Thursday, December 31, 2009

how to FACE the facings

HAPPY 2010!

With this new year we will be encouraging you to study your pattern books to answer most questions.

One of those things that just isn't clear is FACINGS.

Each pattern, each book, each era seems to present new facing issues. I hope to make some of it clear here and welcome your input as all I can do is make an educated guess at what the pattern is telling us.

When I learned to sew (I'm giving away a lot here) in the 50's we depended on knowledge of methods and not pattern instructions to make our clothing. I started with the Bishop method of working on grain and very few patterns were needed. As we passed into the 60's & 70's patterns were amazing and fun and had step by step instructions that trained us. Yes those step by step methods taught us not to think.

We dumbed down!

We lost the ability to decide for ourselves how we would like the clothing to be made.

I challenge you to get a good basic sewing book and decide for yourself how to do each step of your pattern. There are so many ways to do each part that no one way is clearly perfect in all cases. If you like how it turns out then it was a good method to have used.


The symbols are many for decoding the Lutterloh patterns. These you will see intermixed with the facing symbol. Facings are noted as diagonal hatching and ST, the S notes a trimming. These two can be confused or even used interchangeably

Any garment can be lined this is not noted in Lutterloh patterns.

Interfacing is a choice and is used in collars, button bands, waist bands, cuffs, etc. You will decide when to use these they are not noted.

Look at these pattern pieces and see how to find the facings and use the facings.

The dotted lines between symbols are fold lines, first you see a self facing (hatching) It folds over the elastic (see symbol for elastic above)

The thing you shouldn't forget before folding this down is that seam allowances and hems are not in the pattern so I would add a 1/2" to the top for the clean finish.

But add what you wish to use

The facing on this pair of pants needs to have a separate piece traced and cut out. One thing you can see that helps tell you this is that the zipper marks go all the way to the top of the pant. That tells you the facing might be separate. You need to add seam allowance and a fold over for the hem. You must also add the seam allowance to the pant top. It's funny to see hatch marks in the dart but if you think about it a dart really is faced when you pinch the fabric in half.

This facing is fun. See the button line? On the left of it is the button space so we know that the hatching on the other side is a fold over facing and you do not need to cut a separate piece.

I know that seeing the fashion model helps me figure out the intent of the pattern but really I decide the intent of the fashion so I am having you look at the patterns without the aid of the fashion drawings.

Here we have several separate facings.

How do we know? That circle half dark half light is for contrasting fabric. You must add seam allowances.

You also have two arrows used to show different pieces on the front edge so you draw the pattern then cut the front in two separate pieces. In the fashion picture the front piece is cut in the fashion fabric not the contrast. I'm not sure why there is a separate piece if it isn't in the contrast. Odd shape for a button band. It looks as if the button band is a self facing one that you just fold over but do add some hem turning space.

I have several ways to do the contrast fabric. If the top and sleeves are the length I want I will sew the contrasting fabric wrong side to wrong side and fold it toward the front of the fabric. This will make it easy to keep the 3 cm width at the bottom of outfit. It uses mostly the main fabric as the back of the contrasting area. If you wish to sew it to the bottom right sides together and fold it to the underside you need to double the size and add that hem fold over. Other wise the contrast will barely show. Luttlerloh vintage has a lot of contrasting features. This is something we can cover in another posting.

Here the facings are separate and need to be cut separate on the back neck and on the front button band and collar. Add seam allowance and hem finishing length. The bottom appears to be a folded hem but we don't see other hems marked in this way so it may be a facing. We do know it is 3 cm wide.

This is a front pant zipper the hatching is a fold over facing but there is a separate zipper piece 4 cm by 16 Cm that also has a fold over facing. The waist band is separate and the other hatching may be just a folded area. Easy this time.

The pocket needs several pieces. I make these pockets all the time and we call each piece something different to keep track. The hatching is a separate facing piece cut in that shape shown using the pocket lining piece as the mold. I have fun with this and use fun fabrics for this facing.

The front zipper is a center matched zipper and you fold back a self facing on both sides and put the zipper uncovered into the pant. Feel free to cover it by making another piece as in the pant pattern above.

This is a fun sleeve bottom. For this I'll show the fashion picture. See the line of double stitching? Those are the two lines very close and parallel. The other line that is farther apart is believed to be a fold line. This makes me think this is a mock cuff. Find out how to make one in a good sewing book.

On the right coat a possible mock cuff on the left a self facing folded up cuff

Figuring out this facing means when you fold up the cuff you have the wrong side of the fabric showing. See photo above. Think this through carefully. How do you make a nice looking cuff?

A knit bathing suit with elastic and self facing. No raveling with bathing suit knit so I don't add a folded hem I just sew it down.

Separate facing. Many times you can connect or enlarge facings to include button bands, back facing or even bodice lining. The size of facings is a suggestion.

OK your turn.... what facings do you need and what kind are they?

THE QUESTION: Are hatch lines only facings when the ST is on them? Are they just turned areas if not marked? Are the dashed lines folds for darts, tucks, as in placing a front center on the fold? Or is it used for any folded fabric meaning that when present we don't need to make separate facings? Which dashed lines are top stitching, which are folds, which hems?

So many questions! Let's find the answers shall we?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

sleeves the lutterloh way

I hope everyone has enjoyed their holidays'. I know how bad the weather was in many places but that just makes us get into our sewing more. A good question was asked on doing the Lutterloh sleeves. Here I am showing you the method shown in the books. In the next post I will show you some additional helps.

In the pattern for a two piece sleeve you see the cross for putting your pin in. You will make both pieces putting your pin in the one cross but you will cut the pieces out.


Before cutting pieces apart....

Draw a horizontal line across the pin hole making sure it cross the two pattern pieces. This mark will be your matching mark for putting the two pieces together. The distance you see from that point to the wrist is a type of dart. When you put the sleeve together that will pull the sleeve in and may need a touch of easing to get it together.

Next we need to find the center of the sleeve top. I have left the drafting number above the sleeve center. When you draft this number be sure to put a center line into the pattern. You may not see a center line in the vintage sleeve so my next posting will be helpful for those patterns.

One thing about the Lutterloh sleeve that really works for me is the front fitting of the sleeve. (see example below of shape of sleeves) It follows my shoulder and makes the sleeve look great on my slanted shoulder. Patterns you buy at a store today create the sleeve to be nearly equal on both the front of center and the back of center. Yes that makes the pattern fit anyone but not usually with much style. Because of the fitting of the front of the Lutterloh sleeve you will need to fit the center to center line and fit the ease into the back as needed.

See instructions from the 2000 pattern book for sleeve fitting below.

See how fast the slop of the front drops?

And how gradual and long the back drops?

makes a better fitting but more challenging to fit sleeve.

you can click on this to enlarge it but most likely it is in your pattern book already.