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I am a mother, a grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge was published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Saturday, June 1, 2019

Interfacing and a call for ideas

Hi folks.

I am back from my travels and settling into some serious sewing.

I would like your thoughts though on interfacing.

For a long time I have been living off my stash of excellent interfacing from Fashion Supply. 

Just recently however I ran out of the lovely mid-weight fusible I use for shirts and general sewing but see from the website that they no longer ship outside of the US (why do I always find this out after I get back to Canada from a visit?)

In fact the last shirt I made for my son in California I made with some recommended woven fusible I bought at a big chain fabric store. I fused following the instructions exactly and it seemed fine.

However when I was in Nashville visiting with the kids last week (they were there for a wedding/ weekend and I went down to babysit) I did the washing and pulling everything from the dryer, which is how most families wash these days, I found that the collar had rippled and bubbled like fusible used to long ago in the olden days. I had pre-shrunk both the fabric and interfacing too.

I was incredibly disappointed, this was a gift, and I left my son with elaborate instructions on how to steam press that collar down again every time it came out of the dryer, but this of course is not reasonable - who has time to do that with a baby and a busy job?

So my current dilemma is this, since it has been so long since I have purchased garment interfacing from the store.

What is your favourite interfacing and why?

Of course I can default to a sew-in but that seems to be admitting defeat in this day and age. Incidentally I use a lot of fusible tricot with no issues.

I could try to track down another specialty supplier but that kind of defeats my mission to provide tips and help to new and returning sewists, as in my newsletter - I would like to be able to use and recommend something that is readily available.

Ideally I would love to have some samples to test and report back on - I would like to fuse, wash and dry and photograph the results. I may fire off a link to this blog post to a few suppliers and see what happens.

In the meantime I would like your help.

What interfacings do you use and why?


Ms. Russell said...

I've used Pellon fusible interfacing with mixed results. On fabric that is smooth, it fuses fine and I haven't had any bubbles or ripples; on fabrics with texture, I have bubbles and ripples but since it's on the facings, I'm not too concerned. I'm also interested in interfacing that doesn't bubble or ripple regardless of the type of fabric used.

bbarna said...

I use fusible tricot for everything. Why? Because it doesn't bubble... I don't do any heavy duty tailoring anymore, but I would probably use sew in stuff for that.

SilverMom said...

For knits, I use fusible tricot. No bubbling, though I'm not sure it would show on (so forgiving!) knits. It does eventually start lifting off, but continues to do its job in the seams.

HOWEVER...and what I think you are really looking for feedback is interfacing wovens. Along with a few of my ASG group's members, I have returned to almost total use of sew-in interfacings. After bad experiences with "good" interfacing (I'll not mention brands, but you know them), I disgustedly tried sew-ins. Wow! REALLY, just as easy as fusible with the use of a little fabric glue (stick or spray), and I love not standing over a hot iron for 10-20-30 seconds a press, just hoping against hope that the fuse is successful. (To say nothing of leaving the fused fabric unmoved until it cools. Agh.)

And, the other thing I like about using sew-ins is that, in addition to purchased interfacings, I have such a range of other options: self-fabric, organdy (silk or poly), sheeting, voile, canvas, etc.

Back to the future - I'm actually donating almost all of my fusible interfacing to my ASG fabric sale.

Sasha said...

If I have to use Pellon nonwoven interfacing, I don't follow the directions at all. I lightly fuse the interfacing but leave a bit in the seam allowance. After I sew it, I pull the layers apart again. So basically I use a fusible as though it were a sew-in but slightly more convenient.

Linda (ACraftyScrivener) said...

I also use the stuff from Fashion Supply, and haven’t had any issues with it at all. This is interesting, I haven’t used non-fusible since I started sewing when I was a teenager. If you wanted to place an order and have it sent to me, I will send it on to you!

Julie Culshaw said...

I used to sell Sewer's Dream when I had my mail order business. It was the shirt interfacing that Ron Collins recommended. I bought it wholesale from Harpers in Montreal, they also sell Fuse-a-Knit. They never once requested my business number,so I imagine they would sell to individuals as well. Perhaps the sewing guild could make a bulk purchase and sell it to the members.

Julie Culshaw said...

I can't find it on the Harpers website, perhaps they no longer stock it. But a google search shows that Blackbird Fabrics carries Sewer's Dream.

fiberchick said...

I use tricot for just about everything and my favourites come from Fashion Supply. I opened up a account to buy from companies that don't ship to Canada. You pay a reasonable fee to have effectively a US shipping address. They forward your goods to you. It does add extra time and cost but for specialty supplies or bulk buying it's a good service. I have relatives in the States too but try not to abuse their residency LOL

Lisa - SF Bay Area said...

Cutting Line Designs (Louise Cutting's website) has great interfacings and she ships to Canada. Her tissue weight woven fusible is amazing.

BetsyV said...

I use sew-in interfacing (from Fashion Sewing Supply or silk organza) 95% of the time. I use fusible to support bound buttonholes, welt pockets, high stress points (top of a skirt slit for example), repairs, and test garments made from actual fabric, not muslin. Also often use fusible in the seam allowance for a zipper tape.

I look for support from interfacing, not a change of hand. Even FSS' fusible changes the fabric's hand too much for my liking.

Paula said...

I use Palmer/Pletsch interfacing all the time. I use the sheer and light for everything. I don’t do heavy tailoring but they have weights for that too. It does not need to be preshrunk and it never bubbles I have used theirs for many, many years.

Shiny Green Penny said...

I'm also devastated that they no longer ship to Canada!!! I haven't found another source yet either - I think I will try the Louise Cutting suggestions posted above.

Debbie Cook said...

I use Palmer Pletsch interfacings exclusively, bought directly from their website. Never an issue with bubbling.

Judith Newman said...

I used to buy my fusible interfacing from Pam Erny as well. Not possible to get it shipped to me in Halifax any more but as my supply dwindles, I'll likely order more and have it shipped to my sister when she's in Florida for the winter - she can forward it to me. You're back and forth to one or other of the kids - order what you need, send not to them and pick it up when you visit. Lots of room in the trailer for some interfacing!

Julie Culshaw said...

Sorry to comment again, but I remembered Peggy Sagers. She carries super wide interfacings, 60" wide, at $5.50 per yard US. Good price!

Also her tips for fusing are somewhat different. She says to lay the interfacing on the fabric ready for fusing, then spray the interfacing with water and then fuse. With her background in the RTW industry,I would tend to think her advice could be trusted.

Karen B said...

Sarah Veblen in Maryland teaches a course called understanding interfacings that I just signed up for. The store on her website sells many different types with swatches available and says they ship internationally. I'd be surprised if she sold any that she hasn't used with good results. P.S. I love your book.

Kansas Sky said...

These are great ideas people have posted. .... If you come to the point of needing this, I would be willing to receive your shipment from Fashion Supply and re-mail the parcel to you. [Marilyn from Kansas at the Tulsa class.

Anonymous said...

Iron in interfacing makes me anxious so lately I've switched to sewing in silk organza for most things, and a stiff sew in for hat brims (a summer thing for me). Of course I would love to improve my game in this regard!


Marie-Noƫlle said...

Sorry to hear they no longer ship internationally. I use Vliesline Freundenberg. Excellent quality and very large range.

Tammy said...

Sewer's Dream is a beautiful, dreamy fusible interfacing. I buy it from Out of Hand in Calgary.