Tutorial using fusible fleece
What is fusible fleece ?
Fusible fleece has one rough/grainy fusible side and one fleece side.
Be careful when pressing as most fusible fleece will melt and stick to the iron sole plate if you press directly on the fleece side. So always remember to use a pressing cloth when you press on the fleece side during construction steps.
The only fusible fleece which supports direct ironing is, to my knowledge, the Thermolam ® Plus Fusible Fleece (which is not available in France, only its sew-in version is).
Fusible fleece is available in different thicknesses. From Vilene/Vlieseline you’ll find two references: the H640 and H630. The H640 is the thicker of the two. The price of these interfacings is high and there are often much cheaper generic substitutes in stores that you can use with pretty much the same result.
The Vilene ones are more “elegant” and of slightly better quality but the difference is not big enough in my opinion to justify the price difference.
I carry samples of various fusible interfacings with me when I go to the fabric store, which allows me to compare with generic interfacings and to usually find a cheaper substitute.
Using fusible fleece
It is essential, in my opinion, to first fuse some regular interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric. Why? There are two reasons:
- Look at the pic below : left is a fabric with regular fusible interfacing + fusible fleece and right is a fabric with fusible fleece only. See the bloated, wavy (and ugly ^ ^) aspect that the fabric takes when you apply fusible fleece directly ? Applying a layer of regular fusible interfacing first will prevent this.
- The other reason is that, particularly for bags, this extra thickness of stabilizer further improves the firmness and durability of the bag.
However, note that if the fusible fleece is only applied to the lining of your bag and not to the outer fabric, the addition of a regular interfacing base is not as important because the wavy aspect won’t be visible to anyone but you.
1. Fuse a regular interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric piece.
2. Cut your fusible fleece to the dimensions of your piece minus the seam allowances.
It is important to remove the seam allowances from the fleece, this will reduce the bulk at the seams and the overall finish will be neater. For the Sacôtin patterns, included seam allowances are 1cm (3/8″).
3. Center your fleece onto the wrong side of your fabric, previously interfaced and cooled down, fusible side against the wrong side of the fabric. Leaving an equal amount of seam allowance all around.
4. Spread a damp pressing cloth over the fleece. I use a white smooth cotton thoroughly wet but not dripping. As a damp cloth you can use pretty much any cotton that won’t discolor (pillowcase, bed sheet fabric, …)
5. Apply your hot iron (set on wool or cotton without steam) on the damp pressing cloth for 15 seconds on each portion of your fabric piece, until you’ve gone over it entirely.
Do not glide your iron : every 15 seconds, lift it and put it down on the adjacent portion.
Important : Let the fabric cool down completely before handling it, this will ensure a better fuse.
Voilà, you’ve just used fusible fleece !