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Iron On Interfacing

sewelegant | Posted in General Discussion on

This is becoming an issue with me… which side of the collar, yoke, pocket, etc. should have the iron on interfacing applied… the outside (public side) or the underneath side that will not show?  I cannot seem to get it glued down properly.  It looks fine until the garment is laundered and then there are random puckers, no matter how long I stand there and make sure I have steam pressed enough.  I’ve always applied it to the outside piece, but now I am beginning to wonder if maybe it should be on the inside where the puckers won’t show.  I have been using Pellon Easy Knit because the stuff I used to use all the time seems to have disappeared.  The last few garments I have made have been disappointing to me as there are puckers or it is either too limp or too stiff.  This all shows up after the garment has been washed a few times.

I am entertaining the idea of getting one of those mini presses – just for interfacing – has anyone any idea if that would help?


  1. woodruff | | #1

    OK, I hate fusibles and use them as seldom as possible, though with some fabrics it is necessary, I find.In general, you get what you pay for, and if you buy fusible Pellon at Joann's, you are going to have ripples after the first laundry and forever thereafter.Second, in almost every case, you must pre-shrink your fusible before using it. The procedure is simple: You just drop it into a sinkful of very hot water and let it sit there for about twenty minutes, after which you gently take it out, roll it flat in a towel, and hang it over the shower curtain rod until dry, about an hour's work all told.Third: Check out the excellent fusibles at these sites:
    http://www.palmerpletsch.com/pfuse.htm http://webstore.quiltropolis.net/stores_app/Browse_dept_items.asp?Store_id=516&Page_id=17&categ_id=9&parent_ids=0 http://sewexciting.blogspot.com/2005/08/special-swatch-offer.htmlAnd fourth, you can do what I do to avoid the ripples. On pretty much every garment, I use cheap, pre-washed poly/cotton batiste from Joanns for interfacing, I apply it to the upper surface of the piece to be interfaced, and I attach it near the cut edges via tiny dots of Aileen's Tacky Glue. This process is very fast, a lot faster than fusing, and there is never, ever, a ripple.

    1. sewelegant | | #7

      That is an interesting way to use the batiste and glue it down so it won't slide around.  Does the Aleene glue wash away afterward?  I may give this idea a try.  I was trying to get away from that tedious job of basting the interfacing so was using the iron on.  I might like this way of doing things.

       It would work on any type of interfacing fabric I wanted to use, wouldn't it?  And, I would not have puckers.  Thank you.

      1. woodruff | | #8

        For preshrinking fusible interfacings, all you need is hot tap water. With boiling water, you run the risk of activating the adhesive (as you have learned).I use the poly/cotton batiste as I say for almost every casual cotton shirt I make, and have even used it for a washable cotton/cashmere rather dressy shirt. The batiste is a blend, which means that it wrinkles less than pure cotton, making the shirt collars and fronts look smoother and crisper longer. I just make sure that everything is preshrunk, both the fashion fabric and the batiste, whose cotton portion might shrink a bit. No surprises after construction is done!Aileene's Tacky Glue in the brownish bottle does not wash out once dry, but most of my glue dots are way out near the cut edge of the fabric which gets cut off when I trim the seams. But in my experience, it doesn't really matter if the dots stay or not as long as you use tiny dots, which you can do if when you cut off the tip of the nozzle to start the bottle, you cut way up near the very top, rather than down towards the base where the nozzle is wider. You don't want a big glob of glue anywhere.Actually, I use glue in a lot of casual sewing situations where I used to baste, like hems on shirts and jeans. Experimenting is the key. Give it a try on scraps of fabric and see what you think.

      2. marymary | | #9

        Elmer's School House Glue works really well and washes out.  Press the two fabrics together to make the glue hold.  I use it making quilts.  Even if you are sloppy and get it on the front of the fabric and press it, it is gone when you launder the item.  Just be sure to use the School House Glue and not the regular Elmer's.

        A press is a good thing to have for applying interfacing.  I had one, but it was damaged in a move and now I want another.  I have not been able to find one that has a large enough water tank. 

  2. marymary | | #2

    sewelegant, on Kwik Sews site, there are some good resources, one of which is an article about interfacing.  In the article, Martyn Smith says not to use steam when fusing interfacing.  This is new to me.  I always thought you were supposed to use as much steam as you could.  I have not had to opportunity to try this method yet, so can't say how it works.  Here is a link to the page with all the articles:http://www.kwiksew.com/resources/default.cfm .  Scroll down to about the middle for the interfacing one.


    1. sewelegant | | #11

      Thank you for this site... I have copied off several of the articles and put the site into my favorites.

  3. alotofstitches | | #3

    I fuse to the pattern peice that will show when the garment is worn--contrary to what the pattern says.  The exception would be the front facing, I do fuse to the front facing.

    I too had woes using fusibles.  When I started ALAWAYS pre-shrinking my fabric, READING & FOLLOWING the manufacturer's directions and using a CLOCK to time the fusing process, all of the problems went away!  Each manufacturer has different directions so you must follow them.  I always use fusibles when possible.  When using the fusible hair canvas you will have to pre-shrink before cutting.

    All fabrics shrink a little and most interfacing do as well especially the knit or woven ones.  On my big steam press when I lay the fabric down, then lay the fusible on top and spritz water on the fusible You can visably see it shrink!  The bubbles and wrinkles form when the fabric and fusible do not shrink at the same rate.

    1. beo | | #4

      Have you tried French Fuse?  I've used it on every thing from garments, to fusing it on a silk dupioni that I was using on a living room chair.  Great results, but yes, pre-shrink it using the mfg's directions.  Available at Clotilde.com.

      1. alotofstitches | | #5

        Yes, French Fuse is one of my favorites!

      2. sewelegant | | #6

        I have not heard of "French Fuse" and I devour the Clotilde catalog every time it comes... just goes to show how much we can miss without knowing it!  I am going to look it up.  Also I think maybe the large steam press is in my future as I do get tired of waiting on the small iron to do the job and I may skimp without realizing it.

        There was a time when I would use plain white broadcloth to interface almost everything and maybe I should try to go back to that for a fresh look.  I do pre-shrink my interfacing, but still have problems.  The last time I "brilliantly" poured boiling water from my hot water maker over the interfacing in a bowl and forgot about it for a couple hours.  I couldn't pull it apart.  That got me to wondering just how much of the glue have I been inadvertently washing away with my pre-shrinking?  I usually used very warm tap water.  Another thought is that I seem to be having all this trouble lately with the "easy knit" so maybe I'd better go back and read the directions again... a little closer this time.

  4. sewchris703 | | #10

    I use fusible interfacing on the lining; sew on on the fashion fabric. And never use steam when fusing interfacing. The directions on the fusibles that I buy all say to use dry heat. For a lot of garments, especially for special occasion and bridal, I use the same fashion fabric as the interfacing for collars, cuffs, facings, etc. Or China silk or fine cotton batiste.Chris

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