Fabric Insets using Facings!

This is a slightly rare but still relatively common design element in anime and manga costumes, especially in older shounen series. When you have what appears to be a hole that never frays and never changes shape with another fabric underneath, this is the technique you want to use! It pops up a lot in JoJo, so since it appears on Gyro Zeppeli’s pants, I took detailed photos of one of the four insets to show you how to make this effect yourself!

End result looks like this!


Click the Read More to learn how to do this for yourself!!!

to start with, you will need a pattern. The pattern is the shape you want the hole plus one inch or one and a half inches (or the rough equivalent in metric). Cut this out once in the same fabric as the fabric you are placing the hole into, and once in the fabric you are placing behind the hole. Finish the outside edges of each piece with a serger or a zigzag (I’m not bothering to finish the purple because it’s spandex and fleece; if it were any other type of fabric that can remotely fray I would have, same as I finished the brown), and trace the STITCHING LINE on the wrong side of the same-fabric piece. Here’s the four pieces of the pants fabric and the four pieces of purple for the Gyro Zeppeli pants. Sorry it’s a bit hard to see the outline of the rounded rectangle; cell phone camera.

Ignore the horizontal quilting lines; they’re in this design but they’re irrelevant for the tutorial. 

Place the same-fabric piece on the RIGHT SIDE of the fabric you are putting a hole into. Make sure you like where the stitching line is! Pin carefully. In this example I’m putting them down the side of some pants legs.


Now here’s the part that always makes me want to cry. Cut through ALL PIECES OF FABRIC INSIDE THE HOLE leaving a very small seam allowance. Clip corners and curves. There’s no going back now. You have a hole in your fabric. I hope you like it.

Take your fabric to the ironing board. Flip it over so the wrong side is up. Carefully turn the fabric on the outside to the INSIDE, pressing as you go. This might make more sense if you look at the pictures. First, what it looks like partway done; and second, what it looks like all done! Be very careful to press with as little fabric overlapping the seam as possible. It’s like pressing a collar.

Isn’t that a nice pretty hole? We aren’t done yet, though. From the top side of the fabric, topstitch very carefully around the hole. If you’re not very good at close careful topstitching, you might want to use chalk or an erasable fabric marker to mark where you want to topstitch. I don’t bother because I have a LOT of practice. Make sure to do this with the needle ending down, and go slowly!

Clip threads and press. It should look about like this! Maybe I should have marked what I was doing… naaaaah, close enough.

Now flip it to the wrong side again. Center the inset in the hole, right side facing DOWN, along the seam allowance of the facing. Ignore the fleece; it’s for quilting reasons. Pin it carefully! (Yeah, I have a backwards pin. You shouldn’t have a backwards pin. Just because I’m slapdash doesn’t mean you should be. Same goes for those few loose purple threads which you should be ignoring.)

Flip it over again, and very carefully sew along THE EXACT SAME STITCHING LINE you already created. If you do this right you won’t be able to tell you stitched twice!

Remove pins, clip thread, press again for good measure, and you’re done!!! Here’s what it looks like at the end again for a refresher. You’re done! Have a drink of something, alcoholic or not. You deserve it, because that was definitely nerve-wracking.

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