Sewing & Pattern making Terms


When it comes to creating professional-looking garments, achieving clean and finished edges is essential. Facings are a versatile and commonly used technique employed by seamstresses and pattern makers to create clean, polished, and structurally sound garment edges. Let’s dive into the details of facings and explore their purpose, benefits, and application.

What are “Facings”?

Fabric pieces known as facings match the shape of a garment’s neckline, armholes, waistband or other edges. You usually attach them to the garment’s edge to give it a finished look and provide structural support. You can make facings from the same fabric as the garment or opt for a contrasting fabric for decorative purposes.

Purpose and Benefits of Facings

Facings offer several advantages, including:

  • Clean Edge Finishing: Facings neatly cover the raw edges of a garment, preventing fraying and providing a clean, professional-looking finish. They give the garment a polished appearance, particularly when the edges are visible.
  • Structural Support: Facings add stability and structure to garment edges, especially areas that may experience stress or require reinforcement. They help maintain the garment’s shape and provide a clean edge for closures like zippers or buttons.
  • Concealing Seams and Interfacing: Facings can hide unsightly seams and interfacing, ensuring that the inside of the garment looks as neat as the outside. They create a clean transition between the garment’s exterior and interior, enhancing the overall quality and aesthetics.
  • Design Flexibility: Facings allow for design variations by incorporating contrasting fabrics, prints, or textures. They can be utilized creatively to add visual interest, highlight key design elements, or create a unique style statement.

How T0 Apply Facings

Here’s a general process for applying facings to a garment edge:

  • Prepare the Facing: Cut the facing pattern piece according to the shape and size of the garment’s edge. Interface the facing if necessary to provide additional stability and structure.
  • Align and Stitch: With the garment and facing right sides together, align the raw edges and pin or baste them in place. Stitch along the edge with the designated seam allowance, securing the facing to the garment.
  • Trim and Grade Seam Allowances: Trim the seam allowance to reduce bulk and grade them if necessary. This helps to ensure smooth and even edge folds.
  • Press and Understitch: Press the seam allowance towards the facing and understitch close to the seam line. Understitching helps the facing to roll inward and stay in place while maintaining a clean edge finish.
  • Edge Finishing: Fold the facing to the garment’s interior, aligning the folded edge with the seam line. Press and stitch the folded edge in place, either by hand or with a topstitch, to secure the facing and create a clean edge finish.

Variations of Facings

  • Bias Binding: In some cases, bias binding can be used as an alternative to facings. Bias binding is a strip of fabric cut on the bias grain, which can be sewn along the garment’s edge to provide a finished and decorative edge treatment. Bias binding is particularly useful for curved or intricate edges where facings may be more challenging to apply.

Facings are a valuable technique in garment construction, providing a professional finish and structural support to edges. By incorporating facings into your sewing repertoire, you can achieve clean, polished, and aesthetically pleasing garment finishes. Whether it’s a neckline, armhole, or other edge, facings are an essential tool for seamstresses and pattern makers to create clothes with impeccable edge detailing and overall quality.

Video Tutorial: What Are Facings? Sewing Terms Explained

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Melissa Villegas
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