We're so close! Today I'm going to show you the steps for attaching the facing, so you'll finally have a nice finished neckline edge.
Start by ironing your interfacing on to your facing pieces. I make sure to always use a press cloth and a spritz of water for this step, and hold the iron in place until the glue fuses (don't rub!).
Next, sew the front facing to the back facings at the side seams. The pieces look a little funny, so just remember that there are notches to help you match everything up. You can always refer back to your tissue pattern pieces if you're unsure as well.
Press the seams open.
Finish the lower edges of the facing unit by serging, pinking, or zigzagging.
With the interfaced side up, turn in the left back seam allowance 3/4". This is where the overlap side of the zipper goes.
Next, I highly recommend drawing in your stitching lines on your facing at the strap connection points. These points are a little tricky to sew because of all the pivoting. I used a mechanical pencil and my clear gridded ruler to draw in the stitching lines, which are 5/8" from the edges.
With the straps down and out of the way, pin the facing unit to the dress all the way around the neckline, taking special care that the straps are positioned between the pivot points you marked in above. I put a pin on either side of the strap to keep it from slipping, like so:
Continue to pin all the way around the neckline, matching underarms and notches.
At the overlap side of your zipper, the overlap will extend 1/8" past the facing.
On the underlap side, the facing will extend 5/8" past the underlap.
Stitch all the way around the neckline, carefully pivoting at the strap connection points. You'll need to keep repositioning the straps as you stitch. Go slowly!
Check your stitching at these points; it's still easy to correct things if anything looks funny.
I want you to promise me that you will now take lots of time and care trimming, grading, and clipping your seam allowances! Start by cutting diagonally across any corners.
Then trim the facing seam allowances down to about 1/8", and the dress seam allowances to about 1/4" (this is called grading and it reduces bulk in your seam allowances.)
Clip carefully into your seam allowances around the neckline and armhole curves. These clips should be about 1/2" apart. They will help your curves lay flat rather than bunching.
Pull the straps to the outside.
Next, you'll understitch your facings. Stitch about 1/8" away from the seamline on the facing, keeping the seam allowances pressed toward the facing so you catch them in your stitching. Keep the seam very smooth and taut as you sew.
The straps are going to interfere with your understitching because it gets too tight and small to continue. Go as far as you can near each strap, and then back stitch and break your stitching. Start again on the other side of the strap.
Press your facing to the inside. Doesn't it look lovely!
You'll need to pin the facings in place on either side of the zipper tape and then slip stitch them in place.
At the underarm seams, tack the facings in place used a doubled up strand of thread and taking several stitches on top of each other.
All that's left now is the hem!