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How to sew a sleeveless top with facings

Edit to make this post only about the technique, not my ramblings on other subjects.
This is about making a sleeveless cowl neck top with a facing for both the front and the back. In this way no special finishing of the arm holes is needed. This method is based on Carolyn’s way of making a top with all seams enclosed.
Let me show you how to do this. It’s a good reminder for myself too, I forget when I haven’t done it in a while.
First you need a pattern that has a facing for the back that extends below the armhole. Also the front facing has to extend below the armhole. Easy enough to adapt a pattern, just trace a line about 5 cm (2 inches) below the armhole. The photo below shows you the facing of the back
Step 1: stabilize the back neckline of the back pattern piece
Step 2: with right sides together, sew the neckline of the back and the back facing, press but do not topstitch
Step 3: With right sides together, sew the armhole of the front to the armhole of the front facing.
Step 4: Turn and press
Step 5: with right sides together, pin the front shoulder to the back shoulder. The edge of the neckline should be exactly match the stitch line of the back neckline.
Step 6: Fold the back facing over the shoulder seam and stich the seam
Step 7: Stitch the armhole of the back and back facing. Be careful not to catch the front in the seam and the stitchline at the shoulder must exactly match the edge of the front inside. I started with a regular machine and only then serged the seam.
Opened up it looks like this
Step 9: Stich the side seam and the side seam of the facings in one pass
Step 10: turn and hem


  1. What nice construction. Thanks for sharing Sigrid!

  2. A very nice, clean finish.

  3. Thank you! I was wondering if you could tell me what product you used to reinforce the neckline, I don't recognize it. With many thanks.

  4. Very nice. I'm so glad to find your blog. It's excellent. Thanks

  5. Oh how exciting for you! New home and with sewing room. Thanks for the tutorial on the top as well. I like cowl tops with suits. A nice feminine look to a suit.

  6. Pretty top, great tutorial. Thanks

  7. Thanks so much for clarifying my remarks, Sigrid. I have problems "seeing" things if I have never done them, and you helped quite a bit. The tutorial for the blouse was wonderful! You are very kind to show us your clever methods. I hope you enjoy your new home and find your new sewing room a lovely retreat!

  8. Thank you for sharing your tutorial! I will be sure to bookmark it for future use. That fabric is delightful; you really do find great fabrics!

    Congratulations on moving!

  9. Cheers on your summer sewing projects....and you did it while finding a new home, even more impressive. It is so much work to move and set up but sounds like your new sewing space will be a great reward.

  10. Prachtig shirt, dank dat je de verschillende stappen wilt laten zien.

  11. Congratulations on the new sewing room and thank you for a great tutorial.


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