How to sew V necklines with facings

It’s been requested I do a tutorial on this so here goes. This particular tutorial will show two versions. The first with a one piece facing and the second with a pieced facing with the piecing at the “V”. While the latter isn’t common, the concepts will translate into similar situations where you have to sew a three way seam in tricky positions -like at a V. One example would be gusset junctures.

Note: for all views the muslin is facing and the blue is shell/self.

One piece V neckline
Mark off the seam allowance at the juncture of the V on whichever piece you’ll have on top. I choose the facing. Note: I’m using a 1/4″ seam allowance. This is standard for necklines and outside edges.

I’m doing this the long way. It wouldn’t be done like this in production on standard goods but probably would be in higher end. In real life, most of the time you’ll sew this in one pass. Below I start on one side of the V, near the point, hit the X and reposition to finish that side.

Below, you reverse that to finish the opposite side. Directionals aren’t marked.

The trick to getting a good point is clipping (below). You have to get close, very close. Clip right to the sewing threads. The sewing police will not come and get you for this.

Then you press the seams open getting the tip of your iron all the way into the point (below).

Here’s the inside finished (below). Beautiful, no? If I had any secret tip to tell you, it would be to tug down on the tip of the facing at the V while you’re pressing it. Sometimes it needs a bit of persuasion. More than that and you haven’t clipped far enough.

Another note regarding the above photo. Do note that the shell/self side of the neckline is slightly rolled to the inside and thus slightly visible as blue edging along the V. This is a good thing. You never want the facing and the shell/self seam line to be even-steven on the seam. Many times you have to under stitch something to get it to do this but this facing and neckline are cut off grain so it should roll easily.

And below is the outside. No puckers anywhere.

Two (or is it 3?) piece V neckline

Below are the pattern pieces. The facing is pieced at the V. You will run into similar circumstances with gussets so sew them just like this too.

As in the first example, I marked off the seam allowance. Below -and this is critical- STOP sewing at that point (neckline seam allowance marking). Do not sew the facing all the way through.

Below, press it open. In real life, I wouldn’t press at this stage because I want to keep the flap of allowance from getting in my way.

Let’s check our work, shall we? This one side is fine (below).

Below, the second side is off, it doesn’t hit the mark. Oh horrors! Whatever will we do now?  I just know that tons of you would be having kittens at this point. It is no big deal. It looks like it’s off a lot but consider the scale. Besides, it’s an easy repair.

The stitch line rules. Sew to the meet the end point of the seam facing and don’t worry about it. Do not catch any seam allowances in the stitching (I bet that’s where a lot of you had trouble eh?). Below I’ve also shown directionals. I got into the dumb habit when I was in school. Our machines didn’t have reverse so you had to turn something around on both ends to stay stitch. Maybe you’re better than me but I don’t do this operation often enough to stitch to the precise exact point from one position. Even then I sometimes have to lift the presser foot and adjust the placement of the goods when I’m half a stitch shy of the end point so the needle will end up exactly on point.

Below is the other side. Linse, rather and epeat. Hey, it’s Friday and I get to go home after this.

Below you can see the stitching from the wrong side of the shell/self side. The stitch lines don’t meet exactly at center. It’s close to impossible that they will. Again considering scale, the gap looks larger than it is. In real life, the gap is about one stitch length. That’s not too bad but I don’t think it should be any bigger than that. One stitch length of separation max on lightweight goods. If the goods are nappy or have a pile, you can skate a little.

As in the first example, I’ve clipped through. You have to use scissors with a very fine sharp tip. I am fond of a pair of home sewing applique scissors for this. That’s all I use them for, clipping corners and points. Gingher makes these but Southstar sells the well-respected Claus brand at one third the price. The mark up on scissors at fabric stores and home sewing supply places is outrageous but I digress. As in the first example, get as close as you can. I guarantee this will not fall apart; you’re cutting bias and bias does not ravel.

Again as in the first example, below I’ve pressed the seam allowances open (butterflied).

Below is the finished effect from the inside.

And below from the outside.

In sum, the tips are: clip very closely and in the case of the multi-part juncture, never sew through seam allowances.

There are 35 comments Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *