Today I’m going to show you how to use interfacing in a sewing project. If you’ve never used it before, it’s relatively easy! There are a few things to remember, so I’ll go over everything you need to know.
Interfacing functions to add stability and sometimes structure to a project. For example, adding it to the neckline or collar of a shirt adds crispness and subtle shaping. It is also used for stability when making bags and purses. The benefit is that it adds both durability and dimension.
Interfacing comes in different weights
First, it comes in various weights and composition. You can use a knit interfacing which can stretch with a knit fabric, or a mid-weight woven that can be used fairly universally in an average project. It even comes in a super-heavy weight that you can make things like light cushions and mouse pads with! So choose the right interfacing for a project is important. Patterns will specify exactly what kind you’ll need for the best results.
Fusible interfacing requires an iron
I’m using a mid-weight fusible one for the project below, which does require an iron. It has a fusible side which will feel rough to the touch, and a smooth silky side which is intended to face out. In other words, you will fuse the rough side to the wrong side of your fabric by using an iron.
Here is a doll shirt that my daughter is working on. The pattern calls for interfacing to be applied to the neckline, to make it crisp and neat looking. I cut the interfacing piece to match the neckline:
Step 1: Pin baste
To begin applying it, I placed the rough side of the interfacing against the wrong side of the neckline. I pinned in place around the outside of the curve, because next I will steam baste the inside of the curve away from the pins. This ensures that I have it exactly where I need it to be before I fuse it to the project.
Step 2: Steam baste
Next, I steam basted the inner curve. This means that I am using a steam setting to steam above the interfacing, not directly on it. I set my iron to wool/silk as to ensure the iron wasn’t too hot. Always double check to make sure the rough side is down and not facing up toward the iron!
Step 3: Fuse
Using a very damp press cloth (100% cotton) and a gliding motion, I pressed and fused the interfacing to the wrong side. As you go, check to ensure the edges have fused to the fabric. If not, keep pressing using the gliding motion.
Turn the project over and press again.
The neckline has a crisp finished look, and more structure than it did originally.