From: South Carolina
Ok - first - there is NO chance I'll have German interfacing. You have to buy like 4,000 yards of it, a MAJOR investment!!! You can get it from Debbie Glenn HERE or from Wendy Schoen or also I think from Farmhouse Fabrics. And yes, you need to get some - it's wonderful!! It's a very lightweight fusible INTERFACING that fuses perfectly, doesn't come 'un-fused', adds just *enough* definition. You can fuse it to the back of any fabric and then pleat it and it gives additional definition to the pleats, makes them crisp so they stand up. The point being it's so shear it'll go thru the pleater. It also makes the fabric less wrinkly. That said, I can't imagine myself interfacing batiste to smock it - I'm just saying you CAN do that. It's used in the commercial market to interface collars, shirt bands, etc. It's also pretty pricey!!! But there are times when nothing else will do. O - and it MUST be pre-washed before you use it but do NOT iron it!!!
It's definitely INTERFACING - you must also have a facing if you need one, you can't use only the German Interfacing. I can't see it working with shadow work, either. It would be nice for surface embroidery because it would give the soft batiste some body but then you'd have to interface the whole skirt and I don't think I'd like that??? Has anybody used it just to interface just the area behind an embroidered design? I often do surface embroidery or shadow work on the front skirt of a Bishop or yoke dress and I think the German Interfacing would make the embroidered area look too different and make a shadow but I could be worng. I'm sure somebody will tell me. Remember - this is all just my opinion.
I almost always make a slip - I almost always just make a simple little A-line slip that will pop over the head or maybe button on one shoulder, usually with just a little machine shell stitch edge around the neck and arms and a little lace at the hem - super simple. Most little girls now don't own a slip and I think it makes the dress look so much nicer. Often the slip has outlasted the dress and the girls end up wearing them for nighties.