Ok, so that doesn’t scan quite so well as the original song lyrics, but since I decided to write this post, I can’t get that Salt’n’Pepa song out of my head. And I have to find something to make interfacing a fun subject!
“Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be, let’s talk about it…..”
So there have been some questions during the sewalong about materials and in particular, interfacing – weight, brand, type etc. In the book, there is a whole section describing the different types and their qualities, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here. I just want to highlight that a few of the projects in Stitched Sewing Organizers rely on a specific type of interfacing to give the best result. When writing these particular patterns, the thickness of the recommended interfacing was taken into account when calculating the maths part of the instructions. For these projects, the particular finish shown depends on certain characteristics in the products used. Aneela has also recommended the two brands she has used most, and which she used in the process of developing the patterns.
For instance, next week’s project, the Project Tote, has stiff handles with fabric bonded to them, and the Fabric Boxes and Sliding Box rely on similar materials to keep their structure. The use of double-sided fusible interfacing means the fabric has a smooth, firm bond to the handles, or boxes, and prevents the lining of the boxes and inserts from bagging. The heavy weight means it has the required stiffness to give the structure.
It’s this heavy-weight interfacing that is hard to replace or substitute. As per the book recommendations, Fast2Fuse Heavy by C&T or Pellon Peltex 71F (single-sided) or 72F (double-sided) will both give a successful result. The thickness of these products has been added into the calculations for the pattern and for instance, using a thicker interfacing could mean that the smaller Fabric Boxes wouldn’t properly fit inside the larger box, or the insert wouldn’t fit into the sleeve for the Sliding Box. With regards to the Project Tote, the handles may not properly fit and could be very difficult to sew in with a thicker product, especially if you’ve also used a pieced fabric for the body.
|Just a gratuitous photo of my cat 'helping' me with the interfacing|
(BTW…..If you absolutely couldn’t get the double-sided fusible, or you already have the single-sided and don’t want to buy more, then you could try using something such as Wonder-Under or possibly basting spray to bond the fabric to the non-adhesive side. I haven’t tried either of these methods so can’t guarantee the results. Also, keep the heavyweight interfacing scraps as these will come in handy when making the Covered Tape Measure project later in the sewalong.)
There are other brands of heavy weight interfacing – for instance Vilene, Sew Lazy, Timtex – however, they all have different characteristics, some are stiffer and less pliable; some are sew in, not fusible; some are less stiff and more flexible; none have been measured and included in the maths involved in developing the patterns in this book.
If the pattern calls for woven or medium weight interfacing, then you can use other different brands or non-branded products. For instance, the Project Tote materials list suggests DecorBond for the bag body, but you could use a different brand medium-weight, fusible fleece, duck canvas or even layer up light-weight interfacing to get the desired result. If you’re using a pieced fabric such as patchwork or a quilted piece, then the wadding/batting would give you the necessary body. For woven interfacing, you can use Shapeflex, Vilene G700 or other similar weight interfacing.
I’ve been lucky enough to see the many stages and samples Aneela goes through when devising patterns, and the things she tries and works at until it comes good. It takes a lot of prototypes being made during this process to come up with those instructions that are straight forward to follow and that will give you the same finish as the item in the photos. Materials are recommended because they work successfully and give the finish that makes us all want to rush out and buy her latest pattern. I understand we don’t all have limitless funds, and I’m really not trying to bankrupt anyone (least of all myself!) by insisting you all go out shopping (although in my experience, we don’t need much encouragement in that department!). But I guess what I’m trying, in a long-winded way, to say is that if you go another route, use another brand, and don’t get exactly the finish in the book, it may well be the materials rather than the pattern (assuming you follow it properly) that are why.
Oh, and if you’ve no idea what song I was referring to at the start, and you’re not of a delicate disposition, it’s this one. I warn you though, it’s an ear worm!