The pattern I was busy tracing last post was a Burda jacket, from one of their extra magazines. It’s a rerun of a 50s pattern. The pieces are cut and I’m fusing like fun. Well, no, not fun. My relationship with fusible interfacing is a not so much a love – hate one as a tolerate resentfully – hate one.
Here’s the jacket, and the reason I’m making it – see that curved seam forming the pocket ? Who could resist trying that out?
Fusibles come with so much false promise. “This’ll be quicker than classic tailoring” you kid yourself, forgetting that the sole plate is tiny, not a tesselation friendly shape, and needs to be held to the piece for a few minutes each press. The instructions have all the peplum pieces, the front piece and it’s facing fused, as well as little underarm pieces.
Ann Ladbury has these wise words – “Cut to shape and size using the section of garment as a template, especially if alterations have been made to the pattern. Trim about 2mm from the outside edges to prevent them sticking to the ironing surface”.
The problem with following her advice is that garment pieces notoriously distort after you take the pattern off. A garment piece used as a pattern, needs much checking and shifting to get straight lines straight, and check curves haven’t grown on the outer edge and shrunk on the inner edge. My jacket fronts were in firm woven fabric, but it took much time trueing them to the pattern before interfacing.
Fusible’s second falsehood is that it will actually stay stuck.
Ann Ladbury also advises catching the interfacing in a seam because it will inevitably work loose in time and with laundry. I feel this is more realistic than advice about buying only the best and following the directions to a T. Is your gear good for applying constant temperature even pressure over the whole surface of large pieces of fabric?
Then there’s the bulked up seam allowance to deal with after stitching. Some like to cut the fusible to the net size, not catching it in, or add only a couple of millimetres to the perimeter. I’ve tried this technique, but you have to be fearsomely accurate to avoid gaps, where your stitching and interfacing wander off in different directions, and on some fabrics it never seems to bond properly.