It’s time for another “Ask the Experts” question! This time we actually asked several quick questions; we want to know all about favorite interfacing, batting and thread brands. Tasia Pona, Sarai Mitnick, Jen Carlton-Bailly, Katy Jones and Shannon Cook filled us in on their go-to supplies. Tell us about your favorites in the comments below, and let us know if you have ideas for future questions. Do you have sewing questions you’d like us to ask?
What’s your go-to brand of: Interfacing? Batting? Thread?
Tasia Pona: I prefer Gutermann thread, for the silliest reason. At my local store they carry Gutermann and one other brand. The Gutermann spools are not wrapped in plastic but the other brand are. So I find it much easier to match the thread colours when there’s no glare from the plastic. There’s a wonderful range of colours as well which makes it easy to match to my project. I don’t use a lot of batting but I do have a favourite interfacing– two favourites, in fact. For lightweight projects I like what my local store calls “Sewer’s Dream”; it’s a very light, meshy, sheer interfacing perfect for blouses and dresses. For heavier projects I like what I believe is called weft-insertion interfacing; it’s great for jackets or when you need a little more stability. I’m picky about interfacings because they can make or break your project, especially if they start to bubble or separate. I’ve also used muslin as a sew-in interfacing for cotton dresses and tops, for extra breathability.
Tasia Pona from Sewaholic and Sewaholic Patterns joined us on the blog before with her Seven Essential Sewing Skills. Tasia hosts some fabulous sewalongs on her site and has developed Sewaholic into a great resource with sewing tips, guides and more.
Sarai Mitnick: I don’t have a go-to brand of interfacing per se, since I like to match it to the project. Ive been using quite a bit of lightweight fusible knit interfacing lately. For batting, I’m a total newbie quilter, so I’ll pass! For thread, I pretty much always use Guttermann 100% polyester thread for garment sewing, though sometimes I’ll use silk for certain projects. I love Guttermann thread and think it’s well worth the extra cost.
Sarai Mitnick is the owner and designer of Colette Patterns and author of the fantastic The Colette Sewing Handbook: Inspired Styles and Classic Techniques for the New Seamstress. You can find more from Sarai at the Coletterie, where there are always great sewing tips, smart discussion and sneak peeks at beautiful patterns to come. Sarai joined us last year with The Hows and Whys of Clips and Notches and All About Grainline ~ A Grainline Primer.
Jen Carlton-Bailly: When I use interfacing, I use Pellon-generally for sewing clothes. I don’t have a specific fabric, just what the pattern suggests.
Batting is only Warm and White/Natural by the Warm Company. I love the loft, the feel and how it quilts. I’ve been tempted by others that are bamboo or organic cotton, but always come back to Warm and White in the end. I tend to buy it by the bolt and use it all year long.
Thread is only Aurifil (only I can’t find the right color for clothes). Aurifil 50 weight has been a dream to sew and quilt with. It’s so thin I can fit a ton on my bobbin. It glides nicely through my machine yet remains super strong. It’s rare for it to ever break. My three top colors are Off White #2021, White #2024 and Grey #2625. Recently I used by old brand Gutermann and was so surprised how thick it was and how much lint it produced. For me Aurifil is the only way to go right now.
Jen Carlton Bailly of BettyCrockerAss has a degree in Fashion Marketing and a love of textiles and art. Sewing and quilting became a passion, and Jen became involved in the Modern Quilt Guild as the first president of the Portland Chapter. New patterns are in the works so stay up to date with Jen’s sewing and future plans on her blog. Jen recently shared the pretty Scrappy Whole Cloth Placemats tutorial here, and the His + Hers Pillows for our True Love series were a hit too!
Katy Jones: If I’m buying a whole roll of batting I tend to buy something like Warm and Natural, or Quilter’s Dream Cotton in low loft/request weight which are lightweight and quilt really nicely. In the UK we don’t have as many varieties of batting available as the US, which is a bummer. I absolutely love Quilter’s Dream Poly but it’s not so easy to find here; if it was that would be my go-to choice all the time. I have a couple of quilts that Angela Walters quilted and that’s her brand of choice. It’s so great because it doesn’t crease, so when your quilt is all folded up in the closet you can just shake it and it’s good to go.
My thread of choice is Aurifil 50 wt. I use it for everything– Piecing on the machine, quilting, hand piecing and everything in between. The colour selections are wonderful and I have never had any problems with it snagging or breaking. It also doesn’t lint up my machine like a lot of other cotton threads seem to do. It is a little more expensive than other brands, but in my experience you have fewer problems with it, so it actually ends up being really cost effective.
Katy Jones from the Fat Quarterly team and Monkey Do co-authored Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters: 60 Blocks + a Dozen Quilts and Projects, released in 2012. (More on the book here.) With a successful Fat Quarterly Community Retreat in London this past summer and her consistently gorgeous quilts, there’s always something new and fun to see and learn about at Monkey Do. Katy joined us early this year for some thoughts on the sewing industry and more; don’t miss the amazing quilts in the interview!
Shannon Cook: I love using Pellon for my interfacing! They have so many creative and useful products to help with so many different types of crafty projects. As for batting I am newly hooked on Warm & Natural 100% Cotton Batting. I really like the soft loft it gives my quilts. As for thread I’m a Gutterman and Aurfil kinda girl. I go through white like you wouldn’t believe. It’s my go to color for just about everything.
Shannon Cook has created a warm, happy gathering place at luvinthemommyhood, full of sewing and so much more. Shannon has been a board member here at Sew,Mama,Sew! and she’s a great source for crafty round-ups of the best sewing tutorials, “Wow!” projects, holiday fun, resources, etc. Find Shannon at luvinthemommyhood and versus. She’s also on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!
What about you? Do you have favorite interfacing, batting and/or thread brands?
All photos from our Batting Guide by Amy from Happythings.