Just Sewing It In

It sounds pretty simple of course, but it is not really. Let me explain. I spend a lot of my sewing time having epic battles with interfacing. A commenter to one of my posts of interfacing frustration said to stop using cheap interfacing or to use sew in interfacing rather than the iron on interfacing that I have been such a fan of for years now. Since the only stores I have to buy interfacing from are Joann’s or Walmart, I can only buy what they carry, and they seem to only have the cheap interfacing. I could order more expensive interfacing on line but I don’t know what I will get without seeing and feeling it first. With that, I decided to try some sew in interfacing on the next shirt that I made the husband.

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When it came time to cut out a new shirt for the husband, I grew leery of trying the sew in interfacing on his shirt so I decided to make a child’s shirt first and try it on that instead. I figured it was less fabric and interfacing wasted if it didn’t work out. I did not think that you needed to preshrink interfacing so I cut out the shirt and the interfacing and started to sew. I did preshrink the fabric before I cut as I always do. Later, I read online many horror stories of people not preshrinking their interfacing first and I panicked. I then proceeded to wash all of my sew in interfacing, cut, sewn or not. It did shrink a little in the washing and drying process, but probably not enough to make a difference on this small shirt. I do feel better now though about using the interfacing and not having to worry about it shrinking after the garment is finished.

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As I basted the sew in interfacing to the fabric, I quickly learned that it was not as easy as I thought it would be. First, I tried using long stitches to baste the interfacing to the fabric but quickly learned that I liked smaller stitches better. When I remembered that pins are my friends, I found that rather than basting, I could just pin the sew in interfacing and the fabric together and I got a good result as I sewed, especially if the pieces were small. Next, I learned that you really have to watch the stretch of the fabric. You don’t want to let the fabric stretch as you sew it to the interfacing. They need to match and match flat. Keeping it flat was not as easy as it sounds either. For me, the fabric sewn to the interfacing wanted to bubble in the middle as I sewed the shirt together, which is what the basting or the pinning was not suppose to let happen. Argh!

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So, in conclusion, what I learned is that using sew in interfacing is a skill like any other with sewing. There is more to it than just sewing it in. Also, I learned that I need lots more practice with the sewing in of sew in interfacing before I can say I have mastered the skill.  So, I will keep sewing with it and learn this new skill of using sew in interfacing.

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P.S. The construction of the child’s shirt has been complicated, not so much because of the sew in interfacing but because of my inexperience and lack of skill in constructing a slit placket. I’ll talk more about that problem in a later blog post though.

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