Thursday, April 14, 2011
I'm making a scoop neck blouse in silk charmeuse (this is a project for my book) and have been thinking a bit obsessively about what interfacing to use on the neck facing. Yes, interfacing. I can actually admit to laying awake at night scheming about this very detail.
One thing I've always liked about vintage and couture sewing is the use of ordinary fabrics as interfacings: muslin, organza, taffeta, canvas. I think there's very rarely just one good choice of an interfacing, and the notion of using these fabrics (rather than commercial interfacings) just appeals to me as a nice bespoke touch. But you know how I love those fiddly vintage details!
Anyway, I've been mulling over the interfacing choice for this silk charmeuse blouse. I originally thought silk organza. But my time at Susan Khalje's couture sewing school has me rethinking my tendency to go to organza for everything. I learned that you don't want to use organza as an underlining or interfacing for anything that has a softer hand than the organza itself, as it can cause unattractive buckling or bunching in the fashion fabric. Susan actually recommends silk crepe de chine as an underlining for charmeuse.
I've come across a few sources this week that suggest "self-fabric" as a great interfacing for charmeuse and other silks. In other words, if you were interfacing a neck facing, you would use a second layer of your fashion fabric basted to the facing. Claire Shaeffer is one proponent of this method, while the Emma One Sock fabric guide says: "By far the best interfacing for charmeuse is silk. Use silk organza for those areas that need a bit of crispness. Use a layer of self-fabric for those areas that need interfacing but need to retain a soft hand."
And indeed, I would want this neckline to retain its drape. So I'm thinking the self-fabric route might be the way to go, in conjunction with some careful hand understitching to keep the layers from rolling to the outside. I'll finish the facing edge by hand overcasting because I'm feeling fancy like that.
Have any of you used this self-fabric method? Obviously, the best way to see if an interfacing will work is to test it. But since I have little time to sew right now (only enough time to lay awake thinking obsessively about it), I thought I would pose the question.