Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Purse Primer: Interfacing

I wanted to share some wisdom ~ or whatever you want to call what trickles from my brain ~ on the subject of Purse interfacing. All snickering aside (ahem I know there are a few of you) I have tried just about every kind of interfacing over the last few months (US based anyway) as I have entered the world of purse production, and there are a few do's and dont's I thought it prudent to share.

This primer is for solid or tote style bags - like these:

This will not work for bags which require some drape or gathering to the fabric like these:

So keep that in mind.

1. The best thing to line the main outside fabric of the purse is fusible fleece. I personally prefer HTC fleece as it is a bit denser than pellon and thus gives a nicer and more even feel to the outside of the bag but pellon fusible fleece will work as well if that is all you can find. Fuse this to the back of the outer purse fabric according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Fusible fleece doesn't give you alot of stiffness though so you need to use more interfacing to avoid the purse floppies. Purse floppies are a no-no in my book. I need my purse to stand-up at the checkout counter while i'm digging through it and all it's contents while frantically searching for my wallet. It is difficult to find anything in a purse that is suffering from the floppies. So I avoid them at all costs.

2. Next step is to add a layer of fusible heavy-weight interfacing to the lining of the purse. This will avoid the floppies, makes the lining lie nice and flat inside the purse and avoids pull-ups. Pull-ups are not a training pant. They are when you are attempting to remove something from your purse and you end up bringing up the entire lining and the purse contents to boot - not a good thing - again very annoying in the check-out line when you are trying to pay and simultaneously retrieve the contents of your purse from the floor.

The best heavy weight fusible is decor bond 809 from Pellon but craft fuse 508 will work also. You might find however that you get some of what I call the crunchies with craft fuse - this is those little crinkles that appear when you work with the fabric - as in when you are sewing it - and crunchies are also not allowed in my book. They are unsightly and since i'm all about appearances (apparently) they are not allowed either. You can get rid of crunchies with pressing but they will continue to return as the bag is used. However, since it is lining and you might not be able to see the crunchies anyway, go for it if you aren't a perfectionist like me. Decor bond comes in 54" widths and craft fuse in 22" widths and both are available at most chain retailers.

3. This step is optional - it really depends on how much stiffness you want in your purse. You can add a layer of Peltex into the bottom of the bag - this is really just to give you more support but isn't really necessary unless you have a larger size purse bottom where more support is needed for example in a large tote bag. You can cut a piece of peltex the size of the bottom of the bag and just insert it prior to closing up the lining. If you cut it just to the finished size of the bag, it won't move around on you during use.

That's it! A three-step interfacing primer - it doesn't get any easier than that. Now go sew and have fun.
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