Why and How to use Interfacing on Your Handmade Garments.

A little secret sits inside handmade garments and it is interfacing! I keep a big roll of Stabilize interfacing in my studio because interfacing is the backbone to successful garment sewing.  Despite its humble appearance interfacing works hard by providing three vital things…strength, structure, and shape. It provides the stable interior to the best handmade garments out there. This post and video are an overview of its many uses and a quick guide to how to apply it successfully.



Step One


Use stabilize interfacing on any area that will undergo stress and strain when worn. This includes areas such as the top of pockets, button plackets, buttonholes, and zipper openings.  Stabilize interfacing is what is considered a lightweight interfacing.  That means it is thin and adds strength without adding stiffness or bulk.

Step Two


In addition to strength, interfacing provides structure for important places like waistbands, button plackets, and collars.

Without it, collars flop and waistbands lose their shape. If you are using a fabric with a bit of transparency, set the interfacing on the inside lining fabric so it isn’t visible.


Step Three


Interfacing helps maintain shape for areas like a neck opening or bodice lining.  Most of the time, this is useful in blouses or the top half of a dress.  Not only is it useful for holding the shape on a neck facing or front placket but some delicate fabrics such as rayon, ikat wovens, or silk need interfacing in strategic places to avoid being stretched out when they are being sewn.

Step Four

How to Apply Interfacing-

Now you know why it’s important not to ignore your pattern when it instructs you to use interfacing (and why to use it on your own self-drafted patterns).  Here is how I prefer to adhere fusible interfacing to garments. It’s really simple.

Cut the interfacing as instructed.

Place the ‘bumpy’ side of the interfacing face up

Set the wrong side of your fabric on top

Iron with a hot iron, press down with heavy hand moving evenly and slowly until it adheres.

Yay! Now you are armed with the (not so scary) secret lurking inside fabulous handmade garments!