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Mrs Bowden’s top tip – applying interfacing

Mrs Bowden’s top tip – applying interfacing

Felixstowe Sewing School


Mrs Bowden’s top tip – the dark art of applying interfacing

I know that some people have had tricky experiences with applying interfacing ending up with a curled up, sticky and singed piece of fabric and a messed up iron…….If this applies to you or somebody you know, or you think you would like to avoid this situation please do read on!

We often have to apply interfacing to strengthen or stabilise areas of a garment such as cuffs, collars, button stands, waistbands to name a few.  To apply interfacing you need the following equipment; iron, ironing board, pressing cloth and scissors.
If you are applying interfacing to a particularly lightweight or wriggly fabric it’s a good idea to trim the interfacing down a wee bit to avoid the interfacing creeping over the edge of the fabric and potentially adhering to the right side or knackering your iron and marking up your ironing board.  It also reduces bulk around seam allowances and intersections.  Here we have a Liberty Tana Lawn with a lightweight fusible interfacing ready for trimming.
I generally do not add tailor tacks to the interfacing as you can usually see through the facing through the fashion fabric which has been marked BUT check this before you proceed to make sure you can see the tailor tacks and if not get your needle and thread out and add these to the facing.  It will help you later in the construction of the garment as you won’t be scrabbling around trying to find this information.

Here we have a medium weight fusible interfacing which is suitable for a cotton needlecord.

Check you are confident of the following;

Which is the wrong side of the fabric?

Which side of the interfacing has the heat release glue?  This will be shinier than the ‘unsticky’ side it may even have a bumpy texture which are the spots of glue waiting to be released.

Pictured is a heavy weight fusible interfacing with some pure wool tweed.  Normally a heavy weight interfacing WOULDN’T be used in garment making as it has a tendency to make the fabric too ‘cardboardey’.  However, if I was making myself a lovely bag out of this tweed I certainly would use this weight of interfacing as I would require the firmness it provides.

Set the temperature of the iron suitable for the fabric you are using.  As you come to apply the interfacing press the fashion fabric to eliminate any creases in the fabric – it also warms the fabric up to make it more receptive to the glue on the interfacing.
Lay the pressing cloth over the sandwich of interfacing and fashion fabric and gently lower the iron to the middle of the piece.  The glue will start to release pretty quickly so use small circular motions to move the heat around.  Work from the centre to the edges of the fabric staying in each sport (whilst the iron is moving) for about 10 seconds.  You will be able to tell if the interfacing has adhered by gently lifting a corner to see.
Leave the fabric where it is and allow it to cool before checking if it has adhered evenly.  If it hasn’t you need to apply more heat.
I do hope you have enjoyed this week’s top tip and don’t get into any sticky situations!!

Until then,

in stitches,

Mrs Bowden x

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