Mar 19, 2009

Using interfacing in your sewing projects

Sometimes my students ask me "what the heck is interfacing?"

Interfacing adds body and thickness to two layers of fabric. In clothing we use it in collars, cuffs and waistbands. If you've ever had a shirt that had a wimpy collar that didn't stay up, it's because they didn't add interfacing. It can also be added to the top of a pocket in a shirt to help it stay in place and not sag.

There are different weights and color of interfacing. Lightweight usually used in clothing and heavyweight used in handbags to make the fabric stand up. White is for light color fabric and black for the dark color fabric (the same with elastic - white for light, black for dark). It's usually around the cutting tables when your looking for it. I always buy extra or sometimes the whole bolt (when it's on sale) because you always need it.

Always buy the fusible interfacing. You will see one side has a shine or maybe little glue bubbles. It's a lot easier to iron it on instead of sewing each piece of interfacing to one layer of fabric before you sew the pieces together. I can remember when fusible came out. We were all excited because it saved us so much time sewing our project. Crazy thing, I remember when velcro came out too. I loved that product when it hit the market.

This is something my students always forget to buy because their not sure what it is even after I tell them about it. Most all projects require interfacing so buy extra.

You can also keep your scraps of interfacing because you can splice it together when you don't have enough. Remember it goes between two layers of fabric so you never see it. OK, sometimes you see it inside clothing - so go take a look at things you bought at the store.

I teach people to cut out their interfacing in the cutting class and apply it right away to the wrong side of the fabric so it's ready to sew when they have time to sew their project.

I'm going to show you how to cut and install interfacing in a collar. Again a collar has two layers of fabric. The smaller side of the fabric get's sewn in the neckline with the points as the top of the collar.

Sometimes I cut the interfacing a little smaller than the pattern piece because I don't want the thickness in my seams, especially in a collar. You can do this by laying the interfacing glue side down on top of the fabric and cut it a little smaller then the fabric.

Iron the glue side to the wrong side of the fabric. When you can't tell wrong side from right side just pick one and that will be the wrong side of the fabric. Iron it on right away after you cut it. This way it's ready to be sewn.

With two right sides together (because this is the trick to sewing) sew your collar. And with every corner in sewing you always want to clip your corner to take the bulk out. This is very important when sewing a collar.

Flip your fabric to where the interfacing is in between the two layers of fabric. Then give it a good press to give it a more professional look.

I hope this helps you to understand what the heck interfacing is and how to use it.
Again if you need help you can always attend a cutting class to teach you how to cut out your project properly.

Until next time,
Enjoy your moments ~ make them "sew" much fun,


  1. I think that was so nice of you to share this info. There are lots of beginner sewers in blogland that could use it.

  2. Hiya Cindy, thanks for checking in on me I have missed all of you so. I am really likeing my new job but the adjusting to having less time for my sewing has been the hard part. But it can only get better from here. Wanted to say thanks for all the helpful tutorials you post, we are really lucky to have you and all your knowledge. Have a great weekend.

  3. cindy! Thanx for sharing. Now i know why my collar is always so thick. i cut the interfacing exactly the same with the fabric. I'm so glad u post this. Thanks!!!

  4. I am going to practice tonight on some muslin like you said. I'll let you know how it turns out.

  5. As always, thanks for your advice! I almost missed Gray's last night. Completely forgot it was coming on!