INSTALL FACINGS that HUG the BODY
Facings that are drafted and applied properly can really help a garment HUG the body, rather than bag away from the body. Recall in Part I, that I do this by simply cutting the facing smaller at the neckline edge. (Please go back and read that if you’ve joined this sewing process since Sunday, June 11). What happens then, is that the garment edge is e-a-s-e-d into the stabilized (interfaced), shorter in length Facing. See in the photo below …the lowermost edge is the Facing, and the larger edge is the back neck edge. On this design, there is an interfaced, curved ‘facing’ shape inserted into the lower cut upper back. See the 2nd photo to get an idea of what I’m talking about. That ‘facing’ shape at the upper back then ALSO is faced with another ‘facing’ of the same size.
SEAMS ON EDGES MUST BE PRESSED OPEN FIRST
This may be the first time you’ve ever read this rule but it REALLY REALLY is a good one.
“Any seam that lies on an edge should be pressed OPEN before it is pressed closed.”
Honestly, I’m not sure what sewing expert from whom I’ve learned along the way taught me this rule. I’d love to give her credit, but it is OH, so true! I know it seems silly, and perhaps a waste of time, but it is NOT. When you take time to do this pressing step, you’ll see what a ‘cleaner’, sharper edge you create. Let’s proceed step-by-step here…
Again, since this double knit is bulky, trimming to eliminate bulk is SO important. Note how I’ve done that at angles here in the seam allowance in the first photo below. Then, it’s time to GRADE again. Remember how I taught that the ‘public’ side’s seam allowance is always left the widest? In this case, it is the jacket body’s seam allowance that is left longest, and the facing seam allowance is trimmed. See the 2nd photo below.
PRESSING IS SO SO IMPORTANT
NEW WAY TO FINISH THE BOTTOM EDGE OF FRONT FACING
As I worked down the front center front edges, I stopped about 5″ from the hemline! Why? Because horizontal edges should be finished BEFORE vertical edges. Therefore, it was now time to do the lowermost hem. I diverge from the printed directions big time as I do this. Here is a picture of the ‘conventional’ method of stitching across the facing at the hemline edge.
I had planned from the beginning to have just a small hem allowance, because I wanted the extra length to the jacket, and I had limited yardage. I opted to do a simple 2 thread overcast along the lowermost edge with my serger, and then to fuse up the hem using my favorite VERY lightweight, yet powerful Japanese extra light fusing tape: Vilene. Find it HERE at my website. I realize that I may have to also hand stitch this hem in the long run, but with stitching in the ditch at the center back and side seams, I’m hoping that the fusing will hold nicely. Since I had decided to not topstitch those bodice horizontal seams, I felt that an un-obstructed hemline was best as well. Hence, no topstitching there. You can see my application of this Vilene paper-backed tape to the hem at the lower edge in this photo:
After finishing the stitching of the facing edge to the jacket body, the next step (as per the directions), was to EdgeStitch – stitching through the facing and the seam allowances, but NOT the front of the jacket. See that photo below.
NEXT, then, is to finish the lower edge of the Facing – by hand, with very careful, strategic clipping to eliminate bulk.
Look at the clipped corner of that serged edge of the Facing right above my finger in the 3rd photo above. Do you see that I trimmed it at an angle. Next, the Facing lays down into place, and the lowermost folded edge of it is hand stitched into place. Too often in both ready-to-wear and home sewing, I see ‘buckled’ jacket fronts. This is because the Facing is too short is is pulling up the jacket body at the lower edge. Turning that edge in as I’ve shown here, and hand stitching these ends together as they want to lay is the key.
I secured the facing into place so it wouldn’t flop around by ‘stitching in the ditch’ from the right side of the jacket at the shoulder seams, and the horizontal seams. The wider topstitching used to ‘finish’ the fronts and neckline was done the same depth as the width of the back neckline piece. When doing stitching like this, I reach for the edge stitching guide. See it in use in the photo below at the right.
There you have it – the story and some of the techniques I use to stitch up this great jacket of Ponte knit. Here are some quick snapshots of my completed jacket. I love the subtle swing silhouette.