Fundamentals of Pattern Making: Basic Facings

Fundamentals of Pattern Making: Basic Facings

Hussein Chalayan, AW11, Video Still.

The construction which occurs on the inside of garments is just as important as the design of the outside, for a number of reasons. A garment which has been nicely lined or neatly finished on the inside will wear better over time, it will also sit better on the body and for the purposes of presenting the garment to buyers or customers, it will look more professional and luxurious.

Sometimes when a garment is not finished correctly small details will not seem to hang nicely on the body – a collar won’t roll quite the right way, a neckline won’t sit quite flat or a lining will bunch up in the wrong areas. Part of the ability to control the edges of garments is in giving the correct structure to the areas such as the neckline, armhole and hem.

One of the techniques for achieving the right garment shape is with the aid of facings, which give greater stability to a garment than merely lining fabric alone. Facings are essentially wide borders of fabric which are sewn into the edges of clothing. If you look inside many jackets you will see a border of the exterior fabric used as part of the front lapel and hem, rather than using lining over the entire inside of the garment. Or at the back neck of garments often there is a facing which hangs down below the level of the front neckline, to create a neater look when the garment is on the hanger and almost to provide a frame for the garments label.

The images below show some of the different shapes of facings which often appear inside garments. The images show roughly how they would be traced from the pattern used for the outside of the garment. The coloured shapes represent the shape of the facings:

When facings are used in shapes like this they can be used in conjunction with lining or they may instead simply have a neatly finished edge which is visible on the inside of the garment. The drawings below show how you would trace off facings in order to eliminate dart value. You do not want to have darts or unnecessary seams in your facing as this will add bulk to your garment.

The images below are from the Hussein Chalayan Autumn-Winter 2011 collection. Though we cannot see inside these garments to see what combination of facings/linings have been used, the images have been roughly marked with indications of possible facing positions so that you can become aware of their usual positions on garments. Note how a facing does not have to be broken up into the same number of panels as the outside layer. The facing can be a smooth continuous piece, which then helps to support the shape of the outside of the garment.

Hussein Chalayan, AW11, Video Stills.

Video still images from»

 Technical images from TheCuttingClass.

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