Oliver + S

Totally confused – Attaching the Facing

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    susanebartolini @susanebartolini

    Ok…so I am an advanced beginner and have made a couple of dresses for my daughter. I decided that I wanted to try the Oliver + S Birthday Party dress. Everything was going along nicely until I got to the facing that attaches to the top of the dress. The instructions totally confused me at the “Attach The Top Facing” portion of the instructions. I have no clue where I am supposed to clip. So, I decided to just keep going to the attaching the facing to the dress part.

    And now I can’t figure out exactly where I am supposed to attach the facing to the dress. There are a bunch of folds there (with interfacing and marking for buttonholes) and I am so confused. What would be MEGA helpful would be a photograph.

    Thanks for any help!

    Susan

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    April Henry @April1930s

    I am going upstairs to sew more on an Oliver + S pattern and will pull these instructions out to see if I can see where you are stuck. While I don’t have a photograph of the process, I will try to help you…. be back later. 🙂

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    revannie @revannie

    I’m totally stuck here too! I’ve re-attached the facing a couple times to the dress, and it’s still not correct. Help!

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    susanebartolini @susanebartolini

    Yeah…it is like if you attach the facing where the pattern says, you then block off the button placket. Likewise on the bottom facing. If you attach the bottom facing, then you somehow ruin the placket fold at the bottom. Also, I could not for the life of me figure out where to clip. It is so weird, I spent hours on this and I just can’t figure it out. So, I just removed the bottom facing and eased the hem instead. But I really need to figure out the top because my finish didn’t look that great and I really want to make this dress again and again. Sorry you are having trouble too Revannie….

    Susan

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    revannie @revannie

    I’ve tried sewing it a couple different ways but it just doesn’t look right. I think I clipped in the right places. It’s the button placket area that’s confusing. I’m farid if I keep folding the button placket, like (I think) the pattern says), the dress will be too small. And judging from the pattern envelope, back view, it looks like the button placket is sizable. Does this make sense? Help! Annie

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    April Henry @April1930s

    There are a couple of dots that you would have transferred from your pattern piece to your fabric – that’s where you would clip to.

    Did you see the part of the pattern where you are suppose to fold and press back the placket at the notches (very bottom and very top of placket section)? If I am remembering correctly, you will need to open that fold back up (because it isn’t stitched at this point, it is only pressed) and attach the facing ALIGNING THE RAW EDGES – press your seam allowances open (the illustrations have an error and show as if the seam allowances pressed open go all the way down, they don’t because the facing piece is only a few inches tall). It will appear as if the facing is smaller than the dress portion, but it will turn out right when you turn the right side out. Remember, you’re stitching the facing to the dress in sections… because you do not want to stitch across the shoulder seams. Whenever I sew an O+S pattern, I have to take each step methodically and not get too concerned about the following steps, because it always surprises me at the end how absolutely brilliant and perfect things will turn out.

    Same thing with the bottom facing – you have to open the sides all the way out to the raw edges and align the raw edges of the seams. Then press the seam allowances open again. The folds of the back placket will return to their original position and the alignment will fit with the facing.

    It does help if you are meticulous in your cutting, marking, and all the preparation – it makes the steps flow easier because your fabric/stitching, etc. will continually look like the sketches and help with following along the illustrations. I prefer to use a rotary cutter as much as possible.

    Hope this helps. Keep us posted.

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    susanebartolini @susanebartolini

    April – thank you so much for your response. I am going to try this dress again because I absolutely adore it. I will make sure that I follow your instructions meticulously and report back!

    Susan

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    susanebartolini @susanebartolini

    April….one more question. I would like to fully line this dress. Is that possible? Would I just line each of the pieces before assembly and then ignore the facing instructions?

    Thanks again,

    Susan

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    April Henry @April1930s

    Hi, Susan… I’m trying to imagine what I would do if I were to line that dress… I think I would be more inclined to follow the facing lines and just make it ‘longer’ so that the lining drapes softly on the inside. ?? This might be a question for Liesl. I suppose you could double all pieces and baste them together inside the seam allowance and then treating each piece as one piece but that would still require a hem of some sort and in this case, a hem-facing would be best to reduce bulk.

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    Liesl Gibson
    Keymaster
    @liesl

    Ok, let me see if I can help here. April, thanks so much for your assistance! I just taught this dress again last Saturday, so it’s pretty fresh again in my mind and I think I might be able to shed a little more light on your areas of confusion.

    First of all, the facings get sewn to the very back edges of the dress before you do anything else with them. Unfold the plackets completely, and stitch the raw back edge of the facing to the raw back edge of the dress. This won’t seem right because the facings are shorter than the dress. But because the outside of the dress folds around the form the placket at the inside of the dress, the facings will make up the difference in length once the placket is in place. Does that make sense? (That applies to the hem facing as well. I’ll try to take and post a photo tomorrow if I get a minute.)

    Then when you stitch the top edge of the facing to the dress, be sure that you match the dots at those corners. The key is to sew with the dress up and the facing underneath. You’ll want to hit the seamlines where the front/back panels meet the side panels, and pivot exactly at those points. The dots should be located at the pivot points.

    Then when it comes time to clip, clip from the facing side. It will be much easier to see what you’re doing. The goal is to clip into those corners as closely as you can without cutting your stitching line. Once you’ve clipped, the facing will turn to the inside of the dress nicely and you’ll have a very crisp, smooth edge at the top of the dress.

    Ok so far?

    As far as lining the dress, you could probably do it by cutting the facing longer and treating it as a lining. I’ve never tried it, but I’m envisioning it and so far it’s working in my mind. It may fit a little tighter in the skirt area, only because you won’t have the flare at the skirt that the rest of the dress has.

    Alternatively, you might try cutting a lining from the same pattern pieces as the outside dress, but then you’ll have double seams to contend with when you sew that facing seam we just discussed above. Could potentially be tricky.

    Here’s another idea for you. April has done this for me with a couple of samples she’s made. It’s called Interlining, and you’re essentially treating the exterior fabric and a second layer as one single fabric. Cut the outside dress pieces from both layers of fabric. Then baste the two layers together before starting construction so it’s easier to deal with them. The second layer gives additional body and support or thickness to the exterior fabric, but it’s not treated as a separate layer or lining. You would do your usual construction with the fabric, just pretending like the two fabrics are one single fabric. This is sort of like a lining, but the two layers are sewn completely as one layer and you’ll still have a facing.

    Let me know if you have further questions you want to discuss, and I apologize for the delay in getting back to you on your questions. I’ll be around for the rest of the week and promise to be faster in my responses. Cheers!

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    April Henry @April1930s

    See?… it’s these clear, concise, perfect, mind’s-eye-visual instructions that keep me coming back to Oliver + S patterns. 🙂

    Thank you, Liesl!!!

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    spring @spring

    Hi,

    Ok, I have done all these steps and no problem:

    First of all, the facings get sewn to the very back edges of the dress before you do anything else with them. Unfold the plackets completely, and stitch the raw back edge of the facing to the raw back edge of the dress. This won’t seem right because the facings are shorter than the dress. But because the outside of the dress folds around the form the placket at the inside of the dress, the facings will make up the difference in length once the placket is in place.

    But when I get to this point:

    Then when you stitch the top edge of the facing to the dress…

    My facing is smaller than my neck line by about 6/8″. I have checked and double checked that I cut the fabric correctly and I have used 1/2″ seam allowances.

    Any ideas? This is my first garment so I don’t have a lot of experience but I have been following the instructions very closely…

    Help! I’m so close!!

    Thanks.

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    Liesl Gibson
    Keymaster
    @liesl

    When you say the facing is smaller by 6/8″, do you mean that it’s shorter? As in, the plackets are folded back by 1 1/4″ on either side but the facing is still too short to fit the width of the dress? Could it be that your seam allowances are different or that the placket was folded a bit too narrowly? I’m trying to think why else this could be the case. Will keep thinking…

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    spring @spring

    What is too small is the middle area between the straps, the straight line that goes across the chest, so the facing and the dress aren’t matching. If I match one arm the other one is off… the middle section is too short. I have checked to make sure I cut the fabric correctly, front facing piece placed on the fold and 2 back facing pieces… I don’t understand what I did wrong.

    I guess I’ll have to redo the front to see if that’s were the mistake is. It would have to be in the sewing of the center-front panel and the two side-back panels.

    Thanks. I appreciate your help.

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    Liesl Gibson
    Keymaster
    @liesl

    I hope it works out! The facing should match perfectly, so if you go back again, check to be sure you cut exactly on the fold and used 1/2″ seam allowances. (You already checked this, I know…) Good luck!

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