Applying Fusible Interfacing


I paused in my most recent sewing project to consider the application of interfacing. Above is a photo of a front waistband piece with fusible interfacing applied to the wrong side of the fabric. Somewhere in my sewing career, I learnt to cut the interfacing smaller than the main piece – and this has been a great piece of advice.

  • It stops the interfacing from adding bulk to seam lines.
  • It makes the interfacing much more manageable to apply, no edges overlapping.
  • You don’t have to worry about glue getting stuck to your ironing board cover.

A small tip, but a tip worth sharing. Does anyone else have interfacing advice?

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38 Responses to Applying Fusible Interfacing

  1. Me! I do. There’s a cat on my chest, we’re nose to nose, I *think* that she’s saying “Stop typing on your iphone I have an empty food bowl.” Brilliant interfacing tip, I frequently fuse pattern pieces to my ironing board.

  2. Alice Keen says:

    I do have an animal draped over my lap, but I appear to be lacking in the interfacing advice department. Apart from, always use woven if you are able (I only recently tried it and can’t believe how brilliant it is). Yours looks woven, I see,, at least from here.

  3. Maga says:

    Try sew-in interfacing. I use it for collars and waistbands I stitch it to the inside/underside; really on anything where I can hide the stitches. I always cut without seam allowance (my mum taught me that when she taught me to sew). I agree with Alice that if you can find a woven interfacing the right weight it is so much nicer than the other “stuff” you get these days. Cotton organdie is nice for blouses. I know I am very old-fashioned in my sewing but I have taught both my daughters that they can use either the iron-on or the sew-in because time is of a premium for them but they both turn to the sew-in for those special project you do from time to time. Try it sometime so you can make an informed choice 🙂

  4. sewbusylizzy says:

    Sometimes when the seam bulk does not matter so much I fuse the interfacing before I cut out the fabric… sort of a two-for-one deal!

  5. Great tip. I too often stick pieces to my ironing board. I have a small girl on my knee. Does that count? She loves our morning blog catch up. Pointing at all the photos.

  6. Debbie Iles says:

    Usually I have a small person draped over me, but no animals nearby. I always use a press cloth of silk organza over interfacing when I fuse it and make sure the heat setting is on ‘wool’. I don’t worry about cutting mine smaller than the pattern pieces as I can find nice light interfacings and I have learnt that stitching through the interfacing can stop any of those puckers you see in seams on flimsy fabrics – just a few gems I managed to pick up from an interfacing workshop I attended a few months back…although unfortunately, I know I have probably forgotten more things than I took away with me!

  7. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the tip. And no animal, not tonight anyway. I normally have a cat draped over my arms…

  8. Kim says:

    Ahh yes, that’s always the question, is it the food or just love? I often think a bit of both, but when my bf moves the plates, Milo usually moves too, so hmm… Great tip, do you cut it out with the pattern and then cut away the seam allowances or do you draft a smaller pattern piece?
    I often interface my ironing board by accident, so I guess I should do this too!

  9. Elle C says:

    No interfacing advice, but I do have a furry creature velcro-ed to my left hip/leg and another one on my chest. The dog on the chest makes it hard to type.

  10. Erika says:

    In my sewing class I learned I should always cut good quality interfacing without the seam allowance, but that lesser quality might not always stick well enough to trust only on the fusible part. Therefore lesser quality interfacing should be cut with seamallowance. As for your tip, I’m going tot try cutting it with a little less SA next time :)!

  11. heathermltn says:

    I have a golden retriever that thinks she’s a lap dog and like to lay her head on my keyboard. I have an interfacing question! Do you use steamer not when you apply it?

  12. Amy says:

    It is a good point on waist bands etc.
    I always leave the interfacing right up to the edges on facings as it stops the fabric fraying if you’re not planning on adding a finishing to the edge like seam binding or overlocking.

  13. Jenny says:

    Good tip on the interfacing thanks! I usually have a cat or two trying to get my attention. One likes to climb all over me as I brush my hair and put on makeup in the morning. I can’t get dressed until he’s over needing me because of the cat hair. The other waits till I get home from work and then climbs all over me or my sewing table or cutting table. Depends where I am. 😉

  14. amynxdx says:

    That’s genius! Thanks! I don’t know why but interfacing drives me nuts, probably for all the reasons you listed above LOL And I know all about an animal being stuck on/to you – I love when mine do that 😀

  15. Katie M says:

    My mum taught me to sew, and she always cut the interfacing with seam allowances. I think it makes a lot of sense to cut without, so you eliminate bulk on seams, however, if the interfacing doesn’t stick well, it could separate and bunch up inside a piece of sewing.

    As far as sticking interfacing to my ironing board, I steam the interfacing on, then press it down with my hand. I then either turn it over and press on the right side, or use a press cloth. I have occasionally got interfacing stuck to the ironing board, but usually only very thin slivers.

  16. twotoast says:

    Firstly, my interfacing tip – which rather ends up being the opposite of yours, . . . . ! I often find that after applying interfacing, the fabric piece shrinks, so I was taught many years ago to apply the interfacing to the fabric before cutting out the pattern piece – you can cut out the approximate size of the interfacing and fuse it, and then you do not waste too much.

    On the doggy front – they are at my side or my feet. Greyhounds are a little bony to make good neck warmers 🙂 Sounds like I need an ‘Ella’!!

  17. Alas…I have no pets draped over me, as they’re not allowed in my apartment building, so I shall live vicariously thru you!

    Try to stay away from interfacing that has the large(r) glue dots, home irons don’t get hot enough to fuse quickly (you have to press for 15 seconds for it to properly stick), and it’ll likely peel off.

    The finer the fabric, the finer the interfacing. Don’t cheap out on the interfacing if you’re using a finer wool, silk, et al…, it’ll be obvious in your finished garment

  18. Jen (NY) says:

    I have only the lingering haze of sleep draped over me… I recommend keeping a diverse supply of interfacing on hand – easy to do if you always buy more than you need at the time. Also, I really like tricot fusible for many tasks, including interfacing hems. It just gives some extra body without any stiffness.

  19. Sarah says:

    Not today but tomorrow my when I go visiting my parent’s their dog will take it upon herself to curl up in my lap at every possible moment, but she’s so cute and warm I don’t mind!
    I picked up the same tip as you but I must admit I’m lazy and only tend to cut it smaller when the pattern I’m using has no seam allowance included.

  20. Helena says:

    I’ve heard that you should cut the interfacing larger since it willl shrink more than the fabric. But your tips makes more sense. Cutting it larger has just stuck with me since elementary school, I guess it’s time to change my perception

  21. Thank you for that! Why did I not know that?! No animals draped over my neck (does a thick scarf count?!)

  22. I read this with the Slapdash Sewist but in going back to be sure I see Treena credits SunnyGalStudio. For interfaced facings it’s quite nice to sew the fabric and interfacing with right sides together, turn it (so now the glue and wrong side are together) and then press so the inside looks so nice and neat and the interfacing is not going to pull away with time.

  23. dottiedoodle says:

    I have no interfacing advice, but i do have a Cairn puppy snuggled up to me. She is being very good, so she can stay on the sofa!

  24. bekveam says:

    In industrial production you learn there are three ways of doing it: cut the interlining with no seemallowance and sew along the the edge, cut the interlining smaller than the fabric (5-7 mm seemallowance) or fuse the interlining on the hole fabric before cutting the pieces.
    All three are useful in different circumstances but doing it the way you show is probably the most common.

    • Sewer from Across the Pond says:

      I’m a self-sewer, but I’ve done all three ways in classes:

      1) Flaps and pockets;
      2) Collars;
      3) A medium-grade quality jacket: I took the wool to a place called Quick Fuse in New York.

  25. Pat says:

    My 5 pound dog is always by my side or on my lap. Some dogs learn the command sit, my leaps up to the chair when I say sew. I saw a good Threads vid on Youtube for interfacing. I leave about 1/4 inch S.A. for the interfacing. Hasn’t done me wrong yet.

  26. Sewer from Across the Pond says:

    The nature of the piece determines how large the interfacing should be cut. For something like a waistband, it makes sense to trim the interfacing about 1/8″ shorter. For a pocket flap or a patch pocket, the entire pieces is fused.

    I was taught to put a piece of muslin on the ironing board under the fusible (which is face up against the wrong side of the fabric) to prevent glue from getting on it. Yesterday, I was applying a piece weft fusible, which has a feathery feel very different from the kind that’s like paper with glue spots. I put muslin on top of the piece as well as the bottom because the non-glue side of the fusible kept sticking to my iron.

    I usually lay the fusible on top of the fabric, run the iron lightly over the entire piece to smooth it out and then I rest the iron for 10 seconds to fuse, moving along the piece until it’s done. Then I put the piece aside to cool and complete the fusing process.

  27. LinB says:

    Ninny, an ancient, partly toothless, smelly old cat is usually at least adjacent to my body when I am at home, if not actually draped over me. (He came to me with that name. He has lived up to it, although I registered him at the vet’s as “Ninian.”) I long ago decided that iron-on interfacing was not worth the aggravation to apply, nor the years lost from my life in the deep frustration that it never never never works for me. I sometimes use self-fabric to sew in as interfacing, or scraps of blouse-weight wovens, when my supplies of webbed stuff from the fabric store is too diminished. Bonus is that cuffs, collars, and button bands are never overly stiff when I do this.

    • Seattlerain says:

      I have the same luck as LinB! Iron-on interfacing just irks me so I’ve stopped buying the lot. Self-fabric or using silk organza has been my go to ever since I subbed self-fabric for interfacing in a sewing class. Plus I have tons of fabric remnants to bust.

      I wish that I had a cat to cuddle up to me while sewing!

  28. bekveam says:

    Another tip in sample production is using patterntracingpaper, the thin seethrough kind, instead of a pressingcloth when fusing your interlining to the fabric. To be certain of keeping the pressingtable and iron safe I always sandwich my piece between to sheets of paper. The tracingpaper don’t act as an isolator to the same degree as pressingcloths do and its easier and cheaper to replace when the accident has happened.

  29. Meredith says:

    I used to work in the rag trade eons ago when it was a healthy and strong industry in Australia. We used to call it interlining and for trade purposes we never used Vilene which was the basic stickon interfacing as after so many washes it disintegrated. We always used woven fabrics like tenset and shapewell, which I doubt even exist now. They were firm but yes, they did have bulk too which was just sewn through with the industrial sewing machines. I really like your idea of shaving off the edges although the reason we used to use interfacing was to hold the shape so that the correct shape came from the woven fabric, as things like collars can stretch and not fit the neck. Recently, I used cheesecloth as an interlining and it worked fine as it was loose enough between the threads to not add bulk. I just ran across your blog and it is so nice to see keen fashion sewers like you around.

  30. Amy says:

    I almost always have a wet dog nose involved in my crafting somewhere. I swear he thinks that until he came along I physically couldn’t manage to get a thing done.

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