• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Ash Jackson
  • Kate Downham

Understanding interfacing for the terminally confused

 
master steward & author
Posts: 20691
Location: Left Coast Canada
5770
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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?  

anyway, let's talk interfacing.  
 
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6138
Location: SW Missouri
2720
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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.

 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 20691
Location: Left Coast Canada
5770
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For this pattern (button blouse) I'm wanting it for the collar, cuffs, and button bands.  I think these are good to be stiffer.  They also seem to be high wear areas so I don't want them to stretch.  
 
Pearl Sutton
steward & bricolagier
Posts: 6138
Location: SW Missouri
2720
goat cat fungi books chicken earthworks food preservation cooking building homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Also could use heavier fabric for those areas. This is why collars and cuffs were often white. It was a heavier cloth. Easier than matching the prints.

 
pollinator
Posts: 1349
Location: Denmark 57N
383
fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I remember my school collars were stiffened with a little bit of plastic sown into them, maybe you could use a thin piece of bone or horn to do the same job.
 
master steward
Posts: 3954
Location: USDA Zone 8a
1165
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree with Pearl.

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.

 
gardener
Posts: 497
Location: Ontario - Gardening in zone 3b, 4b, or 6b, depending on the day
295
dog foraging trees tiny house books bike bee
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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.  
 
Posts: 1
Location: Wyoming Zone 4b 6000' elevation
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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!
 
r ranson
master steward & author
Posts: 20691
Location: Left Coast Canada
5770
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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.  
 
Posts: 5
Location: Virginia
2
cat trees chicken
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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.
gift
 
Native Bee Guide by Crown Bees
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic