Sunday, September 22, 2013

Home Sewing Tips from the 1920s - Facing a V-Neckline

In this home sewing tip from the wonderful Ruth Wyeth Spears and the 1920s, the collarless V-neckline was evidently a new and very smart style! She explains in careful detail how to finish the V-neckline with a bias facing, rather than a bias binding, for a more chic effect.

When working with patterns from the 1940s and earlier, facings were, well, simply not included as pattern pieces. It was left to the seamstress to know how to face a seam. The seamstress could use bias strips (as described in this article by Ruth Wyeth Spears), a bias binding, or simply cut a piece to match the outside shape of the piece to provide a neat finish, using the same pattern piece or pieces being faced as the template for the facing. Facings are typically made of the same fabric as the garment, but may also be made of lighter-weight fabric or in a contrast color.


  1. I think it's crazy that they used to not include facings in patterns! I sure am glad there were women like Ruth to explain how to do it, and to leave the future generations instructions too!

    The Middle Sister and Singer

  2. :) During World War II, it helped pattern makers conserve paper by not printing facings, since the person sewing could construct them themselves. I suspect the seamstresses didn't mind since it helped the war effort. But I agree, Brigid, having the facings included in a pattern is definitely very helpful!