Tea House Top & Dress: Yoke Facing November 17 2016

Welcome back! Today is our penultimate post for the Tea House - we are installing our gorgeous Yoke Facing! This is one of those moments we get to see how pretty our dress will be, inside and out.

We start on page 11, joining our Yoke Facing pieces E and B, grading, and pressing the shoulders open. Now, we will be basting without backstitching, and pulling the threads (similar to our neckline treatment earlier), then pressing this curve. As shown at the bottom of page 11, you may want to clip right where the curve of the "keyhole" shape extends to the straight edge. 

The image below is from another garment and the neck isn't finished correctly but it does show the basting stitch around the outer edge of the yoke facing.

This step is a little fussy. Take your time and press until you have a nice, flat folded edge:

yoke facings to body

Now, we get to pin our facing to the neckline of our dress, and sew right on that 5/8" seam line (step 1 on the top of Page 12):

I like to reinforce at the "v" of the neckline, in that I'm going to be clipping right to that stitchline:

After clipping to the "v" at the front neckline, go ahead and clip, notch, and grade this seam (step 2 at the top of Page 12). In general, we leave a wider grade on the allowance that is closer to the public side of the garment:

Now, we get to understitch!

Understitching is magic! Most facings can and should be understitched - it strengthens the seam, and helps the garment fall beautifully. The instructions ask you to press first, then stitch. Often, I simply finger press right as I stitch. You will be understitching only 1/8" away from the seamline, on the facing side, catching all seam allowances:

Then, turn the facing to the inside of the dress and press, leaving a gorgeous rolled edge:

options for securing facings

Now, you have a choice here. You can either crackstitch or edge-stitch the facing from the public side of the dress - pinning or using a fusible web to make sure to catch the facing - or you can handstitch here. Before we continue, I have a couple words on these options.

It's easy to say that handstitching takes longer than machine-stitching. However, if you've ever fiddled with something like this and stitched without catching all the facings, and then had to pull out seams and re-stitch, it isn't always obvious that handstitching is more time-consuming!

Also, I love the perfection and control of handstitching. And I only became proficient at handstitching, by doing a heck of a lot! So that is the option I elected for this facing edge. (Perfect, I might add, to sit down and watch a little Netflix while you do it!).

But first, you'll want to pin that facing and make sure everything lies smoothly:

A close-up of a slip-stitch. I am running the needle 3/8" through the fold of the facing edge, and then taking a tiny nip right off the public-side seamline. I find it really soothing, actually!

And of course, it's always so gratifying to see how well the shoulders line up:

After you've stitched the facing, gently steam press it to shrink it in place! And boom! you're done with your wonderful neckline!

Nov 19 is our last post! How has the sew-along gone for you? Leave any comments or feedback below!