Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Burrito Roll Facing Trick

I am all about making shells to wear when it gets hot. And I weary of cutting and sewing facings. I like an all - in - one facing, and I like it cleanly done.
I also love a sewing trick.

I did not invent this, but I did want to illustrate it with more distinction between the inside/outside, facing/fashion fabric sides. 

I used a black fabric and a red fabric; it seems clearer which face is which, as if they were four distinct prints.

I've used it on a couple of things, but the fabrics have no real photographical right and wrong sides. The photos made no sense.

So I made a little model version.

This is photo heavy, and I repeat the technique on the second side, in case the first was not clear enough.

  You would first sew the front and the back pieces to each other at the shoulder seams, and then press them open. I skipped the shoulder seam part.  And any interfacing. Sorry.

Right sides together, sew the neck seam.

Grade and clip that seam.

This is where you'd understitch the neckline seam to the lining.
If you do that sort of thing.  I'd topstitch later.

Turn right side out

Roll up one side of the item towards the opposite armsceye


Flip one side of the shoulder piece....?  over your rolled part

Roll the other over, to make a tube

I flipped it over, matching up the seam edge

Make sure when you pin that seam that you aren't catching any of the rolled up part

Pin for the win!

Okay, my side seam on the left looks odd. It will match up later. Really. The point is to get the armsceye seam edge to match up right now.

Stitched down

Grade and clip the seam

And here is the act of faith: open it up at one end and pull it through.

The clips show where I'd put my pullin' fingers if I weren't taking this photo right now

Looks weird....

And it works. Dang!

Halfway there; we continue with the other side

Roll up

Flip rolled part to center

Fold over and line up, stitch, grade and clip the curves!

Open up an end

Commence pulling

Don't rip it

Just work it out

I left the clips where they started, to give you an idea of how confusing this could be. There used to be a section of the ACTs that used to test this mental skill. 

Now what I SHOULD have done was make the facing part a 1/8" smaller, so that when it was all lined up and turned out, the front fabric would be favored over the facing. This is something I never remember to do ahead of time, so I fake it with the ironing.

Sewing up the side seams; open up the armsceye seam so it's flattened to sew across, front to back in one seam.

Iron the side seam open

From here it's up to you. Topstitching or not.  I didn't make one part the facing and one part the front fabric (a bit of stunt sewing on my part), but clearly that works.

This wouldwork with a heavier fabric and a light lining.  It would not work with something stiff, or with a really narrow shoulder.  It is similar to the vest lining technique I used back in Plaidness, and the Yoke Burrito technique, as demonstrated by the lovely Peter Lappin on his blog Male Pattern Boldness. If you can turn a tube inside out, you can understand and do this, too.


  1. Always useful to have such well illustrated tutorials! Thank you!

  2. Yes, this will come in useful - thanks!

    I have heard of the burrito yoke but haven't needed it so far so really wouldn't have a clue what it's about/where you'd need it. In fact, burritos are rarely on the menu here so I don't even understand the presumably witty reference. I have previously used a clean finish neckline and lining method learnt rom the Slapdash Sewiist but the side seams have disadvantage of looking messy and yours don't. Thanks again (must have taken you a while). Mx

    1. Thanks for your kind words. I could get all food historical on you, but simply put: a burrito is a hot filling rolled up in a steamed tortilla. Which describes so many of us these days as summer comes a little too hot and waaaaaay too early in Seattle.

  3. It is a nice tutorial. Thank you SJ.


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