Blockfusing is one sewing technique that you can’t afford not to learn! Compared to the traditional method it is quicker, more accurate, makes for easier handling, and gives more professional results. It is how we fuse things in the garment industry and is very simple – instead of cutting individual pieces and then fusing them together, you fuse them together then cut.
On this skirt I am making, I want to fuse the front yoke, the back yoke, and the front and back facings (which are actually the same pattern pieces as the front and back yoke.) I cut a block of fabric around the pattern pieces with a margin of about 1-2cm (1/2″) around the pattern. It doesn’t have to be precisely cut at this stage:
Next I lay the blocks of fabric on top of the fusing, wrong side of fabric to wrong/fusible side of fusing. Then I cut out a block of fusing the same shape as the cloth pieces, but about 5mm (1/4″) smaller – so it doesn’t extend over the edges and stick to your ironing board.
The pieces are fused together as they are placed – wrong sides together.
Now the pieces are ready to be cut exactly to the pattern piece. I like to mark around my pattern with tailors chalk, but you can pin and then cut if you are using a tissue pattern:
And the result – perfectly cut yokes and facings:
No wonky stretched or frayed areas, and seams that sew together easily – because they match! Try it – you’ll never look back as it will make your sewing easier!
Blockfusing can be used on any part of your garment where the full pattern piece is fused – collars, cuffs, plackets, waistbands, jacket fronts, pocket flaps, facings, etc.
A few comments on fusible interfacing:
I rarely use non-fusible interfacings, and have found that for 99% of my work I use two types of fusing. The one used here is a lightweight knit and I use it on most of my garments. It gives fabric just the right amount of body, and is extremely versatile – I have used it here on a flimsy georgette skirt, and I also use it in soft tailored jackets! For coats I use a slightly heavier weight.
An important factor to me in selecting a fusible is that it still maintains its drape once it is fused to your fabric – some turn stiff and card-like and I avoid those. Always test your fusing on the fabric you are applying it to – hold it up to your body as if you were wearing it and if you feel it is too stiff – find another one!
If you have any questions I am happy to answer them in the comments. Next up is a tutorial on hemming soft fabrics like chiffons and georgette, and how to mitre those corners!
Happy sewing 🙂