Foam stabiliser for structured sewing

I’ve had the opportunity, over the last week or so, to experiment with Bosal In-R-Form foam stabiliser. I’ve been working on a pattern for little boxes/baskets made from fabric and wanted something sturdy to ensure that the sides didn’t sag and bag. In the past I have used a combination of Vilene S320 and Vilene H640 to create structure whilst retaining softness, but because I had easy access to the Bosal product at my local fabric shop, I thought it was a time to give it a try.

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Bosal In-R-Form is a strange  looking thing – it reminds me of something medical.. but don’t let that put you off, because it is a dream to work with. It cuts very easily, is very easy to sew, and because it doesn’t have the fluffy edge you get when you use fusible fleece, it’s much easier to see where you are sewing. It’s probably a bit less than a quarter of an inch thick, and adds stability without lots of extra bulk.

Basket class 1

There are three kinds of Bosal In-R-Form available: sew-in, one-sided fusible and double sided fusible. I used the single-sided fusible, with the outer fabric fused to the Bosal. I am not a fan of double-sided fusibles full-stop, because I find it all too easy to accidentally fuse something at the wrong time. The single-sided was good, but after fusing, I found the fused fabric crinkles quite a lot if you bend or squish whatever you are making. For my basket project, this was absolutely fine, because once made and pressed, there’s no real reason for it to get squished. But I would be cautious about making a bag using quilting fabric fused to Bosal.

Basket class 2

I mentioned this issue of crinkling (it’s a bit hard to describe – it reminds me of when you put sticky back plastic onto books and get those annoying wrinkles…!) to sewing friends on Instagram and there was fairly widespread agreement that this can be a problem. The wise people there, were pretty much in agreement that sew-in Bosal In-R-Form is best for bag making. Other people also mentioned that the crinkling isn’t a problem if the Bosal is fused to heavier weight fabrics. This made me wonder about the possibility of using iron-on interfacing between the quilting fabric and the fusible Bosal, but this seems like a lot of hard work!

So I will stick with using the fusible for baskets like this, and invest in some sew-in to try with a bag.

By the way, if you are within striking distance of Newcastle-under-Lyme in north Staffs, I will be teaching how to make these little baskets at Hollies Haberdashery on April 22nd (a Saturday morning). It’s a great fun little project and will be a lovely way to spend a morning – would love to have you along.

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