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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > interfacing bubbles in my garment. Please help! ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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interfacing bubbles in my garment. Please help!
crying from frustration. ugh.
kellyhogaboom
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kellyhogaboom
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Date: 4/1/13 3:34 PM

I spent many, many hours on a lovely underlined, lined, and interfaced linen coat for my son. Everything came together so beautifully and an hour ago I was a pleased little stitcher.

Well, I just washed it in cool water and the interfacing bubbled. We are talking the entire front (especially in the facing/bound buttonhole area) and the back pieces have patches of bubbling. I have no idea what went wrong. I washed and dried the linen fabric several times, and followed directions for the interfacing.

I am so upset as this is a very high-end interfacing. I did contact the shop where I placed my order to let them know of a possible problem, but no matter what, the coat is severely messed-up. I read through a few threads on this site for advice, but almost all of them are dealing with bubbles WHILE sewing. I had no hint there was a problem while I was sewing the coat - only after washing.

The coat is hanging up wet now. My question - is there anything, anything at all I can do about these interfacing bubbles? I am so aghast & upset.

The worst aspect is that this is a high-end interfacing supplier and now I feel I can never trust fusible again. HOWEVER I am trying to learn from this experience, so here is my second question: Is there a guaranteed sew-in method anyone can recommend? I am looking for light-to-medium weight interfacing, fairly crisp, for linen (and linen/rayon or linen/cotton) blends.

I will get over this drama, but it might take a minute. I spent many hours on this garment.

I appreciate any thoughts you might have. I feel so wretched. Sometimes the learning curve in sewing is a real bummer.
-- Edited on 4/1/13 3:37 PM --

nicegirl
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Date: 4/1/13 5:12 PM

I assume you've tried to press out the bubbles? I'm afraid the only real fix is to peel off the interfacing. :(

Silk organza is always a good bet for a lightweight, crisp sew-in interfacing.

I always pre-shrink my fusible interfacing. Saturate it with the hottest water that will come out of my tap and hang it to dry. I haven't had bubbling since I've started doing this.

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2007: purchased 115+, sewed 105+
So close to parity, yet so far

Trying again in 2008
Yards purchased: 133
Yards sewn: Somewhere around 95

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Elona
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In reply to kellyhogaboom <<
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Date: 4/1/13 5:28 PM

I am so sorry that you dxperienced this! How frustrating after all your efforts.

I seldom use fusible interfacings, but whenever I buy them, even high-end products, I always pre-treat them as NiceGirl describes.

However, I never, ever use them in tailoring, or indeed in any projects I treasure, even though many sewists do just that. In my experience, linen responds very nicely to hand-tailoring--and there is never any problem with bubbling.

I am curious, though: Fully-tailored garments are generally not supposed to be washed, even if the garment fabric is technically washable. You want to keep the finished lines of the item you made, and with the many different types of materials and techniques involved in tailoring, there are just too many variables to control when it comes to washing at home. Dry cleaning is the safest route.

I wish I had some helpful suggestions for salvaging the coat...

Vireya
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Date: 4/1/13 5:38 PM

If the garment is till wet, wait until it dries and you have ironed it. I've had examples of interfacing looking bubbled when wet that smoothes out again when ironed.

If it is still bubbly, you need to contact the supplier and let them know. Maybe send them some photos.

kellyhogaboom
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kellyhogaboom
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In reply to Elona <<
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Date: 4/1/13 6:41 PM

First, I have tears in my eyes at how kind and helpful all the responses have been. I am heartened to think perhaps upon drying and pressing the garment will not be a total waste.

Elona, what you've said about tailored garments not being washable, is exactly what the interfacing supplier told me. I appreciate these thoughts very much. I've laundred tailored items I've made, without problems. I hadn't considered what you said about all the variables; and you are right.

I make custom tailored garments for children, and in general washing seems to get them cleaner than dry-cleaning. Or perhaps my dry cleaner is not thorough! LOL.

I think I have learned the hard way not to launder something tailored. I think I will also consider hand-tailoring and sew-in interfacings for some of my garments with structure.

I'm wondering if silk organza or classic hair canvas sew-in would allow me to at least hand-wash and drip dry these tailored garments. Or I could just make these nice things for kids and tell them, "NOW DON'T MOVE AND DON'T HAVE FUN", ha. :-)

I appreciate the replies here and will continue to read them with interest. I will post pictures of the garment after my best pressing efforts.

Doris W. in TN
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Date: 4/1/13 8:08 PM

How awful that your jacket is bubbling!

Did you pre-wash and machine dry (or did you line dry) the linen at least three times, to sufficiently pre-shrink that fabric? Line drying won't shrink it the way a dryer will.

I have bought high-end interfacing, too, that is sold as "will not shrink" and I have watched it shrink. I always pre-shrink ALL my interfacings, sometimes even twice (once in warm water, and once with steam iron.)
-- Edited on 4/1/13 8:09 PM --

kellyhogaboom
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In reply to Doris W. in TN <<
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Date: 4/1/13 8:32 PM

I pre-washed and machine dried the linen twice.

Yes, this was a "will NOT shrink" interfacing so I was surprised and dismayed.

If I use fusible ever again, I think I will pre-shrink first, no matter what.

I am trying to learn to trust fusible again... LOL.
-- Edited on 4/1/13 8:51 PM --

Debbie Lancaster
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Date: 4/2/13 0:00 AM

I have purchased high end linen that continued to progressively shrink even after washing and drying hot several times. The garment eventually became completely unwearable. It could be the linen and not the interfacing!

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kellyhogaboom
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Date: 4/2/13 1:59 AM

I thought about that. Anything is possible, although upon looking at the nature of the bubbles it definitely seems like the interfacing shrunk & not the fabric. I might carefully cut, serge, wash and dry the linen tomorrow and measure for shrinkage.

I may never know exactly what happened, but this thread has been wonderful as a learning experience!

Doris W. in TN
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Date: 4/2/13 8:00 AM

If the bubbling is on the linen, then the interfacing has shrunk. If the interfacing has the bubbles, then the linen has shrunk.

FWIW, My DH had a suit from Joseph Bank he bought ages ago. I'm not sure what happened, but it came back from the dry cleaner all bubbly so clearly the interfacing had shrunk.
It went into the back of the closet and we forgot about it. He recently found it and before sending to GoodWill, I had it drycleaned . (I can't send dirty clothes to GoodWill... eeew)
it came back looking perfect! Maybe the person who pressed it knew what to do.

The jacket might be salvageable.

And yes, any interfacing WILL shrink, I don't care what the mfr and seller say, if given the right amount of steam and heat. I've bought too much from nationally known teachers/pattern designers/experts and made it shrink under a steamy iron.

Perhaps the iron's heat setting, to press the linen, caused the interfacing to shrink?

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