Whether you're a self-taught sewist or a sewing class lover, I know you've heard of fusible interfacing. Fusible interfacing is a fabric with glue on one side, and it's made to fuse (with heat and pressure) to other fabrics. Fusible interfacing comes in woven, knit, and non-woven forms.*
There's lots to learn about fusible interfacing, but for now believe me when I tell you that using it correctly can elevate any garment you're sewing.
There are two main ways you can apply fusible interfacing. Using your paper pattern pieces, you can cut out your fashion fabric and interfacing separately, then fuse them together. Or you can fuse your fashion fabric and interfacing together first, then cut out your pattern piece—this is called block fusing.
For me, block fusing is fast, accurate, and easy, so you won't be surprised to hear that it's my preferred way to apply fusible interfacing. If you've never tried block fusing, I've got a tutorial for you—read on! If you try it out, I'd love to know how it went for you.
Do you have any fusible interfacing tips to share? I hope you'll share your secrets with us in the comments below!
*From Pellon's website: "Non-wovens are made directly from fibers that are bonded together using several different methods to form a "fabric."" <—I have tested many and do not like the results I get from non-woven fusible interfacings. For fashion sewing, I always use either woven or knit fusibles.
How to Block Fuse Fabric Using Woven Fusible Interfacing
Special Note: I always find it helpful to test any new materials. If you are using a new-to-you fabric or fusible interfacing, test them first.
Things You Need to Block Fuse Fabric
- Fashion fabric (shown: Poppies rayon challis)
- Woven fusible interfacing (shown: Lightweight Woven Fashion Fusible)
- Sewing pattern piece—If the pattern piece is cut on fold, I recommend you cut a new paper piece that has both sides so you can cut the fabric flat as I did here. (shown: Marcel Dress by Chalk + Notch, Bodice Front)
- Press cloth—I like to use a piece of silk organza or a plain-weave cotton fabric as a press cloth.
- Iron and ironing board
1. Start by cutting the fusible interfacing so that it's bigger than your pattern piece and smaller than your fashion fabric. Keep the fusible cut on grain. It's important to remember that woven fashion fusible interfacing is a fabric and has length grain, cross grain, and bias just like your fashion fabric. Unless your sewing pattern asks you to cut your interfacing on a different grain, match the fusible interfacing to the same grain as your pattern piece.
2. Place your fashion fabric wrong side up on your ironing board. Make sure it's flat, free of wrinkles, and on grain.
3. Carefully place the fusible interfacing glue side down onto your fashion fabric. The glue side of the interfacing should be touching the wrong side of of your fashion fabric. Make sure the fusible interfacing is also on grain. You can see the selvages of both fabrics here, showing that they are both lined up on grain.
4. Gently place your press cloth on top of your fabric. After working so hard to make sure everything is on grain, you don't want to accidentally move something when you put the press cloth on top of it, so gentle is the key here. Different people have different pressing preferences. Usually, I start in the middle and press out to either side, but sometimes I start from one end of the fabric and work towards the other. Just make sure to place the press cloth down wherever you want to start pressing if it's smaller than the fabric.
5. Fuse your interfacing to your fashion fabric by following the manufacturer's instructions. If you are using Workroom Social's Lightweight Fashion Fusible Interfacing, fuse at 284 F/140 C for 15 seconds, pressing down on your iron. The fusible needs pressure.
I find iron settings unreliable, so I'll start at 50–75% of the iron's heat and work up from there until I find the right heat. Whether you are fusing from the center of your fabric out or starting from one side, the method is the same. Place your hot iron on top of the press cloth and press down holding the iron in place for the duration instructed. If you're not experienced at fusing correctly, 15 seconds can feel like a long time. It's correct. I promise! Once the 15 seconds are up, pick up the iron, and place it down next to the area you just fused. If your press cloth isn't big enough to cover the entire pattern piece, you'll need to carefully move it as you go. Repeat until all the interfacing is fused to your fashion fabric.
Let the fabric cool before you move it.
Hooray! You're now ready to cut out your pattern piece from your block fused fabric.