I don't know what it is about interfacing that has me so utterly confused. But it's been a big hesitation for me when it comes to sewing. I'm hoping maybe I'm not the only one who finds this stumbling block difficult to surmount. Maybe those of you who understand interfacing can chime in with some ideas, hints, stories, warnings, and encouragement?
With most projects, I go to the fabric store and they recommend interfacing (usually what they have too much of and/or discontinued) and the pieces I iron the interfacing on becomes like I've glued them to a bit of wood. I'm pretty sure I don't want a dress shirt that can stand up on its own.
I also really hate the glue fumes.
But a few years ago, someone sold me some iron-on interfacing that looks like a thick cheesecloth. This stuff seems beautiful inside the cloth. Like it enhances the cloth instead of stiffening it. I have enough for one project. I would love to get more, but I haven't a clue what it's called. When I search fabric shops online they have dozens of different kinds of interfacing. If I could know what it's called, I could get some more.
And then I think "wouldn't it be nice if I didn't have to iron-on interfacing. That glue is not agreeable with my health." Among the many kinds of interfacing, I see "sew-in" and wonder if I could ever learn to use it.
And then I wonder, what did people use before there was interfacing? Worn out cloth? Or something else? What would be a permaculture friendly alternative?
What would be a permaculture friendly alternative?
Canvas fabric. Sew it between layers.
What did people do before it? Didn't worry about perfect hang of a garment, or iron and starch after every wash.
It makes the cloth stiffer. Do you need it stiffer? A lot of the modern patterns assume you are using light cloth, but that you want it to look excellent all the time. Is that what your goal is? Do you care about things like does your collar stand up? I personally don't wear styles that matter with things like that, I don't like how they look on me, don't work well with my body shape/personality style. I like soft and gathered, not starched and structured.
I was fairly young when my mother taught me how to sew. At that time, as far as I can remember, there was not any store bought interfacing or if there was we did not use it.
Most of the patterns came with a pattern for interfacing and instructions on what to do. From what I can remember. It seems like we just used the same fabric as what we were making or some scrap fabric that might be suitable.
Invasive plants are Earth's way of insisting we notice her medicines.
Everyone learns what works by learning what doesn't work.
My mother is obsessed with interfacing and adds it even when it isnt called for in a pattern. Its purpose is to stabilize the fabric and prevent stretching, and stiffen. It does make things look so much nicer. - waist bands, cuffs, plackets, collars... Just went fabric shopping with her, and while i was at the cutting counter, she bought an entire small wrapped bolt of the stuff, when my pattern called for 0.3 m!!! Obsessed, i tell you!
When , horror of horrrors, there HASNT been interfacing in the house, she liked to use the same or slightly more heavyweight or lighter weight woven fabric, cut on the bias and then sewn in. The bias cut interfacing keeps the other fabric from being able to stretch as much. I think i have even seen her do two layers.
I am still wearing items I sewed in the 80's and the ones that have held up the best are with a sew-in woven interfacing. I've used the non-wovens and the iron-on interfacings and they both don't hold up for the long haul. It's been a while since I've bought any, but it used to come in gray and white and there were at least a couple of weights (lightweight and a more medium-heavy weight). But from a permies standpoint, I never thought of using a "slightly more heavyweight or light weight fabric", like Catie's mom, but you could really tailor the interfacing to the project (color and weight) from the what the thrift store offers!
At last weeks' visit to the sewing store (the one that isn't for quilters), the overwhelming vote was in favour of sew-in interfacing as the iron-on stuff wears out after a few washes. So I bought a yard each of two weights of sew-in interfacing that I'm going to try.
We also talked a lot about flat-lining which is an old term for something I cannot remember. It seems to be a bit like interfacing but with fabric and not cutting the seam allowance of the lining.
I think you were trying to remember “wonder-under”.
In historical costuming one cannot always get the perfect weight fabric. Lining, inter-lining, and facings all work to make the garment stay together and hold its shape.
Like a lot if things in Life, take your time and make it “right” or to the best of your ability. Then things last and last.
I made costumes for myself (underweight, skinny slip of a girl, “it’s a waste of time to help you because you can’t share your wardrobe”). My kids and other neighborhood kids have worn my costumes for plays and Halloween, even a couple of pirate themed Vacation Bible School sessions. Some of them may eventually be cut apart and made into other things.