There are a few invisible-but-essential materials that you’ll need if you are going to sewalong with me in April. Here are some notes on what you’ll need in advance, so you have plenty of time to source the right stuff.
Choosing the correct fusible interfacing is critical to the success of a tailored jacket. The correct type will add body and stabilise your fabric while retaining it’s inherent characteristics, the wrong type will convert your fabric into an unnaturally rigid version of it’s former self!
There are several different types of fusible available, and I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to test, test, test! However so you don’t use up all your precious tailoring fabric on testing, I’ll show you what I regularly use in my jackets to get you started.
This one is a medium weight interfacing, and it is very soft and supple. It gives your cloth additional body but retains it’s soft handle. The non-fusible side is slightly fluffy which helps to reduce pressing impressions. I use this one on most of my jackets and coats.
I use this lightweight knit fusing on lighter weight jackets such as silk, and also on wool/elastane where I want to retain a degree of stretch. It bonds really easily using a domestic iron too, whereas the weft fusing requires a bit more attention. You can use both types in the one garment if you wish, as well as double fuse some areas for additional body.
Whichever fusing you choose to use, you need to fuse test your fabric. If you are trying it for the first time, I think you need to fuse a 30cm square to get a good appreciation of the finished handle – drape it against your body as if you were wearing it and assess its performance.
You should receive fusing instructions with your product when you purchase it, so follow those. It is imperative to get a good bond between the fusing and your fabric otherwise it will delaminate at a later date and your jacket will be a waste of time. If you are not getting a good bond experiment with the time, temperature, steam and pressure – these are the parameters that count.
In evaluating your fusing, check the following:
- The finished handle and weight is to your preference
- Fusing is securely bonded, and cannot be peeled off
- Fabric folds are smooth and rounded, not sharp and angular
- Fabric and fusing are smooth, with no puckers or bubbles
- There are no ridges at the edge of the fusing, if so try pinking the edges or using a lighter weight
- There is no strike-through, ie resin shows through to right side of fabric, if so try a lower heat or a fusing with less resin. This is really only likely in very lightweight fabrics rather than tailoring fabrics, but I thought I’d mention it anyway!
- There is no colour difference between fused/unfused areas, which may occur on sheer/loosely woven fabrics. Heat may cause a temporary colour change too.
- There is no texture difference between fused/unfused areas, which may occur on textured or pile fabrics. If so the unfused pieces may need to be pressed in the same manner for continuity.
It is composed of three layers – an inner wedge of cottony wadding which is needlepunched to the inner wadding, and then basted to the outer layer. I have square shoulders so I need to keep my pads slim, this one is 7mm at its maximum thickness.