Learn how to add facing to a bodice with Nicole Morgenthau, owner of Finch Sewing Studio. Finch is a boutique sewing and knitting studio in Virginia, packed with modern fabric, quality yarn, cool tools, designer patterns and fun, on-trend classes for all ages and interests. Finch is more than a classroom or a shop; it is a place for modern sewists and knitters, a vibrant community of makers.
Facing a Bodice
What is Facing, you ask? Facing is placed on the inside of a curved area such as a neckline (or a hemline, or an armhole)in order to help that curve maintain its shape. Facings make for a really crisp, shaped neckline.
We’ll start with these basic pieces: the facing pieces, the front bodice piece and the back bodice pieces (there may be only one back piece, depending upon the pattern). These are the pieces you’ll use to make a faced bodice.
Start by preparing the bodice pieces as directed in the pattern. Many patterns will require you to put your darts in first, while the pieces are flat and unattached.
Sew the facing pieces together at the shoulders; do the same for the bodice pieces.
Iron your seams open, and place it on a flat surface with the right side of the fabric up and a light-weight, fusible interfacing on top. Put the bumpy side of the interfacing up (this side has the fusible glue dots). Trace the shape of your facing piece with a marking pen and cut on that line.
Lay your interfacing on top of the facing piece with fabric right side up and the fusible dots right side up on top of the fabric. The soft side of the interfacing should be against the right side of the fabric.
Pin and stitch around the outside edge using a ¼ inch seam allowance (or less, if you can).
Clip the curved areas, and trim the seam allowance making sure that your seam allowance is only about 1/8 of an inch wide.
Turn the right side of the fabric out so that the dots are now facing the wrong side of the fabric and the seam is in between the facing and the interfacing. Press to fuse the interfacing to the fabric being careful to push the seam out all the way.
Doesn’t that look nice and neat?!
Now let’s attach this neat little facing to your bodice. Lay the bodice out flat with the right side of the fabric up. Place the Facing on top of the bodice right sides together.
Start pinning at the shoulder seams and continue, matching the raw edges together as you go.
Start stitching at the back, if you have a middle back seam in your bodice. If not, start at the shoulder seam. Use the seam allowance indicated in your pattern.
As you are sewing, maintain the curve of the fabric, turning gradually instead of pulling the fabric straight. This will ensure that the curve is maintained on the outside and no puckers are created in the process.
Clip the curves, and iron the seam up toward the facing.
Stitch another line above the seam you just stitched. You will be sewing on the facing and the seam allowance. This is called understitching.
When you are done, it will look like this on the back side of the bodice. This will keep your facing from rolling to the front side of the garment.
Trim the seam allowance all the way around the neckline. Press your neckline now so that it looks nice and flat!
Oooh, isn’t that nice?!
The fabric shown is available at Finch Sewing Studio.