For some time now I have wanted to write about the different foam interfacings/stabilizers used when making purses. I have finally been able to afford and use 3 major brands of the sew in foam – Pellon Flex Foam, Soft and Stable and Bosal-In-R-Form. I will also include auto headliner as it too has it’s place in bag making.
So first up is the auto headliner. Of all the foams, it – in my opinion – gives the least support of all that I have tried, but it is still useful in bag making. I do love to use it in small purses and pouches. It works well in purses with smaller sides to support such as in the Hip Bag Hybrid pattern by Studio Kat Designs.
Here are some pictures of 3 different headliners I have on hand –
It can come in many colors. It is foam on one side and has a knit tricot fabric on the other side. this particular one was hard to separate. I found that true with 2 of the 3 headliners materials I had on hand.
It is light in weight and most that I have purchased seem to be very close in thickness. If it is wrinkled, you can use a steam and a synthetics setting to remove some of the wrinkles. I found that ironing helped remove some but not all of the wrinkles.
Normally headliner would be cut the same size as the pattern piece and basted into the seam allowance, then sewn into the seam as the purse is made. But there is another alternative. You can make it a fusible. Take a second look at the Hipbag Hybrid at the top of this post. Because the seam allowances were so small in this pattern (1/4″), I fused it to the pattern pieces first.
To do this, I cut out the pattern pieces in the headliner, then I removed the seam allowances from the headliner piece. Then I cut out a piece of fusible web the size of the adjusted headliner piece. I lay the fabric pattern piece wrong side up, next comes the fusible web, then place the headliner – foam side against the webbing – on top. Carefully flip it over and fuse according to the directions for your fusible webbing. The webbing I have used in the past, fused well with a wool setting and steam with gentle ironing back and forth. Just takes a few seconds.
Headliner can save on costs, most I have seen is 60 inches wide or more. I have even found it at Hancock’s Fabric on the flat folds table for $5.00 a yard. And if you know someone at an auto upholstery shop, many times you can get what is left over from a job for a small price or if you are lucky – at no cost.