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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Indian summer camping

We had pretty much decided that we couldn’t afford another camping trip this year, but last weekend we saw the weather forecast and thought we just had to go for it… We nipped 30 miles up the road to our favourite campsite  – Wallbrook House, near Longnor in the Staffordshire Moorlands. We were rewarded with a beautiful sunset on our first night:

Sunset over Wallbrook House

I liked the pretty shadows that the setting sun made on our tent – you don’t get this kind of shot when your tent is made of green polyester…!

Shadows on the tent

Yes, I am turning into a tent snob…. The love affair with our tent (a Yukon River 6 with front extension for the camping geeks out there – and I know you ARE there…) continues. Here she is in all her glory:

Our glorious tent

But why was the tent wet?!  Well – just look at this morning dew! It was really heavy and we got exceedingly wet feet on those early morning loo trips (such an essential part of camping for small children and women who have given birth to twins!). But it did look stunning and sparkly in the sunshine. An amazing view first thing in the morning.

Wallbrook House in the morning

Although we were all feeling a bit off-colour (coughs and colds all round), and spent a lot of time just relaxing at the tent, we managed a little stroll along Beresford Dale and up to Hartington one afternoon – the views were tremendous – you really can’t beat the light when you get sunshine at this time of the year.

View near Hartington

The boys were so delighted to be camping again, especially as it was all a bit of a surprise!

Happy boy!

Another happy boy

And they discovered reading by torchlight for the first time. Tom doesn’t let darkness come between him and his Nintendo magazine…

Reading by torchlight

and Danny and Sandy had their Beano to read – of course!

Reading the Beano by torchlight

The Pterodactyls (Broccy and Bruce) had a great time too… who knew they liked chess, camping, and fluffy fleece sleeping bags??
Pterodactyls in the tent

A little break..

We’ve been away this week. I’m turning 35 (again…!) tomorrow, so we thought it would be good to have a little treat to celebrate, and get away from home, where it’s all too tempting to switch on the PC and do a bit of work, even when you know you need to have a bit of R&R. Our boys aren’t great at coping with too much upheaval, so we just nipped up the road to the familiar territory of the Staffordshire Moorlands.

We stayed in Leek (which has the best Italian deli for miles around – the fabulous Pronto, AND yummy fish and chips), and did some walking in Dovedale & around Grindon and the Manifold valley. We were blessed by the most lovely weather, and although we were a bit too early for lots of blossom, the trees, hedges and spring flowers looked bright and sparkling in the sunshine, and dramatic in the shadows.

Near Grindon, Derbyshire

Beautiful trees between Grindon & Wetton Mill (where the cafe was closed….)

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Celandine

A sunny celandine

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Dovedale

A view along the river Dove

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A cave with a spring, Dovedale

A pretty little cave with a spring inside it – the boys were so fascinated by this, we had to visit it several times

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Scary rock at Dovedale

A big rock in Dovedale – I should really know the name…

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Dovedale

Dramatic shadows and sunshine

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Wood anemone

A very beautiful wood anemone

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DS1

Danny – looking very happy, even though he says he hates long walks

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DS2

I think Tom was insisting on a ‘piggy bank’ at this stage

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Normal blogging service will resume tomorrow, but as I’ve already had a delicious box of Bath Ales (thank you Pete!) delivered to me, I may be slightly incoherent when I get round to writing the weekly fabric news…