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Rescuing my fabric from interfacing bubbles!
I'm partway through this project and the interfacing keeps throwing a tantrum.
meli88a
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meli88a
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Member since 5/20/03
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Date: 9/13/08 4:23 PM

Anyone have thoughts on what to do when the interfacing that you slaved over (preshrunk, fused, and trimmed) is wildly misbehaving now that you are sewing? This is driving me nuts and I'm on the verge of tears - the fabric is a wool gabardine, I am sewing a suit jacket. The fabric wasn't cheap, and I didn't cut corners while fusing the interfacing to it. No matter how much I press and repress now, the bubbles keep coming back. Maybe I should figure out a way to sew without touching my fabric? Maybe when I finish this garment I will only be able to admire it on my dressform? This is so frustrating...

lilyofthevalley
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lilyofthevalley
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In reply to meli88a


Date: 9/13/08 4:44 PM

Melissa,
It sounds like you did everything correctly beforehand with the interfacing.

Tell me, did you preshrink your wool gabardine, either by prewashing or pre-drycleaning or by London Shrink? Even very high quality wool gabardine is capable of shrinking a good bit once you subject it to the heat and/or steam of applying fusible interfacing.

If you did not preshrink your wool gabardine, it is probably the gabardine, not the fusible interfacing, that is now misbehaving.

It's going to be almost impossible to complete your garment without touching your garment with the iron, as wool gabardine really needs pressing with a firm hand throughout the construction process.

Assuming you did not preshrink and now it is too late to preshrink and you have all your pattern pieces cut out, try one of two things:

(1) resteam the fusible and attempt to remove it; you can replace the discarded fusible with new fusible now that the wool gabardine pieces are shrunken to their final size; you'll then have to construct your jacket using narrow seam allowances so the jacket is not too small;

(2) if it's not possible to remove your fusible and you're willing to risk losing the jacket, turn the heat and steam on your iron up pretty high, and repress the fusible using *lots* of force and pressure and a little more time than is ordinary; there's a slim chance you can bond the fusible and wool; you'll then have to construct your jacket using *very* narrow seam allowances. Compare the fused pieces to your original pattern pieces to determine how narrow.

I'm so sorry this happened to you. For the future, preshrink all wool gabardine. Yes, it's a pain. But preshrunk wool gabardine produces a beautiful garment. --Lily

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Lily

meli88a
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meli88a
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Massachusetts USA
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Date: 9/13/08 5:36 PM

I preshrunk it by the London shrink method. I had started sewing - as I was pressing my seams and the garment, and moving the fabric around the puckering started.

Now I'm steam pressing it and the interfacing is shrinking... I think I've found the problem. Uck, what a nightmare. I'm not certain that it's worthwhile to pick everything apart and redo this with new interfacing.

Thank you, Lily, for your advice. I'm glad I know the problem now, though I think I'm going to have to go stew over my mistake for a bit now.

lilyofthevalley
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lilyofthevalley
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In reply to meli88a


Date: 9/13/08 5:46 PM

Oh, Melissa, this is so disappointing. Clearly, you did everything perfectly. It sounds like your fusible is just inferior quality; this has happened to me on occasion, too, despite paying a good price for the fusible. Now, rather than ruin a garment, I test fusible on a scrap of every fabric before cutting and fusing. And every once in a while, I still get a nasty surprise. Please don't blame yourself. --Lily

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Lily

emg
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emg
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In reply to meli88a


Date: 9/13/08 6:05 PM

Just a thought - - I've recently been using some good quality interfacing that just happens to need a LOT of moisture when fusing. Moisture and pressure. Since wool gabardine is so tightly woven, the adhesive might not have gotten deep enough into the fibers. I'f you're not going to pull the fusible off, maybe a real deep steaming and re-press will help?

MsMaryO

MsMaryO
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In reply to meli88a


Date: 9/13/08 6:55 PM

And remember to use a clapper and not to move the fabric until it's cooled down after you press it. This is really important with wool gabardine. Wool won't have "memory" until it's completely cooled. Gabardine has very tightly twisted threads so heat and moisture make it want to pucker up. But if you use a clapper and let it cool you might be able to save it.

I'm so sorry this happened to you. It's so disappointing to spend time and money and effort on something that gives you so much trouble.

Mary

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"Why be difficult?.....with just a little more effort, you can be completely impossible."



2009 out: 25.5 yds
2009 in: 15 yds.

meli88a
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meli88a
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In reply to emg


Date: 9/14/08 1:46 PM

Unfortunately for me, when I tried a deep steam press yesterday, the interfacing shrank horribly - I found out I'd done a lousy job on my preshrink... and now I have this shriveled mess of a half sewn jacket. Tell me, for future reference, what interfacing are you using now? I'm in the market for something good and reliable. :)

meli88a
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meli88a
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In reply to MsMaryO


Date: 9/14/08 1:48 PM

Yes, the whole thing is a disappointing waste - thank you for your sympathy! I appreciate your tip about letting it thoroughly cool and using a clapper. I guess that I need a little more patience when I'm putting the interfacing on, and will try that in the future.

solosmocker
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Date: 9/14/08 6:55 PM

I like Armo Weft insertion interfacing and have good luck with it. Your tale of woe is jus so awful. I sure hope the next experience is better.

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http://lasewist.blogspot.com/

Sherril Miller
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Sherril Miller  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/14/08 7:29 PM

Have you tried some surface embellishment like free-motion quilting with decorative thread. Then the puckers will look like they belong? Or did it shrink up so much as not to be wearable?

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Visit my blog at http://sewingsaga.blogspot.com

If it's worth sewing, it's worth sewing well;
and if it's worth sewing well, it's worth FITTING FIRST! - TSL

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