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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: krilliekat
Date: 09-19-2003, 04:11 PM (1 of 8)
I've sewn for years, but baby clothes are new for me since my oldest is 17 months.I am expecting a baby in 2 weeks and have been trying to sew a few garments for him, but I cannot get the collar facings to do right. The first thing I made was a jacket out of corduroy, and it was bulky and I figured it was the heaviness of the fabric. Then last night I made a little layette robe out of batiste and it was very hard to lay flat and puckered all around the neckline even after I ironed and ironed.
Now I made and outfit for Seth when he was 9 months and did not have this problem, so I assume the smaller the cut of the collar the harder it is to get smooth (for me). Is this something that I jsut need practice on or is there any special tricks I can do? I already grade the seams and notch/clip curves and sew ease when required. What else is there?
Mommy to Seth and Matthew
User: krilliekat
Member since: 08-28-2003
Total posts: 7
From: jcook
Date: 09-19-2003, 07:35 PM (2 of 8)
One thing that helps me with this is to press everything as it is sewn, before turning. I don't know why it helps but I saw it on one of the sewing shows on tv. Also, when that doesn't work, I topstitch it down! Depending on the garment and the fabric, I may do edgestitching, 1/4 inch away from the edge or you could go for a sportswear look and stitch at the facing edge, into the garment as well as one of the others. The way I look at it, if I'm sewing something, I'm the designer and can take these liberties!

I'll bet there are probably ways that this is supposed to be done though. I know I've read about understitching being supposed to help this problem but all that ever did for me was to give me a nicely stitched edge to flip to the outside, never could get it to hold in place using that method!

Let us know what works for you!
User: jcook
Member since: 08-16-2000
Total posts: 50
From: stitchmd
Date: 09-20-2003, 12:02 PM (3 of 8)
Why not just forget about facings on baby clothes and do bindings. Babies are small and round and their clothing isn't going to lie smoothly and the facings will probably keep working their way to the outside with all the wiggling. I think when I made things with collars for babies I just folded under and tacked or stitched in the ditch for the inside collar edge. Sewing circles is hard enough and the smaller they are the trickier it is to do.
User: stitchmd
Member since: 02-25-2003
Total posts: 226
From: MaryW
Date: 09-22-2003, 07:24 AM (4 of 8)
Krilliekat, you have done just about everything there is to help you facings lay flat. I agree with stitchmd, facings are a pain with such little garments. Binding is the way to go, less bulk and frustration. :bluesmile
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: LeapFrog Libby
Date: 09-22-2003, 06:55 PM (5 of 8)
This may not help at all, but I have lerned thru trial and error that my problem is that I am 'heavy handed'. You cannot put any pressure at all on collars, undercollars, facings and necklines, or they will not fit together properly.. You have to let them take themselves thru the machine and you just stitch slowly and carefully and gently guide the fabric thru.. When I do this, it usually works..OH< one more thing, allways cut the undercollar a smidge smaller than the main one.. that way, the stitches can never come over to the top side.. Now , I'm talking about the outside curve part, not the neck edge.. Make a little test collar and see how smooth it lies when the one underneath is a little smaller.. When you press it carefully it turns out perfectly..:cool: :cool:
Sew With Love
User: LeapFrog Libby
Member since: 05-01-2002
Total posts: 2022
From: jcook
Date: 09-23-2003, 01:22 PM (6 of 8)
I am going to have to try that out Libby! Of course, now I have to remember to do that the next time I am working on a collar!!! Not easy to remember new things if you know what I mean! I like your description too, heavy handed is a perfect term for it. I used to try too hard to control the curves instead of just gently guiding them. We are always learning aren't we!

User: jcook
Member since: 08-16-2000
Total posts: 50
From: Sherri
Date: 09-23-2003, 03:07 PM (7 of 8)
I never use facings for small children. I always line bodice tops on dresses and such and bind everything else.

My website
User: Sherri
Member since: 02-07-2001
Total posts: 357
From: woodywoodpecker
Date: 11-12-2003, 02:14 AM (8 of 8)
You can change the shape of your facing to any design you want as long as you don't change the neckline. For example instead of the couple of inches in depth that is usually used on a facing you could make it extend in kind of a "u" shape. Sometimes I have extended it into the armholes, depending on what I was doing and how frustrated I was getting. Lets see those facing peek out of the garments now LOL!
User: woodywoodpecker
Member since: 11-07-2003
Total posts: 242
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