I absolutely love a faced waistline finish! Surprisingly, this sewing application is much easier than any waistband style, including an elastic one, believe it or not. It requires two simple stitches with a final finish that looks like a million bucks.
Clean, tailored and highly professional, a faced waist finish is similar in construction to any regular facing. Just as any facing, it also requires interfacing and understitching. A waist facing will usually need to be finished around a zipper or other closures like snaps or buttons. Regardless, you’ll find the process of cutting and sewing one fairly simple. That is if you know the 3 basic rules of sewing! You can learn more about them here: How To Sew A Seam- The 3 Rules.
A waist facing can be used on both skirts and short/long trousers. It is a finish usually applied to non stretch fabrics as they provide the right structure and drape to withstand them. A faced waist is not suitable for very stretch fabrics as it requires the use of interfacing to actually keep the bottoms from sliding down. Applying interfacing will inhibit flexibility thus if the stretch garment has no closures, applying a waist facing to it will prevent the bottoms from expanding enough to get over the human form.
Before we get into the sewing portion of this tutorial, I wanted to touch a bit on sewing patterns as this of course is an important aspect of constructing any garment. Depending on the type of fabric used, the waist area of the bottoms you are sewing may or may not have darts. Due to the fact that faced waistlines are usually applied to woven non-stretch bottoms, your garment will most likely include darts. When drafting the waist facing patterns, the darts will most likely be omitted in order to eliminate bulk from overlapping dart excess. This is fairly simple to do but I’ll save it for a pattern drafting tutorial! So to recap, the waist facings are the identical mirror images of the front and back but normally don’t included darts.
I recently came to a realization: I have way too much stuff (and by stuff, I mean sewing related stuff) in my studio that I hardly ever use. I’ve been sewing for years and while I have drawers filled with sewing tools, thread and trimmings accumulated over time, some of them I have almost never used. In order to optimize my work to its fullest capacity, I decided to take a closer look at 6 lesser used sewing tools in today post. These include: the awl, double faced tape, bodkin, pointer and creaser, beeswax, and a loop turner. What is their purpose and how can I start introducing them into my work routine to make the process faster, simpler and more efficient?
I was introduced to this tool way back in the day when I started sewing in high school. I never really understood its use until I got to college. Even then, I can’t say I was using it all that much. These days, I am realizing I may have had a bit of a missed opportunity by not taking full advantage of it over time.
To start with, what exactly is an awl? It is a hand held tool that has a pointed sharp end on one side and a handle on the other. It is used both in patternmaking and sewing.
In pattern drafting an awl is used to keep layered patterns in place at a specific point, to “walk" patterns when checking seams, and to perforate marker points through paper (especially used on basic blocks) that can then be used to easily transfer pencil lines to other patterns. By the way, walking a pattern means overlapping corresponding seams on two patterns and shifting them as needed at certain points to check that both seamlines are the same length.
In sewing, the awl is commonly used to perforate fabric layer(s) at buttonhole or eyelet locations in order to create the round holes needed to complete these applications. You can also use an awl to perforate fabric as a starting point for adding small slits and cuts to the surface of a finished garment- allows for more precision!
I’ve experienced a need for this tool in both the patterning and sewing scenarios described above. Alternately, I've used the sharp point on my pencil to walk my patterns in the quality control process. When needing to perforate holes into fabric, I've always used the tip of my scissors. I now realize doing so offers nowhere near the precision an awl would. Needless to say, I am hands down introducing this tool into my repertoire starting today!
When it comes to designing, I somehow have an inclination to add elements that have some form of curvature at the hem. For that reason, I’ve spent years sewing and clean finishing curved edges. I feel that soft curves flow nicer, feeling softer and looking more organic. In dressmaking, materializing a design means applying sewing techniques that are often a bit more tricky than others. Clean finishing a curved edge, while it may seem and sound simple, is one of those sewing instances that can actually be quite tricky.
Fun fact: Curved edges misbehave. They tend to defy folding and require a lot more patience in the clean finishing process. For years, I’ve patiently turned curved fabric edges by hand, attempting to keep them smooth and tension free. Even with using and iron and hand basting, folding and topstitching curved hemlines is nothing more than a roller coaster ride. Recently however, I came across a simple technique that saved me from hours of crouching over the ironing board. It is called easestitching and in its pure simplicity, solves some of the most complex sewing challenges.
What is easestitching? A machine basting stitch that is applied along curved fabric edges and then pulled as much as necessary to gather up the seam allowance into even, smooth curves- Beautiful.
Easestitching serves as the perfect tool for manipulating curved folds and evenly distributing excess seam allowance. In the steps below, I’ll show you a techniques for folding curved edges with easestitching used on hemline finshes, as well as curved patch pockets and folded edge appliques.
I have a problem with loosing things. Yes, I’m the person that spends a good 10 minutes looking for car keys every morning. The smaller the objects the easier they are to loose and more difficult they are too find. Since old habits die hard, I have a similar issue in my sewing studio where over time, pins have disappeared into oblivion never to be found or seen again.
There is no denying the fact that the sewing process requires the use of lots of pinning. While I genuinely attempt to collect each fallen pin at the end of a work day, some fall through the cracks both literally and metaphorically speaking. In an effort to replenish my sewing pin collection, I ran over to the fabric store for what was supposed to be a five minute shopping session. Instead, I spend a good 20 minutes trying to decide what sewing pins I should get. Something as simple as sewing pins can impact sewing speed, comfort and functionality. If you are at the beginning of the road, I encourage you to start with the right set of sewing pins as this will help you optimize your construction process!
Here are 4 main factors to consider:
Whether you are familiar with the word “mitering” or not, chances are you have definitely come across this finish at some point in the dressmaking process. Clean, professional and angled to perfection, a mitered (new word to me by the way) technique is one applied to straight or angular fabric corners to form a diagonal seam that encloses all fabric raw edges. It is a high quality finish very often used with tailored items like coats, blazers, and tailored skirts/dresses to form sharp, clean edges at the garment opening’s hemline or at slit and vent corners.
Mitering is one of those techniques that is very simple once you know its basic steps but somewhat confusing if you try to figure it out yourself from scratch- speaking from experience here. I have tried to clean finish fabric corners by mitering angular, asymmetric hem edges and let’s just say the experience left me feeling frustrated. The other day I was browsing an old sewing book and found it! A simple 3 step method to clean finishing fabric corners using the mitering technique. Here it is:
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Designer by trade and dressmaker at heart. I spend most of my days obsessing over new fabrics and daydreaming new ideas.
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