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All you need to know about Interfacing: Interview with Kylie from Handbag Hardware Australia

Hi Everyone

Welcome to the second post in our Beginner Bag Making Month series 🙂

The series will include the following topics:

  • All you need to know about making bags (click here)
  • All you need to know about interfacing (14th March – TODAY)
  • All you need to know about fabrics (21st March)
  • All you need to know about hardware (28th March)

Last week I interviewed Melisa about general bag making, and today we are going to spend some time with Kylie from Handbag Hardware Australia talking all about Interfacing!

Kylie from Handbag Hardware AustraliaDescribe yourself in 5 words…

Tenacious, creative, dependable, loyal, caring

Tell us something not many people would know about you…

I grew up on a dairy farm in a little place called Moto, which is near Taree in NSW

How long have you been sewing?

Since I was around 5 years old, 7 years old with a machine, my sister and I learnt to make clothes early on as this was our way of shopping!

Is sewing the only craft you spend time enjoying? If not, what other crafts help you pass the time?

When I have time to play away from sewing & shiny things, I also love gardening, cooking, fishing and painting (abstract)

Do you only make bags? If not, what else do you enjoy making?

Mainly bags however I still enjoy making clothes, especially anything from Tessuti in Melbourne, love their patterns and their linens.

What made you fall in love with making bags?

Some people love shoes, some people love make-up, bags have been my thing since as long as I can remember. Maybe it has something to do with making colourful saddle bags to carry our “essentials” when riding as a young girl. For me though bags have always been an obsession.

What is the number one thing that can make or break a bag?

Balance – for me it has to have good proportion and all its parts, fabric, handles, hardware, gussets, interfacing, these all need to work together to create an overall beauty.

hippo hobo by EmkieThe Hippo Hobo, pattern by Emkie Designs

Please tell us all we need to know about Interfacing <3

Interfacing is the form work of any bag, the wrong interfacing can destroy a bags look and feel. Place an interfacing that’s too stiff in a relaxed slouch bag and you destroy the visual appeal of the design. Place a soft interfacing in a structured bag and it will never become what you visualise. A good designer (such as the fabulous Emma from Emkie Designs) knows interfacing and has taken an extraordinary amount of time to decide what interfacing will create the look they seek. It’s always best to follow your designer’s recommendations when it comes to interfacing.

The Peekaboo Clutch, pattern by Emkie Designs

However, the tricky part is when the recommended interfacing isn’t located in your country. That is when research and an obsession for such things comes in very handy. In Australia we tend to be able to obtain the European interfacing which is primarily Vilene however the majority of our patterns are based on USA recommendations which is Pellon. Some Pellon is available as Legacy in our country, however sadly this is not the full range.

To make it easier we’ve created a handy chart (below) that converts what’s on the back of your pattern to what’s available in Australia and includes multiple brands and alternatives. Hopefully this will provide you with options and confidence that what you purchase will work in with what the designer recommended.

ingenious tote by EmkieThe Ingenious Tote, pattern by Emkie Designs

One more note before we head into the chart, be careful with width of interfacing. Many designers will simply say SF101 x 2 yards, or FF77 x 1 yard, these items are 50cms wide, as many of the Pellon products are. Knowing the designers base width enables you to convert your chosen interfacing, eg. our DHJ501, commercial equivalent to SF101, is 100cm wide, which means you only need half the amount detailed on the pattern. If you’re not sure, check in with the designer to see what width they based it on, it can save you heaps of money and time in the long run.

Interfacing Chart by Kylie from Handbag Hardware Australia

Thank you Kylie for this great interview! I have loved getting to know you more and I’m so grateful you have shared your fantastic knowledge about interfacing 🙂

Don’t forget you can fill all your interfacing (and hardware) needs for Emkie Designs patterns at Handbag Hardware Australia as Kylie has KITS available.

I can’t wait to share with you the next instalment of “Beginner Bag Making Month“!
Until next week,

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