Sewing Tip: Take Liberties With Underlining & Interfacing

Hi guys! Very short post today, which means quick reading for you.

These days, I notice that the more I sew, the more I find ways to throw conventional sewing tasks to the wind – and come out pretty good. I’ve begun to take liberties.

There’s less stress when small sewing challenges can be taken care of immediately, by substituting certain elements with what’s on hand. Well, maybe it has something to do with my current dislike of shopping, plus I’m always looking for ways to enhance the relaxation quotient of sewing. Rushing out to shop does not do it.


Problem: recommended interfacing or underlining is not on hand. Shopping is out of the question.

Underlining created the perfect drape! I’ll reveal the final project in a future post.

Solution:  dive into your fabric stash (or scrap stash) to find a substitute for that missing interfacing; or underlining. No one ever said interfacing has to be fusible, even if recommended in the pattern.  Recently, I’ve pulled out a printed cotton, a lightweight linen scrap, some old silk scraps to use as sew-in interfacing, or underlining. It worked perfectly! As long as the “interfacee” (fashion fabric) and the interfacing (or underlining, in my case) created the effect and weight you want, and it does not affect the final look of the project, you’re good.

Come on. Fess up; what liberties have you taken with conventional sewing processes?

While writing up this post, I did a search on my blog for “sewing tips”; what pulled up was a lot of little bits of sewing information I had written about in the past 4 years (yes, this blog turns 4 years old in March), which I had fun reading again. Type “sewing tips” in the small search box on the top right of the page, hit Enter, and see what pulls up. Plus, there is fabulous information from my friends and readers of this blog! At a later date, I’m thinking of compiling all previous tips in one page in this blog – available for all to read in one place. What do you think?

Thank you!

Love, Samina

9 thoughts on “Sewing Tip: Take Liberties With Underlining & Interfacing

    1. Thanks, Mary! Sew-in interfacings are safer, too. Can always be removed easily. With fusibles, you never know until you use the iron – or take the time to make a sample. The one thing I’ve come to dislike about fusibles is that they do shrink just a bit with the heat and steam, and the fabric piece shrinks along with it. One desn’t realize it until sewing up the seams. Fusibles have their place in my sewing, but that place is getting smaller 😀


  1. Great post Samina! It brings back memories of touring Kenneth King’s studio back in the 90’s. He was a big proponent of taking creative license with interlining: he showed us a beautiful cape he was working on – outer fabric was luxurious and heavily embellished but he used a 59 cent/yd teddy bear printed flannel he had purchased at a close out sale for the interlining! It was hilarious and would be totally unknown to the customer! I have used plain cotton batiste for interfacing for years – I would much rather use sew in than fusible any time. After sewing all my life there is a lot of fabric in my stash that should not see the light of day (“what was I thinking?” Fabric) so it gets used for lining or interfacing when I need it!


    1. Hi Charlene! I remember a class with Kenneth King very well, where he mentioned the little bunnies and ducks flannel! I never visited his studio, but I know you did. I always think about that story when applying fabric underlining. I also think of you since I know you always preferred sew-in interfacing. I still miss you in the neighborhood, my good friend.


  2. I can’t wait to see your completed project Ms. Samina! Love the fabric! I always take creative liberties with my fabric and pattern stash any chance I get! That’s the wonderful thing about sewing!


    1. It’s amost done, Myra. I’ll post it here later in the year. Can’t do it now. Regarding creativity, your’s knows no bounds – I am always in awe of your finished makes. 🙂


    1. Yeah, Linda Faye! We should form a large stash club. Actually, there is a scrap busters group on Facebook. Most of their stuff is quilt-y, but some of it is really cute – even just to look at.

      Liked by 1 person

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