Would You Interface a Coat Belt?

After cutting out all of the coating pieces, suddenly the whole project seemed a bit massive and daunting. Does that ever happen to you? All of a sudden it seems like a lot of work to put the whole thing together. When that happens, I have the urge to make one of the easy parts first, just to get a quick sense of accomplishment. Which is why I was looking at the belt piece, thinking, if the belt was done, then I’m one step closer to finishing the coat!

I checked out the pattern instructions for my wrap coat, and noticed that the tie belt isn’t interfaced! That seems strange to me. Won’t it get saggy or stretch out over time? Shouldn’t it be stiff and structured, at least a little bit?

I checked the Tailoring book and there’s no mention of belts in it. Two other sewing patterns in my collection have tie belts: one’s interfaced, one isn’t. It’s a matter of personal preference then, I suppose. I’m thinking a lightweight fusible interfacing would be just enough support to keep it from stretching and getting floppy, without stiffening it up too much.

Have you made a coat with a tie belt before? Did you interface it? Would you interface this coat’s belt?

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33 Responses to Would You Interface a Coat Belt?

  1. Claire (aka Seemane) October 12, 2011 at 6:25 am #

    I think for me I’d interface it – because as you said, I’d be worried that it’d get stretched and warped over time/wearing.

    I wonder if you could interface only the parts that don’t form the knot/tie section (as they are easier to tie up and twist around if they are not so stiff)? Maybe if you worked it out on the muslin of the belt with pencil markings you could then only interface the ends and the middle – leaving 2 smaller non-interfaced sections either side of the centre middle? :)

    • Tasia October 12, 2011 at 10:22 am #

      @Claire (aka Seemane): That’s an interesting approach! I think it might be noticeable where the interfacing ends.. it’ll be crisp at one point, but limp at another. Plus then I’d have to tie the belt at the same place every time! Which will probably happen anyways, but I think I’d pick something light enough to apply to the whole belt to keep it simple.
      Thanks for sharing – I wouldn’t have thought of doing it that way!

  2. Tabatha Tweedie October 12, 2011 at 6:30 am #

    I would interface it with a lightweight fusible interfacing, as I think it needs to be fairly sturdy if you’re going to be tying it. Can’t wait to see how this turns out!

  3. Tasha October 12, 2011 at 6:31 am #

    Interesting! I think I would interface it. I’ve had belts that refuse to stay in shape because they didn’t have enough stabilization. I think especially with a tie belt, I could see it getting kind of out of shape in the last couple of inches before where the bow/knot is and getting more ‘bunchy’ looking.

    • Tasia October 12, 2011 at 10:23 am #

      @Tasha: Yup, it could get perma-wrinkles where the knot is tied – not good! Stabilization is a good idea.

  4. Vicki Kate October 12, 2011 at 6:42 am #

    I’d interface the whole length of it. In a lot of ways, its the bit that’s going to get the most wear and tear. If your fabric has already pulled a bit too, it may help protect it from that as well by giving it a bit more stability if it’s fusible – or I may just be over thinking that bit!

    • Tasia October 12, 2011 at 10:19 am #

      @Vicki Kate: I thought of that too! It would help stabilize a loosely woven fabric, basically by ‘gluing’ it down in place. It’s not over-thinking, it’s good to think of how fabric will react over time!

  5. CGCouture October 12, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    I would also interface it. Too much stress on it not to. Would you interface both sides though, or just one (I’m assuming it’s a belt with two pieces as opposed to one just being folded over)? On stuff like that, I’ve always wondered if it would be best to use a lightweight interfacing on both pieces so that one side doesn’t stretch and bulge over time.

    • Tasia October 12, 2011 at 10:18 am #

      @CGCouture: It’s one piece, just folded over – not two pieces with seams running along the top and bottom of the belt. I think if it were two pieces, I’d do what you suggested and interface both pieces so one didn’t get saggy while the other stayed crisp!

  6. Lauren October 12, 2011 at 7:13 am #

    i would only interface it if the fabric was something that has a tendency to stretch – like the coating fabric you’re using. i wouldn’t use fusible interfacing, though. this is just a personal preference. i hate that stuff! i’ll use a strip of muslin, cut on the grain :) i think it would give it a bit of body/stability without compromising the, er, tie-ability of the tie.

    • Tasia October 12, 2011 at 10:24 am #

      @Lauren: I usually hate fusible interfacing too! I only like certain kinds, there are some nicer, softer ones (usually with a knit base) that have worked well for me in the past. I do like sewing in muslin or cotton for summer dresses so they’re more breathable!~

  7. Molly October 12, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    I would interface it as well, but I would use muslin or flannel, depending on the thickness of the wool. But I agree with Lauren, I hate fusible interfacing, I just replace it with fabric.

  8. Elizabeth October 12, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    Definitely interface it. That’s a loose weave and needs the support to retain its shape.

  9. Beth (SunnyGal Studio) October 12, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    Yes i would interface it, otherwise it will tend to get crumpled where the knot is tied.

  10. Becky October 12, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    I’d interface it, though probably with muslin just to give it a more permanent structure.

  11. Carla Colvin October 12, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    Yes, I’d interface it but not with fusible interfacing. I’d use a thin piece of muslin, for example – perhaps you could re-use a piece from your toile?!

  12. Claire (aka Seemane) October 12, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Oh, I like all the ideas above re: use of muslin (calico here in the UK) for the interfacing – avoids the whole fusing issue – v. smart :)

  13. Sue October 12, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    I would interface the belt using a non fusible! I like Carla’s tip to use a piece from the toile!

  14. Maureen October 12, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    I would definitely interface it with a woven. It looks like it going to be gorgeous when finished!

  15. Michelle October 12, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    I have no clue on interfacing it, but would you happen to have enough fabric to make one with interfacing and one without?

    • Tasia October 12, 2011 at 10:17 am #

      @Michelle: Nope! I am completely out of fabric. I used every last bit of coating to cut my pattern pieces. Good idea though!

  16. Tasia October 12, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    Thanks everyone! Looks to be pretty much unanimous in favour of interfacing the belt. I thought it was strange that they didn’t call for it in the pattern! Glad I’m not the only one.
    The fusible I’d use is soft and bendy, not gross and crispy like some fusibles. It’s a knit-type interfacing that I quite like. Though I do like the idea of trying to cut up my muslin and use it for interfacing pieces!

    It’s a folded belt, so there’s only one seam on the bottom, not along both sides of the belt. I think I’d interface the whole thing, so it folds along with the fold of the belt. Will report back when I get a chance to work on it some more! Thanks for all of the feedback!

  17. Kris October 12, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    The belts on my jackets all feel interfaced – lightly. I’d be more likely to sew some narrow twill tape into the seams, to prevent stretching without adding bulk that might make tying it difficult.

    • Tasia October 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

      @Kris: Interesting! I think on my fabric, it’s soft and loosely woven and might sag in between the seams even with the addition of tape. Thanks for the idea!

  18. patsijean October 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    “Way back when”–as a friend of mine often says–my belted coats were all interfaced. That was the 60’s and 70’s and doubt that they had fusible interfacing at the time. That said, my first reaction was a tricot fusible then muslin. Do you have scraps with which to test the fusible?

  19. Allison October 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    Looks like you’ve already made a decision, but I just wanted to voice that when I made my Lady Grey coat last year, it didn’t call for interfacing the belteither. I didn’t interface the belt, and have regretted it ever since. I used a nice wool that really could have used the extra structure. Oh well, I guess next time I’ll know better!

    • Tasia October 12, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

      @Allison: That’s the pattern I have that doesn’t ask for interfacing in the belt, either. I don’t think I did in mine but can’t remember.. Thanks for sharing – that helps! It’s the kind of thing that seems somewhat unimportant at the time but bugs you when you wear the finished piece.

  20. Denise October 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    I was going to say no, then I remembered your fabric. I agree with most other posters, a lightweight fusible would be good.

    I made the Lady Grey, and didn’t interface it, but maybe I used a heavier weight fabric, as I haven’t noticed much in the way of wrinkling.

  21. LunaLoo October 12, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    Think fusible interfacing for a season, sew-in is for life. I’d go in with the sew-in type.

  22. Rachel October 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    I think i would interface it, but i’d probably seriously consider non-fusible – maybe even the calico that you used for your muslin.

  23. Caroline October 12, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    I probably wouldn’t interface it with anything more than a very lightweight interfacing, and then I would only be doing it for fun. I guess I can’t feel your fabric, though, so it’s hard to tell. But it looks like something I’d turn, topstitch with two rows of stitching, and call good. The top-stitching through four layers of wool would keep it from stretching much. I’d want it to tie in knots without getting bulky. Or are you putting on a buckle?

  24. Gail October 13, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    I would use a light interfacing. This might stop it from ‘scrunching up’.