Have you ever wanted to change up a favorite pattern, to make a dress or top without the usual sleeves, or maybe skip the collar this time? Or maybe you have a dress pattern that has a full lining and you just want to replace it with a one-piece facing instead. Take a tried and true pattern and design your own facings so you can finish neck and armholes neatly!
To begin with, you will need your pattern pieces, paper, and a pen or pencil. Take the bodice front pattern piece and trace around the neck, shoulder and armhole, and a couple of inches down the side seam. Keep in mind any seam allowances that may need to be added – the Haven Acres Blouse pattern that I’m using has no seam allowance at the neck edge, as it is bound with bias tape.
Then with a ruler measure and mark 1.5″ to 2″ marks away from that line. I used the 1.5″ measurement for my toddler tunic.
Connect the marks to create lines for a combined neck and armhole facing. My facing also includes the original pattern’s keyhole opening facing.
Now repeat these steps to create the facing pattern for the back bodice.
You can also do two separate facings, one for the neck and one for the armhole, but for this small size I wanted to use a combined facing. Here are both types, side by side.
Cut both facing pieces out of your fabric. Sew the shoulder seams of both bodice and facing, using a basting stitch (longer stitch length) for one set of shoulder seams so you can pull the stitches out easily later.
Press seam allowances open at the shoulder seam and pin the facing to the bodice right sides together, along both neck and armhole edges. Stitch, using the specified seam allowance.
Now pick the stitches out of one shoulder/facing, so you can turn the bodice out through the other shoulder.
Clip the curves and turn out through the sewn shoulder.
TIP: I find it easier to press fine fabrics like this if I first press the seams open before turning right side out.
Press the faced bodice.
Then match the facing to facing and bodice to bodice at the shoulder seam and handstitch right sides together through the inside.
Once the handstitching is complete, press that shoulder seam, and then finish the lower edge of the facing, either with a zigzag stitch or by serging. At this point, you could topstitch around the neck and armhole edges. For this tunic I chose to stick with a really good press instead so no stitching would be visible. (See Ten Tips to Terrific Topstitching)
Bring the bodice underarm sides right sides together. Stitch one continuous line, from the hem to the underarm, then through the facing. Repeat for the other side. Press the side seams open.
Now you are ready to continue with your garment construction, either hemming, or, in my case, adding the peplum to the blouse. The completed garment and more details about the pattern can be viewed over at my blog right here.