Hello my fellow stitchers, hope you’re all enjoying your weekend. I’m here today to tell you about my just finished project; another Gemma Tank. I reviewed this pattern a few weeks ago, if you recall, but I didn’t change anything to it. This time I made a couple of changes, namely changing the bias binding with all-in-one facing and I made a cropped version of it. As for the latter, it is quite self explanatory and I don’t think I’d need to explain how I did it. I’m here to share how I did the facing and the burrito method I used for neckline without opening.
You know I love my Gemma tank. It’s so versatile and at less than a metre fabric requirement, I think it’s a must-have pattern. The Gemma calls for bias binding to finish the armholes and neckline, and I love that. But for this version I had to go with facing as I didn’t have enough fabric to make bias binding and I wasn’t in the mood for contrasting bias finish at the time.
The fabric I was using is Bali batik that was gifted by The Fabric Guys. This fabric is medium weight (quilting weight) and only 44″ wide. But as I made the cropped version (the Gemma pattern is flared at the hem/hips) I could cut on fold with both selvedges meet in the middle (a fold on each side of the selvedge). I didn’t have much of this fabric, it was just about one metre, leftover from making the main project for them. I will link to the post once it goes live, it is a tutorial on making maxi batik skirt. You might not want to miss that. 😉
To “draft” the facing pattern pieces, basically I just drew a wavy line on the pattern as shown in my drawing – you can use curved ruler or just freehand it like I did, just make sure that:
- The front facing doesn’t include the dart(s) so as not to be too bulky, after all the facing pieces need to be interfaced.
- The length of the side seam on both the front and back are the same. It’s not the end of the world if they weren’t the same, it’s just for aesthetic reason.
Both facing pieces, just like the bodice pieces, are cut on the fold. After I cut the facings, I then interfaced both pieces and finished the bottom edge.
One thing to note is that the first thing I did after I cut my bodice and facing pieces is to staystitch the neckline and armholes. As I decided the SA for the neckline and armholes to be 3/8″, I staystitched at 1/4″ from the edge. I think it’s even more important to do so when we know we’re going to do the burrito method, which means handling the fabric rather rougher than we normally would. I didn’t want my neckline or armhole to stretch while puling the bodice later.
So here are the detailed steps I did to construct the top.
- Sew the bodice front and back on the shoulder seams.
- Press the seams open.
- Do the same with the facing pieces.
- With Right Sides Together (RST), sew facing to bodice on the neckline.
- Trim the Seam Allowance (SA), notch the curve to help the facing lie flat, press.
- Understitch the neckline.
- Turn the facing to the inside so it is Wrong Sides Together (WST) with the bodice.
- Lie the garment flat with the right side of the facing facing up.
- Tightly roll the garment from one side seam towards the opposite side seam. Especially tight around the shoulder seam as that’s quite bulky and the shoulder is not so wide.
Keep rolling the garment until you reach the opposite shoulder, take the free facing and wrap it over and under the rolled bodice, and line the facing’s side seam with the bodice’s side seam, they are now RST.
- Pin everything in place. I try to keep the roll as tightly as possible, and put an extra pin or two near the roll around the shoulder so that I wouldn’t catch the (rolled) bodice when I’m stitching the narrowest area.
- Stitch the armhole.
- Trim and notch the SA.
- Remove all the pins, pull the bodice through the shoulder “channel”. Be very gentle as the channel is quite narow. I really took my time turning the garment right side out here as I didn’t want to rip the stitches/fabric. Press to smooth the stitches and the crumpled fabric.
- Understitch the armhole as far as you can.
- Do the same with the other armhole.
- With the bodice front and back RST, open the front and back facings up so that they’re also RST, stitch the side seam starting from the top of the facing all the way down to the hem of the bodice in one pass.
- Finish the SA and press the seam open.
- Turn the facing to the inside of the bodice, stitch in the ditch to secure it.
- Do the same for the other side seam.
- Hem the top.
And that’s all there is to it. Not too confusing I hope? As much as I love the speed of bias finish, I love the look of facing more. It feels more luxurious to me. How about you, are you on team facing or bias binding? I really love the burrito method, I think it makes for a nice and cleaner finish. This technique is a lot easier when you’re dealing with wider shoulder seams and or lighter fabric, but like I said, it just takes a bit more patience.
That’s all from me today. Hope this post was helpful to you. I’ll see you again soon. Have a wonderful weekend and week ahead everyone. ❤