Purse Interfacing 101 Plus a Few Of My Own Secret Tips

First there are few excellent companies that make purse interfacing:

Pellon, Vilene, HeatnBond  just to name a few and depending on your budget you can find just the right one for you.


Structured Handbags

I have discovered that 90% of all handbags I make always use these 2 types of interfacing in them.

  • #1 Fusible Fleece, this creates a soft yet firm structure to the handbag body.
  • #2 Fusible Stiff Interfacing, this creates a firm structured bottom to stabilize the bag bottom and added strength for purse feet if used.

These two types are great for use in my carpetbags, tote bags and other structured bags.

 

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  • Secret Tip #1:

If you looked at the bags I create in my BeauSourire Bags Etsy shop, I use a lot of unusual fabrics that are intended for apparel.

This Clutch is made with a thin shiny linen-like blend.

ZipClutch_blackleather_Sparkle

This Clutch uses a thin felt with gold dots

FoldoverClutch_blackgoldstudded_back

But when using these types of fabric for handbags the fabric often needs to be stiffened since they are usually thin stretchy.

To add weight to these delicate fabrics I will add a fusible stabilizer, Pellon and HeatnBond both make great stabilizers that work well.

I found some great charts that will help you decide on interfacing at https://pellonprojects.wordpress.com/category/pellon-101/

Here is a chart of Pellon Apparel Specialty interfacing:

apparel-specialty-new

I usually first cut pattern pieces and carefully iron on the interfacing, ironing on the reverse side of the interfacing of course.

Next I move to the inner structure. There are many thoughts on what use here. SewMamaSew uses a type that has foam in the middle. Soft and Stable sew-in interfacing

Interfacing1

This brand might work for you, but found it is too thick to use with my machine and the Upholstery fabrics or leather I use in my bags.

I have tried many things from batting to fleece. After much trial and error I found that fusible fleece works best for me.

Fusible Fleece

Though fleece is available in fusible and non-fusible, I find that by using fusible your life will be a lot easier and you will save a step.

quilting-fleece

  • Secret Tip #2:

I find that linings are generally thin and lack the structure needed to create a structured bag, I will iron the interfacing to the linings. I have found that this helps to balance the weights of the heavier outer fabric and the lighter weight linings.

Extra Stiff Fusible Interfacing for purse bottoms

I use this type of interfacing for reinforcing the bottom of the bags or when I use cut out metal handles.

toteleathershinyblack_silverhandle_folded

This interfacing is easy to use and I recommend ironing to bottom section of lining on top of fusible fleece. Depending on the bag though I have found I needed to make a base piece that actually slides into bag between lining and outer bag that I attach with the purse feet. I have also found that I layer the stiff interfacing to create a stiffer bottom depending on the size of the bag.

Here are a few excellent stiff interfacing:

Vilene S520 – short lengths

Single Sided Fusible Peltex -…

Heavy Fast2Fuse – Short Lengths

Some people also use a Hard Plastic Purse Bottom Board, though again I find too thick for my machine.

B-2

  • Secret Tip #3:

I use this stiff interfacing when ever I need to reinforce heavy stress points on my handbags. These are places like cut out handle points, zipper ends, and where handles attach to bags.


Non-Structured Bags

Bags that I make like Knitting bags, Frame Clutches, and certain Shopper Tote Bags look too stiff if I use fusible fleece in them so I often use lighter weight interfacing.

Stabilizers

chd-stabilizers1

These are great for adding body and a little stiffness but not as thick as the fleece so the bags will flop or bend when needed.

Shoppertote_greendot_1KnittingBag_VintageFloral_FauxLeather_reversible_front

I hope you enjoyed my interfacing adventures. As with all sewing tips you should try what works best for you, your sewing machine, and type of fabrics used in your projects. There are many other great interfacing articles out there. YouSewGirl has excellent tips and you can buy interfacing there.

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I also recommend Pellon blog for insights, tips, tables, and fun projects

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