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I'm not new to sewing but I am new to sewing purses/bags.  My first attempt was with a pattern for a sew-a-long and the pattern called for an interlining.  I am wondering if when sewing bags do you always include an interlining?  Is it really necessary?


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I personally believe EVERYTHING one creates should have an interlining.  An interlining creates body.  Your finished product will stand out alongside others which do not have interlinings, not to mention the longer life of the project.  I still have garments I created 15 years ago and I attribute this to the use of the interlining!  Just Imagine a leather handbag you created without an interlining.  With the constant movement of the bag it would soon wear the lining.  Replacing the lining of a handbag is a huge job!  Just my humble opinion!  Good luck...



I agree, Shastakatt.  I always make an interlining for bags and most garments.  As you said, it makes a huge difference in how it lays and looks in addition to longevity.  That doesn't mean you have to but I think the benefits you get really justify the extra effort.

I have never interlined anything. What do you use?

You need to use a fabric that is compatible with your fashion fabric.  I usually use 50-50 or 60-40 poly/cotton for cotton or cotton/poly slacks.  For a handbag I would use bleached muslin but, again, that's dependent upon your fashion fabric: wash/dry first, please.  I always pre-shrink my fashion fabric so the interlining and fashion fabric don't shrink independently.  Compatibality is the rule!

First I decide how much body I want my project to have and then I use a fabric that will give me the structure I want the finished item to have.  I usually use a similar weight fabric for bags but often use a lighter weight fabric for garments that I want to be flowy.

I also always wash and dry all my fabric before cutting and sewing.

I've always had issues with the purses I have made and the linings... As in - the linings always seem WAY too big for the purse once I flip it all rightside out.  I tack the corners of the lining to the corners of the bag and that helps a little - but not enough.  It still looks really sloppy.  The patterns I am using all have the lining/body cut using the same patterns.  When I try to cut the lining a smidge smaller to make it fit better on the inside - it doesn't line up properly at the top where they have to join.  Can anyone provide advice/suggestion to solve this? 

for bags, I use fusible fleece interfacing.  It'll change your life.  ;)

OK - depending on the fabric - I have used that.  I I generally use the fusible "extra-firm" for the sides/gusset and then the fusible fleece for the "flap".  But then I use another "pretty" fabric to make line the flap and the interior...

Whether the pattern calls for it or not, I cut a pretty lining using the same pieces, fuse the fleece interfacing to both the outside fabric and lining (less floppy), and stitch the lining  piece to the outside pieces right sides together leaving an opening for turning like you would when making pillows.  That should holds the lining in place and everything matches up nicely.

just to clarify - do you stitch the inside/outside pieces together individually and THEN assemble into the bag shape or do you stitch all the inside pieces together and then all the outside pieces together and then combine? 

I stitch like pieces together and then assemble.  For example, I stitch the interfaced front outside, and interfaced lining right sides together leaving a small opening, turn it inside out (right sides facing out), stitch the opening closed, and put it aside.  Then I do the same for the back.  Then the same for the sides, etc.  I put in any pockets next and any other embellishments, then sew them together to make the bag.  The inside seams are nicely finished too since you're sewing finished pieces together.

Hi Erica

When I decided to line my totes I found the only way was to cut the lining the same size, make up the exterior then measure the inside of the exterior bag and adjust the seam on the lining to fit that measurement.

Then there's lots of pinning (I hate pins) to ease it in place, and I slipstitch it together as sewing by hand means you can make sure it goes where you want.  

Lastly, when it all looks right, I machine topstitch for strength.  A bag bottom helps to keep it all in place too. You have to love your work!  


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