The numbers you need to know – and a giveaway!

Recently a few people have asked me how I get the nice ‘firm but squidgy’ effect for the pouches, wallets and bags that I make, and as I think getting a handle on using interfacing has been one of the things that has made a huge difference to my products over the last couple of years, I thought I’d blog about my personal preferences. There’s also a chance to win some to try out, so – read on!

If I’m making anything with an inner and and outer – bags, wallets, crochet hook wraps etc. – I always use 2 kinds of interfacing. On the outer I generally use a low loft fusible fleece, and my preferred buy is Vilene H630 (available here at Gone to Earth), because it provides structure without bulk. I generally prefer use an iron-on interfacing because you don’t get fabric ‘creep’ as you sew in zips and sew seams, and as I don’t have a walking foot for my sewing machine, this is essential. This fusible fleece is soft but doesn’t give a huge amount of bulky padding – which of course you don’t want when you are sewing small stuff like this wallet:

Walk in the Woods wallet - outside
Hopefully you can see that this wallet has just firm but soft effect I’m looking for – otherwise, just look at the pretty fabric!

H630 is really easy to use, you just cut a piece the same size as the piece of fabric you want to fuse it to, minus the seam allowance. Place the fabrics together, cover with a damp pressing cloth and press firmly with a hot iron for 15 seconds. Here’s a brilliant video at the Vilene website, showing how to use H630.

H630, along with its fatter cousin H640, are brilliant, but the totally indispensable interfacing in my sewing is a different Vilene product – the truly wonderful G700. This is a medium weight iron-on interfacing, but what makes it so brilliant is that it is woven. When ironed to a piece of quilting weight cotton it gives weight without that awful cardboardy stiffness that is so common with other iron-on medium weight interfacings. I found out about it from Julia, who runs Gone to Earth, and now buy it regularly from her – here it is. It’s pricier that the ordinary non-woven interfacing but worth every penny. I always use it to give weight to fabrics I’m using inside my products. For example, in the inside of my Red Riding Hood wallet I used it to interface all the pockets, and the inner fabric itself, and both sides of the tab closure, to give added strength around the magnetic snap.

Wallet - inside

Again, the trick is to cut a piece of interfacing the same size as your fabric piece but without the seam allowance – this stops your seams getting incredibly bulky. Around the edges of this wallet there are up to 6 layers of fabric, the last thing I want is layers of interfacing too! Here’s another excellent (and strangely relaxing) video about how to use G700.

So, do you want to get your hands of some of this alchemical sewing essential? Well the good news is that I told Julia I was going to write this post, and she offered to put together a lovely pack of these crafting essentials together as a prize for a lucky Very Berry reader.

Interfacing Giveaway

  • The winner will receive a half metre each of H630, H640 and G700.
  • The giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere in the world.
  • Just leave a comment before midnight on Sunday 27 May to be in with a chance of winning.
  • As Little Red Riding Hood seems to have a starring role in this post, why not tell me your favourite fictional heroine (or as usual, you can always just say, ‘Pick me!’).

A huge thank you to Julia for her generous offer.  Good luck everyone!


109 thoughts on “The numbers you need to know – and a giveaway!

  1. Hi Ali, I know this is an old post, but it’s really helpful to refer back to. I have pinned it of course, I’m sure lots of people will benefit from it. And my zipper purses have turned out beautifully ‘squidgy’! E x

  2. I don’t know who my favourite fictional heroine is. I do know that I love Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys and Eliza Doolittle from My Fair Lady. I also love Miss Marple!

  3. Just found your blog. Nice to read more info on interfacing – not used woven or fusible fleece so must try them out. 🙂
    Love the Red Riding Hood wallet, by the way and I loved the “Heidi” books as a child.

  4. These products sound fabulous to try! Love your wallet!! 🙂 My favorite fictional character is Cinderella. I love how in the end everything turned out well for her. 🙂 Thanks for a chance to win! 🙂

  5. Esme Weatherwax, from Pratchett’s Discworld novels. Or maybe Tiffany Aching. Both smart, creative ladies. (pick me pick me!)

  6. Thank you for such useful information. My favourite fictional female: Pippi Longstocking, because she tells girls that they can do anything they want to!

  7. Such a pretty wallet… that’s on my list of things to make this summer when I get better at sewing. You don’t sell patterns, do you? 😛 Also, not sure who my absolute favourite is, but Matilda just popped into my head and she’s pretty cool.

  8. Great tips for interfacing, naver know what type to use 🙂 thanks. About my favorite fictional character, i would say Alice from Alice’s adventures in Wonderland….and please… pick me!

  9. A fantastic informative post Ali – thanks – I have loads of different interfacings in my stash and get really confused about which, when, where, woven not woven etc. etc.
    But – a favourite fictional heroine – you demon woman you! That is a virtually impossible choice!! Jane Eyre? Too focused on male attention? Mary Barton – could be… The heroine of my unfinished novel – I don’t think so! In the end I am going to plump for a rank outsider Brittany S Pierce from Glee – for being true to herself in every way!!

  10. It seams to be useful! thanks for the chance to win and to discover another
    product. Barbara from Italy

  11. Oh little red riding hood on a wallet,how sweet. We have a little red riding hood hook with a matching wolk one, so cute! I am just about to start to make my son a lunch bag, lets see of the above helps, I am sure it will xx oh and fav heroine? it has to be little miss muffet. All that kerds and wigh, quite a strong stomach! xx

  12. hey – I have just come across your blog – and I must say the red riding hood wallet is adorable. Thank you for the interfacing tips- I love a bit of interfacing – though I will admit, I normally just use whatever is in my stash without thinking about its weight too much. slap on the wrist for me! 😀 xXx

  13. Hello! 🙂 This is a really interesting giveaway! Now I LOVE a bit of a fabric giveaway, but this giveaway is great because I will learn something new and that’s a winner in my book because it’ll last forever and ever and ever! 🙂 With seasidey love, Seaside Kate x (Which is me, Katie 🙂 )

  14. Thanks for such and interesting post and explanation! I’ve always wondered about interfacing and that soft but sturdy looks on some bags I see on blogs. Terrific giveaway! Love to try them out!

  15. What a great giveaway, and such a useful post too! As a novice sewer interfacing is something I am still learning my way around. My favourite fictional heroine has always been Anne of Green Gables.

  16. Great read, love these informative blogs. I guess my fictional heroine was George (otherwise known as but never called Georgina) from The Famous Five 🙂

  17. ooh – thank you! Really helpful interfacing info and the giveaway opportunity is too good to miss.
    (Pick me!)

  18. Hmm, the one that comes to mind is Elizabeth Bennett. I like the way that she was independent and playful in a time where decorum and dignity were the order of the day. There are quite a few parallels with my own life what with family commitments and pressures that I really identify with. I love Pride & Prejudice, I think it’s my favourite book of all time…in fact I think I might just go and read it again right now!!

  19. My interfacing issues may be solved, I tend to avoid it as Im afraid to snap too many needles with all the layers, duh, leave out the seam allowence, i feel silly for not thinking of that myself. Time for wallet attempt no. 7 lol.
    My fave hero is Ayla from Earths Children. Go Cro-Magnon lol.

  20. Thank you for that very useful info. Of course I would like you to pick me!!!
    Haven’t really got a favourite childhood heroine, maybe Heidi, but only because I have always wanted to yodel.

  21. I must confess I’ve not tried using any interfacing yet, though I’m sure it would add stability to many of my projects… pick me! 🙂

  22. Thank you for the useful interfacing information. I’d love to win some to give your ideas a go.
    One favourite heroine of mine was Billie from The Double Deckers. Being always so confident and ‘one of the gang’ she was nothing like me!
    Teresa x

  23. PLEASE pick me!
    Wow! this is such grea info to have. I recycle denim jeans and skirts into small bags, pouches etc and this is precious info to have from someone who has “tried and tested”. I will definitely be buying some to try out, even if I dont win.
    Thanks so much
    p.s. I love the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland

  24. Pick me! Pick me! *waves madly at computer screen*

    Such a great post! I’ve been searching for interfacing for a bag I’m wanting to make but didn’t know where to start!

    My favourite fictional character has got to be Eowyn from Lord of the Rings because she is, in a word, AWESOME!! 😀

  25. As one of the people asking for Interfacing advice, I really appreciate it! I managed to get some of the woven stuff on bulk discount (though neither me nor the supplier knows what number it is I’m not sure it’s the same one but it seems OK) and I got a tiny bit of fleece stuff from my local Fabric Guild and could definitely do with more!

  26. What a very helpful post – it would great to be able to try out the “proper” interfacing rather than the nearest equivalent I can find in my local shop.
    Miss Marple gets my vote as she is dismissed for her age and gender but always manages to succeed where the younger men have failed. Never underestimate a little old lady!

  27. Hi Ali – fantastic tips – just been trying to find out what interfacing you use.
    Got to be Wonderwoman for me…… fingers crossed – have a good day – Louise W

  28. That was a great breakdown of the various interfacings, thanks!

    A favourite character is Katniss Everdeen. 🙂

  29. Hi Ali, Brilliant tips – you are the encyclopedia of the sewing world!! I would absolutely love to win this super package. Definitely one of my heroines is the marvellous Miss Marple.
    Thanks again

  30. That’s a good read and really helpful – thanks! Your sewing is beautiful, I can see I have a lot of practice to do so would love to win!!!

  31. What useful information, I’d love to win some. My favourite role model when I was growing up was George in the Famous Five stories.

  32. Wow – thanks for the information. I am still trying to get my head around the different types of interfacing. I am still very new to bag-making. So, please pick me! I love Hello Kitty!

  33. Great post, thanks! I’ve just used the last of my fusible fleece so this giveaway prize would be much appreciated!
    My fave fictional heroine would have to be Jo from Little Women 🙂

  34. Thanks so much for the info.I’m in the process of making a wallet, and the tips are so helpful. Thanks for the giveaway too!

  35. I’ve recently discovered fusible fleece as well – but haven’t tried woven interfacing – yet! Favourite fictional character – as a child Jane of Lantern Hill, or possibly Jo from Little Women – I spent too much of my childhood reading books from jumble sales and charity bookshops obviously 🙂 Now? I don’t think I could pick just one, but if I had to, it would be Miss Pettigrew from “Miss Pettigrew lives for a day”

    1. Not sure Indiana Jones would qualify as a heroine – unless there’s something about “him” that I never realised……Lol.

  36. I love your wallet, it’s beautiful! I would love to try some of this product, sounds wonderful! I have a walking foot and it is so wonderful, seriously worth every penny!

    My fav fictional character is Hello Kitty! She’s just cute!

  37. Fabulous post – I’ve been needing a break down like that for some time now. Fave fictional heroine? probably Nicola from the Antonia forrest series.

  38. Oh, lovely! I have been dealing with both creep And bunch. Your post came just in time! My daughter has to be a fictional character next week in school, and someone already “took” Little Red Riding Hood–All I can think of is a little skinny legged girl from a storybook I read (ahem) 40 years ago, called Millicent the Monster! Remember her?

  39. i would love to try some of this magic stuff :))) your wallets look great thanks for the chance !!

  40. I absolutely love fusible fleece, I use it every chance I get lol. Thanks for the chance to win!

    Oh, and Anne of Green Gables:)

  41. Thanks for the info – this is very helpful 🙂 I used to love Nancy Drew – she was a youth-slueth in books and very clever!

  42. Favourite fictional female has to be Ellen Ripley from the Alien films franchise ( favourite real life when I was younger was Laura Ingalls – I know…. one extreme to the other).

  43. Another great blog, I’m not sure but possibly Lewis Carroll’s Alice from Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, with her daydream world and quirky rhymes and riddles.

  44. I read to many Fantasy books, so I probably know too many heroines… I just can’t decide. I love the Wheel of Time series because the female main characters are very independent and interesting.

  45. I have never heard of G700 but it sounds as if it is far more preferable to the stiffer interfacing. Thanks to botch you and Julia for a really useful giveaway.

  46. I’ve been pondering interfacing so this is a really useful post, thanks! Oooh, difficult to choose a fictional character, how about Simon’s Cat the cartoon cat.

  47. Thanks for the interesting info, I have looked at interfacing but just not in enough detail! Thanks also for the give away to you and Julie, my fictional character would have to be Joey Potter from Dawson’s Creek (the US Hermione Granger!)

  48. Ooh great post and giveaway. I LOVE woven fusible interfacing, it is SO superior to the non woven kind. My fave fictional heroine….ooh, I just love CJ in the West Wing, she rocked!

  49. Oh I would love to win some interfacing! My favourite fictional heroine is Anne Elliot from Persuasion. For no other reason than she gets her mitts on the lovely Captain Wentworth in the end!

  50. What a useful giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win!
    My favourite heroine is Hermione from the Harry Potter series – because she made it cool for girls to be clever 🙂

  51. This is just the information I need. Interfacing is so confusing, I have loads of different types and am never quite sure if i’m using the right one for the job. Just having 2 to choose from would make life simpler by far.

  52. Oooh does that put my pouch of the same fabric to shame! Thank you for the info on interfacing, I have realized for awhile I should really get a better grasp on which to use when. My mind has gone blank when it comes to fictional heroines!

  53. Pick me pick me pick me……. lol 🙂
    thanks for the great advice- I’m an interfacing novice so its great to know these things.
    fictional heroine? hmmmm Elizabeth Bennet perhaps… or Rapunzel

  54. I had exactly the same experience. Once I lost my fear of interfacings and started using them on all my bags and pouches I find they look better and stay looking nicer for longer. I’ve just used the H640 for the first time and loved it. I now have to try the other two, maybe because I’m lucky enough to win them?!
    My favourite character at the moment must be Rapunzel from “Tangled”.

  55. I love Little Red Riding Hood or as we say in Dutch Roodkapje! thanks for the chance to win 🙂

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