Isn't learning to sew just really good fun?
You don't just get to learn how to do things in the general way (and following the instructions in the pattern envelope), - no, you also get to learn how to do the same things even better! I really love that about it: that you get to figure out as much as you want to.
It is fantastic when you come across something that makes a process easier and more accurate - saving time and nerves. That's my kind of thing! Particularly when the "old" way led to frustration because it just never turn out that well. Have you ever found that?
The new way of doing something can even turn out to not be quite easy, you just have to know of it: block fusing is one of those things.
Have you had to cut out a collar (x 2 in fabric and once more in interfacing), possibly even on the fold and found that your collar pieces ended up quite wonky? It is so easy to get the 'on the fold' placement slightly wrong and you end up with a collar that's too tight, too shallow, or does any other kinds of things like sticking up a bit or having one side that's gone off the grainline, or even with a kink down the middle! Horrible. There's too much that can go wrong.
I did get round the 'on the fold' issue by redrawing the full collar pattern piece but it is still so annoyingly fiddly to cut out all three pieces and then iron the interfacing shape to one of the fabric pieces. I've never been really happy with the result doing it this way.
With block fusing you iron a piece of interfacing onto your fabric first and then cut out the lower collar piece out of the fused, stiffened material (plus the upper collar piece without interfacing: you only want one stiffened layer) - it is much more accurate and so much less fiddly nor frustrating!
You want to make sure you use a big enough piece of interfacing by allowing a generous enough margin but still avoid ending up with too much scrap material - I like to cut the interfacing along one long side of the pattern piece and leave enough on the other sides to take account of any slight shifts if your tissue piece moves around a bit.
You fuse your roughly chopped out piece of interfacing to your fabric, and then place the collar pattern piece on it to cut the interfaced layer (make sure you get the fabric grainline right) - you will only need one, so do make sure you cut the other layer from just fabric, without the interfacing.
You will probably find that interfaced fabric has shifted a little and that longer edge you cut earlier may need trimming - but you do get the chance to cut out a very accurate stiffened piece overall.
I have seen this technique presented on at least a couple of blogs, so if you want to know more then these blog posts have lots of photos that you can check out.
What do you think of cutting out interfaced pieces this way?
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