We’ve put together some tips gleaned from our customers and our suppliers for working with the swatches to your best advantage. Feel free to let us know if you come up with other ideas. We’ll be happy to pass them on.
Tips for Choosing Interfacing
Making The Best Choice:
Determining the Purpose
Different areas of your garment will require different interfacing support. Consider the purpose of the interfacing in each area to determine the best combination. For instance you may choose one type for the roll line of a shawl collar jacket and a more stable type to support the buttonholes in the same jacket. Experiment to find those that work best with the fabrics you sew most often. Purchase 3-5 yards of several types of interfacing and preshrink all at once to streamline the process for each garment. Hang on hangers, store flat or fold and roll on paper towel tubes or wrapping paper tubes.
Cut sample swatches of the interfacing you plan on testing large enough that you should be able to test fuse two different fabrics with each. Ultimately a true test fuse prior to sewing a garment should be done on a 6-inch square sample or larger. Test fuse according to product directions. To assess, feel the sample, try to pull it apart, roll it, fold it, make a buttonhole. For sew-ins, baste to the fashion fabric and perform the same manipulations.
When testing multiple interfacing with your fabric, it’s important to keep track of what you are testing! Write the stock number or name on the interfacing swatch with a permanent marking pen or use peel and stick labels to identify each swatch.
Tips for Choosing Lining
Making The Best Choice:
Hand and Drape
The most important factor in choosing a lining is considering the hand and drape of the fashion fabric. Generally it is a good choice to match the hand and drape for dresses and separates. For instance, a stable lining in a structured jacket is a better choice than a fluid one. Exceptions to this suggestion occur when you are using the lining to protect the fashion fabric from “misbehaving”. For instance, choosing a stable lining in a loosely woven fashion fabric will prevent bagging at knees and elbows or wrinkling in high stress areas. When choosing the lining, it is important to take into account the other factors that contribute to the overall comfort of the garment.
In general, we suggest a breathable lining such as rayon, silk or cotton for warm climates. For cold dry climates the anti-static finish on the synthetic lining is often a benefit.
It’s best to choose a lining that is compatible with the care required by your fashion fabric.
We all take pleasure in a “perfect match” for some of our garments and a striking contrast for a creative designer touch, but truth is a blending color is fine in most cases and color choice should not override the other considerations discussed above.
When testing multiple lining swatches with your fabric, it helps to keep track of what you are testing! Write the stock number or name on the lining swatch with a permanent marking pen or use peel and stick labels to identify each swatch you cut.