Sewing Bee Shift Dress : Facing Issues!

I realised the other day that I haven’t actually made that many dresses in my ‘dressmaking’ learning so obviously that was a brilliant excuse to get to the fabric shop and start making a dress.

I chose the Shift Dress from the Great British Sewing Bee Sew Your Own book and a fabric that will go with and without tights – am I the only one who does the tights check before buying a dress or fabric?

So we come to the facings… I’ve learnt how important it is to stay stitch necklines and shoulders. The pattern didn’t say to stay stitch and it didn’t cross my mind but I will remember next time. Although one shoulder went perfectly the other is now a half a centimetre bigger than the facing I’m trying to sew it too!

Stay stitching has to be the easiest technique, you literally just run a row of stitches just inside of the seam allowance on the edges that you’re facing will be sewn to. No backtacking and just unpick it after (if you can see it!). It doesn’t even take a minute to do before you pin your facings but it is well worth doing as it stops the shoulder or neckline from stretching – that is not what you want!

Here’s the before and afters of my neck facing for you to see what a difference it has made taking the time to unpick the neck facing and sew it on again


As you can see it’s all ‘bumpy’ and loose down the back, the front doesn’t look too bad but it was really tight and the facing kept on showing. Here’s my after photos…

It really has made a difference, the back lies smoothly just how it should do now and the front isn’t really tight at the seam anymore.

I will upload full length photos once I’ve fixed the shoulder facing and tweaked a dart! That’s what I’m off to do now…

PS… It’s okay to sew whilst breaking in a pair of heels isn’t it?!


8 thoughts on “Sewing Bee Shift Dress : Facing Issues!

  1. Wow you are doing so well with your sewing.I used to make a lot of things when my family were young and have not made anything for about 30 years. You have inspired me to want to get a pattern and fabric and have a go so thank you my friend xx


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