When I first started sewing bags, purses, wallets and the like, I was really in the dark about what kinds of interfacings I needed to use, and which brands and types work best and create the best finish. At first I used sew-in interfacing, but really struggled with the dreaded creep as I sewed lots of layers (as you sew along the seam, the layers of fabric gradually drift away from each other), especially as I hadn’t even heard of a walking foot.
After a bit of research, I rediscovered the existence (I think I used it in needlework classes at school) of iron-on interfacing and bought some to try in my bag making. But I was so disappointed with the finish – although it gave the fabric more body, it also made it stiff, a bit crispy-feeling, and it creased so easily. Ugh!
Thank goodness, then, that I finally discovered woven cotton interfacing. As soon as I tried it, I was absolutely hooked, it is fantastic stuff, bringing extra strength, structure and body whilst preserving the touch and feel of the fabric. I use it in a myriad of ways – here are a few:
- I always interface purse, pouch and bag linings because I feel it helps the lining sit more neatly in position.
- If I am combining Liberty lawn with a very sturdy fabric, like linen or even denim, I like to interface the Liberty lawn to give the 2 fabrics more weight equivalence.
- I like tote bags not to flop when standing on their base, so, I will often interface the bag outer, then add a layer of fusible fleece, and then interface the lining. This makes a really soft but sturdy bag.
I buy Vilene G700 (medium weight) and Vilene G710 (lighter weight) – I think Pellon SF101 ShapeFlex is the equivalent of the G700, but is less widely available in the UK.
I’m often left with little bits and bobs of G700 and G710, which get bundled away in a large bag. Because I am not a neat and tidy person, they tend to get rather creased:
That’s why I keep a supply of baking parchment in my studio. Put the interfacing sticky side down on a piece of baking parchment – press with a warm iron (not too hot) and you’re all sorted:
Another tip – if I have a lot of pieces of fabric to apply interfacing to, I cut a large piece and put several pieces of fabric on top of the sitcky side:
Then I cover the whole lot with the baking parchment (again), and use a hot iron to quickly and temporarily fix them in place, then I cut out the pieces and press properly, following the manufacturer’s instructions, to make sure the interfacing is bonded.
Finally – mistakes happen with iron-on interfacing, it’s a fact of life. I heartily recommend investing in some iron cleaner – I get mine from Lakeland.
I want to share the interfacing love with you, so I have one whole metre of Vilene G700 to give away to a lucky winner. Just leave a comment… do share your biggest, stickiest sewing disaster, if you’d like to. Although ‘pick me’ would be great too, if you’re too ashamed 😉
Just leave a comment before Monday evening (5th September) to be in with a chance of winning. Happy to post overseas, so don’t let that put you off.
This is another in my series – Sewing Tools of Note… Hope you are enjoying reading as much as I am enjoying writing them.