A few years ago, I made what turned out to be a really cute skirt. It fit well and was really comfortable. There was just one problem – the facing I’d attached to the waist wouldn’t stay in place for love nor money.
I understitched the seam allowance to the facing, like you’re supposed to. I tacked it to the side seams. I even tried to hemstitch it to the main body of the skirt. It both showed and wouldn’t lie like it was supposed to. I still wear the skirt, but I hate futzing with that flap of fabric.
A couple years later, I’m analyzing a few tops and some pants that had been commercially made for some other purpose, as I recall. But then I realized that not one of the items I was looking at had a facing. Nor had anything else I’d seen in a store. Not dresses, not tops, certainly not skirts.
Some of that was due to the style of the item. The cut edges were finished by waistbands, collars and the like. Some of them were lined and the lining attached to the facing. But, by and large, there are very, very few facings in commercial clothing.
Well, shoot. If the verdamnt things did not enhance the look of my finished garment, why was I making myself crazy by installing them? Believe me, I’ve got more interesting ways to make myself nuts.
No more facings
So, how do you finish the armhole edges on a sleeveless top, and the neck edge, as well? What about the waist of a skirt or a pair of dress pants when a waistband will just curl and be uncomfortable? I use bias binding. So there’s some top stitching on the right side. Why not?
There may be the occasional use for a facing. I think I used one with my light spring coat that I made last year. My tops look just as neat. The skirts are comfy, and since I don’t tuck my tops in, who’s going to see the bias binding at the top? Frankly, if you’re physically close enough to me to notice that I used bias binding to finish my waist, then we had darned well better be on the kinds of terms where it’s not going to matter to you.
So, it doesn’t hurt to re-think how you do things. You never know when you’re going to discover a technique that makes everything easier.