Thursday, July 21, 2011

Talk Back Thursday and Give-Away Winner!

Photo credit: Stephanie at Unfinished Sewing Projects Blog

Thank you so much to Sarah, Julia, Mamafitz, Carla, Nancy, Katherine, Debbie, Gwen, Faye, Patsijean, Becky and Summerset for talking back to my confession a couple of weeks ago. I asked about neckline facings and, in particular, about understitching and tacking practices.

Many of my confessions elicit a wide variety of unique responses and demonstrate the opportunities to express your individuality through your sewing.

This one?

Ummm, not so much…. ;)

Basically, everybody understitches their facings. Also, everybody tacks at least some, if not all of the time – although most people only tack at the shoulders and not all the way around the neckline. Using a machine stitch-in-the-ditch approach was most frequently mentioned, but some people, like Summerset, use hand stitching to tack the facings on their nicer garments.

One thing that I did not expect – many people reported trying to avoid facings and either lining bodices or using bias bindings at the neckline (and armholes on sleeveless tops) instead. (Although this may not completely avoid the understitching issue - Mamafitz recommends understiching linings too...)

It never occurred to me to replace the facing in a pattern with a bias binding - this is something I'll have to keep in mind in the future.

Of course, all of this is just avoiding the elephant in the room - looks like I need to start understitching my facings. ;)

Several people chimed in with reasons for understitching and tacking - basically all variations on the theme of making sure that the facing lays nicely and doesn't roll or flip out.

There was only one small issue that generated 2 different perspectives - that of facings on knit fabrics. While Becky thought that knit fabrics, most of all, are best finished by binding with a strip of fabric, Nancy has recently started using a 3-step zig zag stitch to understitch knits. There is a tip on this in the PR book (click here) and a nice explanation with photos on The Sewing Lawyer's blog (click here).

Know something interesting? Understitching is one of the sewing skills to be demonstrated on 4-H checklists. Check it out here and here... And I've got a bunch of embedded links to understitching tutorials in the picture - not that it sounds like any of you guys need that! ;)

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to comment! Once again, you're changing the way I sew for the better. :)


And now for the moment you've all been waiting for - the randomly drawn winner of my give-away!

In honor of my 700th post, I will be sending a copy of Helen Joseph-Armstrong's book, Patternmaking for Fashion Design to...


Please email me at so that I can get your mailing address.

As always, I wish there was some way that I could let each and every one of you know how much it means to me to know that you read my blog. I wouldn't have reached 7 posts, never mind 700, if it wasn't for all of you. Thank you! :)


gwensews said...

I am speechless! And so excited to have won this book. I've sent my address to you. Thank you for your generous give-away. And keep blogging those thought-provoking posts. Yay!!!!!!! I won!!!!!!

Julia said...

Congrats to Gwenn. She's a great blogger friend. She's also one of the most accomplished sewists I know!
I thought of your question this week as I was making a bubble suit and a sundress for two of my grands. I lined the bodices. I don't always understitch the linings, because I feel that I am going to pull them tight enough when I stitch them to the bottom of the bodice that it isn't necessary. Another thing I do sometimes is put piping around the neckline and armholes. That also helps keep the lining in place.

Bri said...

Yes, I agree with the avoiding facings when possible, I find them annoying...

Awesome give away, I love that book!