Kielo Facing Tutorial
Sewing a facing is a good idea whenever you want a clean-cut result, without visible topstitching showing on the outside of your garment. The original Kielo doesn’t come with a facing pattern, but making one yourself is very simple! There’s also much free space in the printed Sprout Kielo pattern, if you want to make the facing of the same fabric as the outside of the dress, just like we did. Here’s a short tutorial for this technique:
First, make the facing pattern: Print out (and assemble, if needed) the top of your Kielo dress pattern, and cut out the front piece’s top part. Cut it into two along the bust dart, and tape back together to close the dart.
Draw the facing on the front and back pieces so that it’s approximately 6 cm wide at the neckline and armhole. Start drawing from the center front / back, 6 cm / 2½” apart from the neckline, and finish approximately 2,5 cm / 1” below the armhole notch. Make sure that the line starts at a 90 degree angle at both ends, and that the line is smooth and natural. Remove the 1 cm / ⅜” seam allowance from the center back edge of the back facing pattern, so that you can cut the pattern on fold. Cut out both facing patterns.
Cut 1 of each facing piece (front facing and back facing), on fold. Make sure to snip the armhole notches on the facing pieces. Cut also an interfacing for both facings. Use a fusible interfacing and choose the color, weight and amount of stretch according to your fabric. We used a light interfacing with a tad of stretch. You can cut off about 8 mm from the interfacings’ seam allowances at the neckline, shoulder seam, armhole and side seam, to avoid them from becoming too thick and bulky. Fuse the interfacings on the facing pieces. Serge the raw bottom edges of the facings.
Make sure you have your dress sewn up to the point that you have sewn all darts, shoulder seams, center back seam, and that the wrap ties are completely sewn and turned right side out. Then sew the shoulder seams of your facing and press open.
With right sides together, pin the facing and the dress together at the neckline and sew. Clip the seam allowances carefully, especially on the tight curve around the shoulder seam. Fold the facing to the wrong side and press carefully. Pull it back out and understitch the seam allowances to the facing.
Now comes the part that is a little fiddly: Place your facing back inside the dress, matching the armholes. Put your hand to the wrong side of the garment, in between the facing and the dress (where Saara’s hand is in the image below).
Grab one front armhole by its seam allowances and pull it carefully to the wrong side in order to place the facing and dress armhole edges right sides together. Pin the front armholes together from the armhole notch, all the way to the shoulder seam, and sew from the armhole notch to the shoulder seam.
Clip seam allowances carefully, and repeat for the other front armhole. Pull the garment right side out again, and repeat the whole thing to the back armholes so that you sew them from the side seam up until the shoulder seam, to the spot where the front armhole seam ends.
Pull the garment right side out again and press the armholes very carefully. Now, understitch the armholes in a similar manner, in four steps: first one front armhole from the side seam to as close to the shoulder seam as possible (the shoulder strap is very narrow, so you probably won’t reach the shoulder seam, but that’s completely ok). Then the other front armhole, and the back armholes, one by one.
Now you have your facing attached, and all you need to do is finish up the rest of your dress! Start by pinning (or basting) the ties to their place on the side seam, marked by notches. Then sew the side seam from the armhole notch (in the pic below) down to the hem and serge the raw seam allowances to neaten them up. Hem the back vent and the bottom edge of the dress.
To finish the facing, fold it to the wrong side, and sew the short side seam closed by hand. Make sure to also attach it to the side seam of the dress. Hand-stitch the facing to the dress also at the center back seam. (We ran a little out of time making our dresses, and that’s why in the last pic Saara is doing all the hand-sewing at our hotel room in Berlin, just before the Sprout fashion show).
So there! Facings seem to divide people into two groups: ones that can’t stand them, and ones that love them. We belong to the latter, mostly because of the simple look you get without visible topstitching (which can be especially annoying on print fabrics when it’s hard to pick a topstitch color that doesn’t pop out too much), and a rather hassle-free sewing method. But if you hate sewing facings or are afraid of them flipping out, you can easily follow the original instructions and sew either a narrow hem, or a bias tape facing!
Remember that the 20% discount on all Named patterns on Sprout is still valid today and tomorrow! Use the code: NAMEDLOVE
x x x Saara & Laura