Just like neckline facings, armhole facings are a great way to add a clean, tailored look to a sleeveless garment. Facings are usually used on more medium to heavy weight fabrics that have more structure. Armhole facings in particular, provide a more elevated look that may not be appropriate for casual wear but are rather applied to more tailored garments. They are commonly found in business-wear on structured dresses, tailored vests and sleeveless tops.
Armhole facings are comprised of a back facing and a front facing. You should always cut two of each front and back patterns since you'll need a facing for each armhole (unless you're sewing a one-shoulder garment).
As always, the facing is sewn together and clean finished first, then it is attached to the garment. Armhole facings can be a little confusing for the sewing beginner because:
1. The two armhole facings have to be the mirror reflection of one another, and
2. The front and back facing patterns are a similar shape which can get a little confusing when sewing the front and back together properly.
As you you dive deeper into pattern-making, you'll soon learn that you can use a single patterning method to make any facing. Once you get the hang of all necessary steps for drafting facing sewing patterns, you'll be one step closer to understanding and mastering essential pattern-making techniques. When it comes to facings, all you need is your garment's patterns and a few basic tools. Your clothing item's patterns will always be used as a starting point for the facings' draft.
The basic tools necessary to draft a simple facing are: pattern paper, an 18" inch clear plastic marked ruler, a pencil (preferably mechanical), an eraser, and a basic french curve. You should aim to be familiar with all the tools necessary for a sewing beginner but also try to avoid over-complicated tools that are not always necessary for basic sewing/pattern making.
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