Sew much better: proven tips for you

Learn how to make a stunning winter cape in our new Butte crested cape to sew!.

Our next article in the Sew Much Better series has tips we all need! Let’s dive into the sew news archives for tips on pre-shrinking fuses, estimating serger thread, and using interfacing with sheers — no more saying hello!

Pre-shrunk fuses

Issue: I’ve heard that iron-on interfaces can shrink even though they are usually labeled “pre-shrunk”. Is this true, and if so, how do you pre-shrink an iron-on without damaging the adhesive?

Solution: If you are working with a fusible interface and suspect that it might shrink, test it using one of two methods. Start with a 4″x4″ sample.

For woven, knitted or weft insertion type interlinings, use the dipping method. Fill a sink with hot water and carefully place the sample in the water. Let it soak until the water has cooled. Drain the water, then let the interface sit for an additional five minutes, allowing excess water to drain away. Lay the sample flat on a towel to dry and measure again to check for shrinkage.

Test the interface for removal.

For non-woven types, use the steam method. Fill an iron with water and heat it. Place the iron 1″ above your interface sample and vaporize the sample without touching it. You may be able to see the interface shrink as it interacts with the vapor. Measure again to check for sure .

See our First of all, second, And third Sew Much Better articles for more sewing problems and solutions!

Overlock Thread Estimation

Issue: I want to use decorative thread in my overlocker, but I don’t know how much to buy.

Solution: To estimate quantities of overlock thread, measure the edges to be overlocked and multiply this quantity by 3½. Add additional distance for proper testing.

Estimate of decorative thread

Pure shadows

Issue: Sometimes the stabilizer appears as a shadow when I use it on sheer fabric. Any tips for avoiding this look?

Test the interface for removal

Solution: Instead of iron-on interfacing, try reinforcing with the same fabric. Experiment by sewing several samples right sides together, then turning them over and pressing them. Drape the fabric over your arm to see if it has the necessary structure. If this is the case, cut two pieces of fabric that you are supposed to interface and baste them together instead of applying iron-on. If you need more structure than the fabric gives you, try a piece of sheer organza instead.

Try a fabric lining in your own fabric instead!

We hope you enjoy these trips to the sew news archives! It’s so amazing how sewing tips and tricks from 25 years ago (or more!) are still relevant and useful for our sewing projects today.

Do you have a proven tip to share? Leave it to us in the comments!

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