I have had a day off today, courtesy of being able to use my annual leave allowance whenever the hell I like, and the sewing mojo has struck. The shimmery fabric that I bought at Abakhan’s at Easter has been begging to become a summer dress, and who am I to refuse such pleas when the sun is finally shining and I have a wedding to go to next month?
This fabric is beautiful. It washed on 30 degrees and dried practically before it was out of the machine. It’s a gorgeous colour and a gorgeous drape… but a pig to cut out because the grain is practically non-existant and it’s unstable as heck. Not great for the fitted bodice that I’d be envisaging.
But then I realised that I had a solution! I could underline it. Better still, I could effectively underline it with interfacing before cutting, thus preserving the shape of the pieces, stabilising, and de-wrinkling all in one go. I use ‘proper’ interfacing from Gill Arnold. Essentially it’s a fabric in its own right – it has a warp and a weft, and means that the fabric you apply it to remains its drape. It’s not cheap, but the difference between it and the stiff, papery stuff that you buy for 30p/metre from the Rag Market… well there’s just no competition. They’re pretty much different notions altogether.
In classic block fusing, you fuse a whole area of interfacing to a whole wrong side of fabric and then lay your pieces out as normal. In order to preserve as much of my precious cotton fusible as possible, I simply cut out my pattern pieces from the interfacing, fused them onto the spread-out fabric and then cut around the fused shapes.
This will make the everything much easier to sew as well as cut, and because the exposed side of the interfacing feels like a smooth cotton, I reckon I’ll get away without having to line anything either. Win!