August 4, 2017

How to Draft Neckline and Armscye Facings (Pattern Drafting)

Last time I discussed moving darts around on the bodice and drawing different necklines, so I thought today I should cover how to draft facings to finish necklines and the armscye of sleeveless bodices. Of course you have many options when it comes to finishing the raw edges of necklines and armscyes, like bias binding, bias turned under and used like a facing, bag lining the whole bodice of course encloses the edges, and then facings. Facings are super easy both to draft and to sew! Facings are a great option when you don't need to  (or want to!) add a lining into your project.

To draft some basic facings, you will of course need your bodice front and back pieces.

Start by taking a scrap or length of paper and trace the neckline portion of your bodice pattern onto this new sheet of paper.

Use a ruler to make sure the center front and shoulder lines are traced properly. I usually make my facing pieces 2.5" wide. To do this I use the 2" width of my clear ruler to make marks along the curve  and then add an additional half an inch.

After adding these measured marks, I sketch a curve to mirror the neckline curve along these guide marks. You want the area of the curve where it meets the center front and shoulder to be close to 90 degrees.

Add the relevant details onto the facing pattern, I always mark the center front and the shoulder so I don't get confused later.

Trace the back neckline and make the facing in the same way.

When sewing you will: sew the shoulder seams of the facings (and press them open), finish the outer edge of the facing (serge, binding, zig zag over the edge), then sew the facing onto the neckline with right sides together, clip the curve (if curved or corners) on the seam allowance once sewn, add edge stitching if you are thorough, and press flat. I usually add a few stitches to tack the facing to the shoulder seam as well so it doesn't move around. I'll do a sewing tutorial on how to do all of this soon :)

For sleeveless dresses, you can make armscye facings as well to finish those raw edges. If you will be needing a neckline facing and armscye facings, you can combine them into one piece. Start again by tracing the top half of the bodice pattern and again add the 2.5" curves along the inside.

Simply draw a curve to combine the two facings into one.

Sewing these can be a bit tricky if you haven't done it before, but use this method. 

That's how easy it is to draft basic facings for your bodice patterns! Easy to draft, easy to sew, and they give a nice clean finished look to your projects. The more pattern drafting posts I do, the more I want to do sewing tutorials, so I expect those will be next ;)

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