Monday, January 23, 2012

Interviewing the Interfacing

It was a great weekend for sewing, lots of cold and rainy weather plus a nice collection of unwatched stuff on my Tivo equals some quality sewing time. While I have many, many projects on my to do list, I did spend more of that time than I should have on my winter wool jacket. Now that winter has arrived here (sort of) I want to wear it soon.

In the second part of my previous post I showed the pattern and fabric selected for this jacket.  Doing a tailored wool garment is one of my favorite projects, so throw in a little plaid matching and I am in sewing nirvana. I cut it out about a week ago, rather slowly for me, taking about an hour which is a lot for a pattern that is already fitted. This fabric has an even plaid but it is very faint and so it took some deep staring at the fabric to get it all matched. 

Picking up this project on Saturday, the first thing I did was interview my interfacing.
Sounds a bit silly but this is one small task that has a big payoff.

Grey jacket front pattern pieces
Pinned to the wall is the interfaced jacket front piece, paper pattern piece, and right side of the jacket front showing all my lovely tailor's tacks.  (I have written before about my obsession with thread tailor's tacks).  The jacket front is completely interfaced with Pro-Weft Fusible from Fashion Sewing  I am now a total convert to using these interfacings, they really are fantastic and one of the best things about them is that they FUSE properly with very little effort, as opposed to other fusibles that need to be practically cooked on to get them to fuse and even then leave some bubbles or peel off. 

Grey jacket interfacing samplesBefore I get to this point, with all that fun fusing, I test various types of interfacing on my fabric.  In this case for the under-collar and under-lapel I tested the Pro-Weft and the Pro-Tailor Deluxe. You can see my test sample here, the photo is lightened a bit so the samples are visible.  After I fuse the samples, then I stitch a fold in the fabric to simulate how it will feel under the two layers of fabric, as well as how the edge feels.  I haven't used the Pro-Tailor Deluxe much and thought this was just the project for it, but as it turned out it gives a slightly stiff feel, and the Pro-Weft felt better. This fabric is a very soft Italian wool and just didn't need the crisp interfacing but I think the Pro-Tailor will be perfect next time I make a coat.   I keep the labeled samples stapled to the instruction page for easy reference. 

Grey jacket interfacing stitch sampleThis may seem like a lot of fuss but it takes just a few minutes plus some fabric fondling to see how it will feel when all sewn up. The fold and stitch is important as sometimes the fabric plus interfacing feels just right but then when seamed gets too springy or stiff.  OK, don't laugh, but I do this test with closed eyes so I can see which one really feels the best - sometimes I am surprised by the winner.  
I completed the jacket fronts, with their darts and welt pocket. The pocket flap is also interfaced with the Pro-Weft. It is NOT pressed so it looks a bit wonky but I am satisfied.  The plaid matching so far is coming out nicely, but perhaps sharp-eyed readers will notice that there is no way the seam on the right could match both above and below the pocket (see pattern piece above, dart and small cut-out wedge which creates pocket welt) so I chose to match the sleeve and jacket back with the jacket upper front and the rest of the seams below the pocket, going around to the jacket back and so far it is working out fine. Note if you are trying out your first plaid matching project - choose a pattern with continuous and even up and down seams, not one like this!  A skirt is a great place to start, and for a jacket Simplicity 3628 has good seaming and nice collar options.

Grey jacket pocket unpressed
Today is Monday and I think this project will have to be put aside for a few days but I hope to finish it by next week as well as catch up on my blog reading.

Reaching back to last August, here is today's SunnyGal Garden photo.  I was looking through some of my camera roll and don't think I ever posted this one.  When I was barely upright last August due to my back problems, I took a slow early morning walk around the garden and saw this dragonfly on the rose. I carefully returned to the house, retrieved my camera and approached the rose bush again, and he was still there.  The result is one of my favorite garden photos ever.  I just planted 4 new bare root roses so who knows what will be seen this spring.  Is it here yet?
Happy Sewing, Beth

Red Rose and Dragonfly


  1. Your jacket looks magnificent, I adore that fabric. And thank you for those interfacing recommendations. I wonder if I can get hold of pro-weft here??

  2. I test my interfacing's as well, but next time I will close my eyes as you suggest. We are ready for spring here as well, hoping to get some garden overalls made in time.

  3. Great post! Love the blind taste test idea, will have to try that.