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To interface or not to interface?

2010 September 27
by elizabeth_admin

That is the question!  My friends, I am trying to decide if I need to interface my fall coat.  The pattern instructions say to interface the front and the facing.  Ordinarily, I would have blindly followed the directions, but I forgot that I don’t have enough interfacing on hand because I only purchased small samples.  So I emailed my teacher Thea to ask her if I could use the flannel I bought as stand in sew in interfacing and she totally threw a wrench into the works here by asking me if I really wanted to interface the coat at all.  She asked me how stiff I wanted the coat and collar to be.  And now I can’t decide.

When I made my trench coat last year, one of the few disappointments in that coat was that it had no internal structure.  No shoulder pads, just the shell and the lining.  That’s it.  It just didn’t feel substantial to me.  I don’t want to make this coat and end up being disappointed by a lack of structure.  In fact, I was going to underline the yoke on the back to make sure it didn’t stretch or warp.  And speaking of structure, you know how you use a ribbon to stabilize knits on the shoulder seams?  Should I do that here too???

So the poll of the day is…

Please vote by 5pm as I am working on my coat this evening.  Thanks!

13 Responses leave one →
  1. September 27, 2010

    I haven’t been following the details of your project but I would interface with something; flannel will have to be stitched in of course because it doesn’t fuse. My understanding is that you can interface with anything provided it hangs in a complementary way and has similar properties vis-a-vis washing, ironing, etc .

  2. Meredith P permalink
    September 27, 2010

    I would definitely interface with something. That’s what differentiates it from a robe, and I’m sure you don’t want that. I just refreshed my memory about the coat you are making. Definitely interface the lapels, and probably the front. But you don’t have to use the same type of interfacing on each thing. I can’t quite tell what kind of purple wool (?) you’re using, but I would be inclined to use a weft insertion (fusible) on it, with a slightly heavier weight in the portion of the lapel facing that will be the “public” side. I’d also interface the hems of the coat and the sleeves. I’d probably put a back stay in the back (usually a cotton or other tightly woven fabric) that is around the armseyes, across the shoulder (in the neck seam). If you’ve got access to a tailoring book, they’ll have a picture. I’m sure your loyal readers will weigh in too. 🙂

  3. September 27, 2010

    If you were unhappy with the lack of structure in your trench, then you don’t want that to happen again!! I’d interface, but maybe something with a soft drape that doesn’t stiffen your wool.

  4. Anita M Cartolano permalink
    September 27, 2010

    I say interface as directed. It sounds and looks like a classic tailored coat to me and if you are using a nice wool or something you will want to give it body and structure not to mention a lovely finish. But – then again, I am a rule follower! Have you used the book called “The Classic Guide to Tailoring” The Classic Guide to Tailoring the Perfect Jacket -you can get it on Amazon. It is so comprhensive and yet to the point. You can’t really cut corners in tailoring – just my opinion! Happy sewing!

  5. September 27, 2010

    Don’t rush the process. If you have to put it aside for a week or so to order interfacing, do so.

    I’m tired of ruining projects simply because I was anxious to complete it.

  6. Rosie permalink
    September 27, 2010

    Definitely interface. I know you mentioned that you want this to be a “transitional” piece as opposed to a “coat” but you do need to give it some structure or you will essentially have a dress.

  7. Serenity permalink
    September 27, 2010

    I have never regretted interfacing. I have however regretted not….

  8. September 27, 2010

    I think the best advice that you got was DON’T RUSH! This is a project that takes time and has a process to it. I want to say that you need to order interfacing samples (by the yard) from Pam and then interface some of your scraps to see which interfacing works best with your fabric.

    Personally, I would definitely interface. The robe comment had me shaking my head yes. If you really must sew tonight, make a quick and easy knit top but please don’t rush this process! It will definitely show in your end result.

  9. September 27, 2010

    Unless you fabric is a heavy double faced fabric or double cloth some interfacing is really necessary as are some kind of shoulder support even if you don’t use shoulder pads. I don’t know what you are using or what pattern you are doing, but you generally need some support, how much depends on the look you want. Flannel would make a fine interlining but I think that it is too bulky for interfacing collars and facings. If you order from Pam Enry at Sew Exciting the service is overnight with regular UPS where you are.

  10. September 27, 2010

    oh yes, I would interface, definitely. I would interface the entire coat – that’s what I always do! The trench you made last season was a transitional (fall/spring) designed to be an unlined, unfitted cover that didn’t really need too much interfacing because of its loose nature. The simplicity coat you are making and the wool you are using would greatly benefit from some support. The trick is to use an interfacing that is a similar weight to your fabric – something medium weight. Interfacing keeps the garment looking “sharp”.

  11. Lindsay T permalink
    September 27, 2010

    How close are you to better retail stores? Are you near Century 21? Before you do anything get yourself to a store where you can do some real snoop-shopping with coats that are similar to what you intend. C21 is the best for snoop shopping because you can really examine the luxury brands without a salesperson eyeing you. Through close examination you should be able to feel the structure, short of taking your seam ripper to it. I did this with a Michael Kors (the high-end MK line) coat that is like a future coat I hope to make and discovered in this case there was very little structure (interlining/interfacing) at all. But that was apropos of the light tweed fabric. I agree with the others, don’t rush this!

  12. September 27, 2010

    Just don’t do what I did and interface the facings but NOT the front. >_<

    Seriously, though… it doesn't need suit-jacket type interfacing, but yeah, I'd go with a bit.

  13. September 28, 2010

    I am too late to vote, I think, but I am now sold on fully interfacing coats. Just made an outerwear jacket and took the trouble to fuse the entire thing (lightweight knit interfacing on all but the collar and facing). It gives it more substance, will help prevent stretching, and I hope will reduce wrinkling. It is SO BORING and adds a couple hours to construction. But worth it.

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