Making a skirt facing pattern

The waist of a skirt can be finished in at least three ways:

1. Create a waistband: add an extra piece of fabric.

Typically then, the top edge may consist of the fold of the waistband fabric, and the juncture between the skirt and the waistband is hidden by a seam, with the raw edge facing the inside.

You can see an example of this fold in the photo of a second-hand factory-produced skirt below:

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Typically then, the top edge may consist of the fold of the waistband fabric, and the juncture between the skirt and the waistband is hidden by a seam, with the raw edge facing the inside.

2. Use a lining.

The seam between the lining and the skirt serves as the finished edge of the top of the skirt, the raw edge being concealed inside the juncture of skirt and lining.

This isn’t common as typically people want the edge finished off in the same fabric as the rest of the skirt

3. Use a facing.

A facing works to create a top edge like that obtained by using a lining, however it does not go the full length of a lining, only about two inches down inside the skirt, for the purpose of generating a neat top edge.

You can see how this works in the wool (factory-made, second-hand-purchased) skirt below; the seam between the skirt and the facing is between my fingers and follows the top edge of the skirt:

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(In this case there is a lining as well, but it is attached to the bottom of the facing.)

Because the facing does not go the full length of the skirt, but rather no deeper than the dart, it can be cut — instead of darted — to follow the same curve of the waist as the (darted) skirt.

You can see that in the factory-made wool skirt here:

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The top edge clearly connects a piece of fabric with a dart-seam to a piece of fabric — the facing without a dart seam.

Thus, here is how you make a facing pattern:

1. Trace off the top few inches of the pattern of the skirt for which you would like a facing.

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Remember to trace the dart. Carbon paper works best for this. I also traced along the seam line:

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3. Cut out along the trace-line

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4. Cut out the dart.

You do this by cutting out along one side of the dart, and connecting the the two sides of the dart to each other. Image

Tape, and smooth out any corners, and then trim the the facing so that it has a “height” of 5 cm all along its length (exclusive of the seam allowance).

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Do this for first both the front and back skirt blocks.

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When it comes time for dealing with cloth, you will want to cut each facing on the fold, sew it with the “wrong” sides together to the associated skirt pieces (each also cut on the fold). Turn inside out, press, and sew the side seams (including zipper, if any) as if the facing were just part of the inside of the skirt pieces.

The facing can be finished by attachment to a lining or by a simple narrow edging (fold over 1 cm at the edge and stitch into place). Some facings are kept in place by fusible interfacing, but this seems to be more common with bodice and shirt facings than with those for skirts.

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