I have been using double-sided fusible tape in my sewing for as long as I can remember. It is even one of the supplies I have listed in my Tools of the Trade article. The fusible tape is easy to use and creates a professional result. If you've taken any of our online classes or free tutorials, you've probably seen me using it.
Preferred double-sided fusible tape
There are different versions, but I usually use Dritz Stitch Witchery. Stitch Witchery has several widths and strengths that can be used for different applications and fabrics. I like it because it holds well and can be sewn through without gumming up the machine’s needle or bobbin housing. Editor’s note: Other double-sided fusible web tapes include: Outus Fusing Tape, Lite EZ-Steam II Tape by Pellon, and HeatNBond by Therm O Web.
Types of Fabric to use Fusible Tape on
Fusible tape can be used on almost any fabric but always test first on scrap fabric. I find it particularly helpful on knits and slippery fabrics. When I was sewing costumes, especially aprons and ball gowns, fusible tape saved me so much time because I didn't have to pin and unpin the waistbands and hems. I just fused it in place and then stitched it down.
How it works
Fusible tape is a human-made fiber that will melt when heated. When placed between two pieces of fabric, the melting action of the fusible web causes it to fuse the two fabrics together.
How to apply double-sided fusible tape
Most fusible tapes are applied the same way but always double check on the back of the packaging and make adjustments to follow instructions if needed. Also, always test on a piece of scrap fabric first.
1. Working on a heat-resistant surface, place the fusible tape between the fabric layers.
2. Cover with a pressing cloth. Set the steam iron on "wool" and press for 10 seconds on each side. Do not slide the iron.
3. Allow to cool. Check if the bond is secure. Press again if necessary.
4. Stitch the hem in place. I like to use a twin needle on knits.
Fusible tape isn’t just for hems.
I rarely hem without double-sided fusible tape. It’s like having an extra pair of hands. However, fusible tape has a lot of other uses.
• Press the tape to the facing side of a waistband, collar stand, or sleeve cuff to hold it in place for topstitching.
• Hold patch pockets in place; especially helpful if you are matching stripes or plaids.
• Use it when adding patches or appliques.
• Keep zippers in place while you stitch them into your garment.
Please share if you have found other creative ways to use fusible tape.
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