5.10.2016, 6 comments

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

Pattern: Kielo Wrap Dress
Fabric: Poly Crepe de Chine
Photos: Laura



  1. Caroline says:

    I’ve never sewn a facing before, in fact the Kielo that I attached this to was only my 3rd sewing project ever. But it made perfect sense and I have absolutely fallen in love with facings as a result! Such a beautiful finish.
    Sadly I sewed a woven in the same size as my knit version and it is a little too snug (and like Janet I would benefit from an 18). But it’s a fab pattern and a fab tutorial.

    1. named says:

      Thank you for your comment! Yep, facings do make a nice and neat result, we have to agree with you! 🙂 And unfortunately with woven fabrics the dress might be a bit snug in your regular size – if you want to make another version later, we would suggest checking the finished bust measurements, and choosing the size so that there’s approx. 4 – 6 cm (1″) ease at the bust, compared to your own bust circumference 🙂

  2. Janice Price says:

    I love this dress! I just made for my daughter in-law in a Nani Iro double gauze. I haven’t hemmed it yet so no photos.
    I used this tutorial to make the facing but could not understand the “fiddly” flipping part . After I picked it out , I found an excellent video from Threads magazine on all in one facings. I think I’ll make one for myself!! Your patterns are lovely!!

    1. named says:

      Hi Janice, and thank you for your comment! I agree, the facing part is super tricky to understand at first, so the video is definitely helpful! Thank you for sharing 🙂 Best, Laura

  3. janet.tx.np says:

    I was excited about this dress, but then noticed it only went up to a 14 in US sizes. I sure would like the pattern in an 18 or 20

    1. named says:

      Thank you for your feedback Janet! I understand it must be frustrating that the pattern is available only up to 14 🙁 We will do our best to grade more and more patterns up to US18 in our future collections! With kind regards, Laura

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