foot. Continue sewing down the iron mark. 4. When you get to the end of where your slit will be, stop, again leaving the needle in the fabric. Lift the presser foot, turn the fabric 45 degrees, re-seat the foot and sew one or two stitches until you reach the iron crease.
5. Using the needle-in-the-fabric procedure, turn the fabric so that you can sew one stitch across the iron crease. 6. Sew the second side as for the first, as illustrated above, and then finish your seam.
7. Clip the slit open to within half a stitch length of the bottom most stitch. Place two other small clips at the 45 degree stitches, being very careful not to clip too close. Clip corners. 8. Move the facing to the other side and press down. As you press down the slit bottom, gently tug the fabric until any creases are removed. At this point you can finish the facing edges.

Binding The Slit Separately -

1. Mark the center front of the garment by a light iron crease. Cut a slit. Cut a narrow length of fabric for the placket that is twice as long as the slit. This can be either straight-of-grain or bias cut.
2. Sew the placket onto the slit edge as close to the edge as possible. a 1/8" seam or closer is preferable. 3. When you get to the end of the slit, gently cut two small cuts, as for keyhole example #7. This allows for the slit to be pulled a bit straighter in preparation for sewing the straight placket across. Pull as you sew and sew very close to the clips.
4. Once you've sewn the placket down, press the outside flat. 5. Tuck the raw edge under and tack down the placket to the wrong side of the garment.

You may have to practice getting the placket to lay flat around the slit without causing puckers in the garment. Some people sew this part by hand for a smoother finish.

You can either allow the binding to lay free or you can tack one side down against the wrong side of the fabric and have that lay over the other side.

This particular treatment is fairly period.

Bias Bound Neck Hole -

1. Sew the bias strip around the edge. The seam should be no less than 1/8" but really no more than 5/8". 2. Gently feed the opening fabric through the matching and ease or firmly pull the bias as it is being sewn down.

3. Once you've completed the seam, iron the bias down flat.

4. Turn the garment over and tack the bias down to the other side.

Bias binding is a great way to bind the edges of garments. There is some evidence that it was used sparsely in period. Instead of bias cut strips, the binding would be cut out straight-of-grain and eased into place. This was particularly easy to do since it was being sewn down by hand.

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