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…another tip – fusible interfacing

rekha | Posted in General Discussion on

From Kwik Sew

 Using pieces of fabric larger than your pattern pieces, cut the interfacing to the same size as the fabric. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric. Place the pattern pieces on the interfaced fabric and cut out the pieces. The results will be perfect every time.

Till now I used to cut out all the pattern pieces, including interfacing and then fuse them together. Kwik Sew’s method is great


  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    Rekha, this is a great way when you have shifty or curly fabric, especially knits.    It also saves cleaning your Iron.   The leftover pices of interfaced fabric make great appliques for bags, pillows and T-shirts for starters!  Cathy

    1. rekha | | #2

       leftover pices ...make great appliques for bags, pillows and T-shirts for starters!  Cathy


      That's brilliant. I hope others will think laterally and add some more uses

      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #3

        Thanks, I hate to waste even a scrap.  Cathy

        P.S.  Had to reduce my stash of stuff a while back....:(  just too much...However, the local brownie troop was extatic at the 3 boxes of scraps and crafty stuff I donated.....

  2. KathleenFasanella | | #4

    Manufacturers have been doing this for years. I mention it on my blog (here: http://www.fashion-incubator.com/mt/archives/reverse_engineering_standard_work_pt2.html) and suggest home sewers adopt the practice too (within reason, as described below). To save you a click, I've pasted in the salient passage. Btw, this comes from a 9 part RTW shirt sewing tutorial. This section discusses shirt cuffs: "The other thing I want you to notice in this photo is that the top side cuff is fused from edge to edge, no self fabric is showing. This means that the goods were fused before the cuffs were cut. This is something home sewers should consider adopting too. In fusing the goods before cutting the cuffs, you've minimized distortion of the piece which means it's more likely to be sewn precisely. It is common to find the precision pieces of a garment (collars, cuffs, pockets, small rounded pieces, where precision really matters) to be fused before cutting. Now, fusing these pieces can be done in one of two ways. Some companies do "block fusing" which means they cut a good sized portion of the goods separate from the marker, fuse them, then restack those pieces and lay a collars and cuffs only marker on top of that to recut it. While not particularly tricky, care must be exercised when re-laying fused goods because these are stacked by hand rather than rolled off the roll from a spreader. The second way these precision pieces are cut is with dies. In the marker will be pattern pieces designated as "first cuts". First cuts follow the shape of the final intended piece (aka "second cuts") but are larger by (usually) 1/2" all the way around. The first cuts are then fused. Once fused, the first cuts are recut with a die to form them into their final shaping. I go to all the trouble of mentioning this because this is the way that the collars on men's suits are usually done. This may seem like overkill but I think it's definitely worth the effort. If you're just making up small quantities (and don't have dies) you can still do the first cuts (bigger all around), fuse them and then cut the final cuffs or collars by hand with the real pattern piece. Accuracy of seaming can be well controlled with these methods."Kathleen

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #5

      Checked out your stuff on the bra discussion. Have a feeling I'm going to be doing a lot of reading. Thanks for all the info. I am learning so much more from neat people like you. Thanks. Cathy

      1. KathleenFasanella | | #6

        I should have posted this before. Here's an entry I wrote about interfacing.

        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #7

          Just finished reading your link. Clearly a lot of changes in iron-on interfacing. I still have reservations on using iron-on in my really good sewing projects or things I wish to wash a lot, primarily because I have had difficulty with fusing. I don't have the fancy equipment, just my good old iron. Perhaps a few guideposts for us? Cathy

          1. KathleenFasanella | | #8

            You know, I suspect there's a big difference btwn the quality of what we get vs what's available in fabric stores. That's one reason I recommend that nylon tricot stuff. I have bought that at the fabric store and it seems to perform just as well. It was only recently that I got a hot-diddley iron but I've never had problems with interfacing. Most of what I have I've either bought at auction or a designer has sent for use with projects and doesn't want it back.

    2. rekha | | #9

      Hello again, Kathleen,

      Sorry I missed your article of 2005 on interfacing.

      Why is it that this basic information is not written in 'couture' books

      It is common that the allowances used in automated equipment are set to metric rather than imperial measures because metric is better. It's more accurate.

      Are they metric because they are manufactured in the countries using metric system of measurement?

      1. KathleenFasanella | | #10

        <i>Are they metric because they are manufactured in the countries using metric system of measurement?</i>Doubtful. It's as I said, metric is more precise. Machining tolerances are more readily measured quantitatively. It's more of an issue that quality tools used in machining are metric. One begats the other. Now, why machining tools are in metric is another story; their makers are in metric based countries. However, this is still simplistic. This is engineering. While the average person in the US may use imperial measures, US engineers don't. I guess it's characteristic of the process.And fwiw, I've never seen a couture book written by a couturier. Heck, I've never seen an industrial sewing book written by an industrial sewer either and as such, I'm not surprised you don't read in books, information that's on my site. People are swayed with pretty pictures, language and implication. I can tell you emphatically, those known as "experts" to home sewers are unknown in the trade no matter what they claim. The only possible exception is Connie Crawford. I really like her pattern making book btw. Below is a review comparing her book to Armstrong's.

        1. rekha | | #12

          ...metric is more precise

          I am not convinced. The old box wood clocks were quite precise in the imperial system.

           What is more likely is the ease with which it is possible to count in decimals than quarters, eigths, sixteenths .....

          1. KathleenFasanella | | #13

            Eristicism aside, no one is suggesting older technologies were inappropriate in their day -but technologies evolve. They are not static. They evolve according to an increased demand for precision. Expression is half the battle. Expressing quantitatively in metric provides for less error. If math errors are diminished by avoiding fractions, I fail to see how this makes for the argument that imperial is the superior standard.And yes, Benjamin Banneker's wooden imperial measures clock still runs. However, you'll never see a Rolex in wood -or imperial measures. Fwiw, for pattern drafting, I use imperial measures. For reasons too complex to explain here, I do believe imperial measures are superior for pattern *grading* and drafting to measure, especially if you are not using a book to do it step by step. Your measuring tool should be specific to the task. For machining, that means metric. Drafting for the human body, which is comprised of aliquot 8ths, is more easily done by rote with imperial.

    3. starzoe | | #11

      This method works for pattern pieces as well. For a simple example, a potholder. Instead of cutting each piece of the layers individually, layer larger pieces together before sewing, then cut them to match. This is a pretty simple example, but the same technique works well for many applications.

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