If your fabric has seam slippage or frays easily, eg a loosely woven tweed, then you will need to fusetape all seams that are not yet fused. Seams are fusetaped before sewing. I lay my cut panel on my pattern piece to ensure they are exactly the same shape and length, then apply the fusetape to the wrong side stitching line, extending it about 1cm into body panel and 5mm into seam allowance. When you sew the seam, you will sew through the tape on each side as well. Fusetape any back darts in the same manner – cut a piece of fusing the same shape as your dart intake plus 1cm all around, press it on and sew the dart through all thicknesses.
I usually apply fusetape to the front shoulder seam to prevent it stretching. Often the back shoulder is eased onto the front, and fixing the front measurement prevents inadvertant stretching as you sew, as well as stretching over time.
Also fusetape the armhole to prevent the bias areas stretching out of shape and consequent fit ramifications. Here I cut the fusetape in half lengthwise, and fused it within the seam allowance. For some reason I was taught not to tape the upper front armhole. Fusetape the roll line of your front to prevent it stretching. The correct placement of the fusetape is just inside the roll line, so it does not affect the roll line itself.
If you need to you can ease the roll line onto the tape up to 1cm – cut your fusetape to the finished measurement (roll line, less seam allowances, less 1cm) fuse the ends in place, then distribute the ease evenly over the remaining length. Fuse lightly at first, check it’s even, and then fully fuse:
There are a few additional areas that you may or may not want to fuse – it all depends on your design, fabric and preferences really. Here are a few ideas to help you decide whether you need to try any of these techniques:
An upper back fusing is made from the upper back pattern pieces. It can help hold the shape of loosely woven fabrics across the back shoulders and prevent CB seam slippage, as well as conceal any lines of the shoulder pad. Personally I’ve never done it, but would consider it for a loosely woven tweed where there is no risk of it being visible from the outside.
Collar stand fusing – Sew your under collar CB seam, press, and apply that piece of fusing we made earlier:
Lapel fusing – An additional piece can be applied to the lapel area of the front, cut so that its lengthwise grain is parallel to the roll line, this eliminates the need to tape the roll line, but also eliminates the option of easing the roll line:
That’s it for today – tomorrow I’m starting to sew!
If you are sewing along, what stage are you up to, and what’s the most important thing you’ve learnt so far?
And make sure you check out our Flickr group!