Notions: Interfacing Guide (from Amy Butler!)

Having just stumbled across this, I thought I would resume my occasional series of sharing Notions’ from other Blogs and this was just too good to not share!I am currently teaching a Men’s Shirt Course (click here to read more on that), so Interfacing is a hot topic for me at the moment!


Below I have included the most common interfacing types, with great explanations from Amy Butler and her team however; if you’d like to see the full post visit Sew Mama Sew. In it Amy encourages you to email here if you have any questions! If you are a Bag Maker, or want to improve skills in Purse and Bag Making this post is invaluable. If you are a Dressmaker, you may not have come across some of these Interfacing’s (Sew-In Interfacing being our thang!).

Your Guide to Interfacing by Amy Butler

Cotton Canvas

  • Description: Pant weight twill 10 oz. 100% cotton. This is a less expensive fabric than Duck Cloth.
  • When to use it: We use it to add thickness, durability and structure to the project. Be careful not to get too many layers because it gets thick in the seam allowances and difficult to stitch through.
  • Can you wash it? Yes, It’s important to wash it if your project will be washed after being constructed. The canvas shrinks quite a bit.
  • Substitutions: Duck cloth, a denim if using a darker fabric. Be careful to match the coloured fabric with the fabric colour you are using.
  • Tips for use: It is important to preshrink, but if you are not washing your project then do not wash the canvas. Once you wash it, it wrinkles a lot and can be difficult to press flat.

Fusible Interfacing

  • Description: There are different weights of fusible interfacing. A lot of fusible interfacing’s are non-woven.
  • When to use it: When you are looking for a crisp look or to change the drape of the fabric.
  • Can you wash it? Usually. Always check the label on the bolt to be certain.
  • Tips for use: Fusible inter-facings will usually create a crisper look once applied. Always test on a scrap of the fabric you are using first.

Sew-In Interfacing

  • Description: This is a non-woven interfacing. It is thinner material and crisper but will usually create a softer feel than fusible once applied.
  • When to use it: For stability, especially in areas of buttonholes, cuffs, necklines, facings and to prevent sagging or stretching of the fashion fabric.
  • Can you wash it? Yes, it is washable. It will shrink. Sometimes ironing will pucker it…use caution (test first).
  • Substitutions: “Self-fabric” interfacing’s could work as long as no bulk is created in the seam. Think muslin.
  • Tips for use: Should pre-shrink before using, by hand washing or steaming with an iron.

Other Tips

Always choose light colour interfacing for light colour fabrics and dark for dark. It is best to use an interfacing slightly lighter in weight than the fashion fabric. Interfacing’s can be “doubled up” if extra thickness is needed. Trim in the seam allowance to take out some of the bulk. It’s okay to use different kinds/weights of interfacing’s in different areas of your project and even combine them . When in doubt, test, test, test.
It’s also OK to layer your interfacing’s. If using the same weight interfacing as your fabric is not enough, or does not give you the look you want, double it, or add a layer of another type of interfacing.
Please note that sometimes there isn’t enough fusing material on your interfacing, or maybe it puckers as you stitch it in place. Fusible interfacing is easiest to remove while it is still hot. Be careful not to burn yourself, but pull it off once you see it is puckering. It rarely presses out. It is important to test on a scrap piece of fabric.

Doesn’t Amy know her stuff? Thanks to Sew Mama Sew for this post.

Happy stitching!

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