Interfacing Tips from Sewtopia Sewing Club

We Carry
by Sara Snuggerud in Projects, Sewing Tips

Spawned from multiple questions about what the proper interfacing to use during the Stitchers Garden* monthly workshop, we decided to feature interfacing tips at a recent Sewtopia Sewing Club.

*Stitchers Garden workshops offer instruction on a whole host of sewing machine accessory feet.

UPDATE: Our new year long program is named “Stitching Cosmos”. Similar to the Stitchers Garden, Sara has put her own twist in this great program.

We broke down the difference between woven and non-woven interfacing, fusible and sew-in interfacing and touched on some interfacings that we have recently fallen in love with.

Interfacing is what gives a project that professional look. It smooths out the bumps and offers a very crisp finished look to the final project. Though completely hidden from view, one can always tell when the proper interfacing was skipped or not used at all.

Bags are a great place to learn about new interfacings. By following the patterns interfacing suggestions, one sometimes gets to use interfacings that are new to you. While creating the bag and seeing the stylish final results with the correct interfacing people find out truly how important the proper interfacing can be. I remember one bag pattern we sell and it takes 2 1/2 yards of fusible fleece! Yikes! But it turns out wonderful.

My (Sara’s) favorite interfacing is French fuse or tricot interfacing. I used it to underline my professional garments back when I traveled a lot with French fuse so I didn’t have to line them. They traveled well in suit cases with minimal ironing when I arrived at my destination. French fuse is also best for silks and other light weight fabrics. People who make T-shirt quilts like this interfacing because it is 60” wide. It also comes in both black and white versions. It is recommended to pre-shrink French fuse interfacing. You can do this by taking the whole piece and do a warm, gentle cycle machine wash and line dry.

Our new favorite interfacing at Heirloom Creations is Pellon’s Shape Flex. It is a woven, iron-on interfacing that gives body to the fabric yet still gives it the flexibility and ease of use.

T-Shirt Quilts
We recently wrote a blog on getting a head start on next year’s graduation T-Shirt Quilts. Click here to read about making T-Shirt quilts. The key is in the proper interfacing. We recommend the Pellon 906 interfacing. Purchase a 1/2 yard of interfacing per T-shirt.

There is even an interfacing that will turn fabric into a water proof fabric. Use the Iron on Vinyl to apply an like-interfacing, yet water proof surface to any fabric.

Woven vs Non Woven

A woven interfacing should be treated like a woven fabric. Keep the grainline running the same direction as the fabric. With a non-woven interfacing there is no grainline. It can be played out in any direction that works.

Fusible vs Sew in Interfacing

Fusible Interfacing needs a steam iron and a wet press cloth to get the best fuse to the fabric. Fusible interfacing is also good for fabrics that fray. Once pressed let the piece cool before moving it. Sew-in interfacing provides body but somewhat less crispness than fusibles. It is also used when the fabric is so delicate that ironing it might damage the surface.

No matter which interfacing you select, it is always recommended to use a wet press cloth and a steam iron and get a well bonded professional result. Always read the directions that come with the interfacing for the proper heat setting and use. Keep in mind that not all irons have the same heat thermostat. Start at a lower temperature setting and work up to a hotter setting at you test. Nothing is worst than scorching the interfacing and having to start over. (No steam is used on the iron-on vinyl).

Test. Test. Test.
Speaking of testing, it is always recommended to test the interfacing on the project fabric before attempting to fuse the entire piece. There are those who test…and those that which they had.

Pellon Projects
Pellons website has a wonderful collection of interfacing reference information as well as projects. Click here to see all the latest information.