Now we need to plan for how we are finishing our neckline. Generally you have a couple options, such as using a facing or binding with bias tape.
For the purposes of this course I will teach you how to draft a separate facing for our neckline. What do I mean by separate? There are a couple of different facings; fold-back, combined and separate.
Fold-back facings are usually drafted on the pattern piece that it will be facing. It will look like a bit like you have drafted a collar or extended neckline on the sloper itself.
Combined facings are used when you draft a facing for both a sleeveless top and the neckline. Instead of drafting a facing piece for the sleeves and another for the neckline, you join the two to create a combined facing.
Finally there is the separate facing, which is the type I am going to teach. You could simply say that I am teaching you to draft a standard facing, since in our course our top has sleeves. It’s always good to know the correct terms.
Step 1: Trace Your Neckline To New Pattern Pieces
Trace the top section of your front sloper, so that it includes the centre front, the neckline, the shoulder and some of the armhole. Generally you want about 3-4″ of height of the sloper included from the centre front neckline.
Step 2: Draft Your Facing
According to Helen Joseph-Armstrong in the book Patternmaking For Fashion Design, a facing is usually 1.5″-2″ in width.
THe neckline facing will vary in width from shoulder to centre front.
Depending upon your neckline, you may or may not have a full 1.5″ to 2″ at your shoulder. We don’t want the facing’s fabric edge to add bulk to our armhole seam, thus we don’t want to extend it the full distance. For example, my shoulder seam is 6.3cm or 2.5″ exactly. I will draft a facing at 5cm or 2″ at the shoulder. We will add seam allowance to the facing in Lesson Nine: Seam Allowances and Grainlines…
At the centre front I will make the facing slightly wider, as I find on my shirts if there are any excess fabric it tends to gather in the dip between my breasts. In this case I chose to make the facing 11.4cm or 4.5″ in width. Choosing a slightly longer facing in this regard will help make sure that the fabric can’t as easily fall into this dip.
I always find it helpful to draw out my bust arc to see just where my facing will land according to any fullness of my breasts.
Draw a line at right angles from centre front and square a line down from the shoulder. Draw both with at least 1/4″ length. Use a curve ruler to smooth out a nice curve between the shoulder and centre front lines. Try not to create any dramatic curves, but rather one long gentle curve.
Step 3: Make It Fit Better
To ensure that our facing lies flat nicely and doesn’t bunch up underneath the outer fabric, we need to reduce a couple measurements. This will help it keep a more snug fit. Be reducing certain measurements we will also be building-in favouring of our seams. What is favouring? Often when pressing a seam between internal and external fabric you might be asked to favour the external fabric so that the internal is hidden slightly under. You may even then go on to edge-stitch this seam. This simple trick helps to hide the internal fabric from view.
Bring in your shoulder seam 1/16″, as shown below in bright pink. This will help it not bunch up when moving your arms around.
Measure your neckline and mark the halfway point. Square out directly from this mark to the bottom of your facing. Measure 1/2″ (1.27cm) either side of this line and draw two notches. From one of the notches (I used my lower most notch), measure 3/8″ towards the half way point (the squared out line) and make another mark.
It should now look something similar to the picture below:
Now slash along the squared-out line you made, leaving a pivot point at the bottom of the facing piece. Pivot the top facing part closed until your your squared-out line touches the 3/8″ mark you made.
If needed, carefully blend your neckline and facing’s hem.