Now that the rain and cooler weather has set in here in Oregon, I have been in the mood to sew up some Toaster Sweaters. What you see in the photo above is actually a pattern hack - a mash-up using the neck of the Toaster #2 with the cropped body of the Tabor V-neck with an added bottom band. While in the process of making this, I thought I would try out some double sided fusible tape at the neckline to see if it would work to keep the neck facings in place.
When I first drafted the pattern for the Toaster Sweater #2, I must have magically chosen the perfect fabrics and had no issues. Lately, I have come across some misbehaving, edge curling knits that made for some fussy neck facings. The beautiful boiled wool in the sweater above actually wasn't fussy but I tried the fusible tape on it anyhow. I was happy to see that it worked like a charm so I thought I should share the easy steps with you (see below).
By the way, the fabric shown here is a lovely boiled wool knit in the red clay color that I bought from Blackbird Fabrics. It made a really nice and warm sweater - great for this coming winter. The fabric was really scratchy and stiff when it arrived in the mail, but I washed it and let it air dry and now it is much more soft and fluid. I often wash my wool fabrics even though they felt up a bit and it is usually advised to hand wash or dry clean. Dry cleaning and hand washing aren't very practicle for me. I just make sure to buy a little extra fabric for shrinkage. This way, if I accidentally throw the garment in the wash instead of hand washing, it won't shrink to child size. It will still shrink a bit every time I machine wash it, but not as much as the first time. I also like to get all of the sizing and finishing products off of my fabrics so they aren't sitting against my skin.
This is in no way an advertisement for Steam-A-Seambut this is what I used and it worked. It did come a bit unfused in places, but I just steamed it back in place and overall, most of it did stay fused. I have since found that Steam-A-Seam Lite (emphasis on the "Lite") is the best for lighter weight fabrics. The fusible tape used here has proven to be too bulky for most knits that I have used but works here because this fabric is so thick. I was so impressed that it didn't show at all on the outside. You may find similar products that work just as well.
First apply the double sided fusible tape along the neck facing edges of the Front and Back pieces. Apply the tape to the wrong side of the fabric and with the paper side up. Steam in place.
Then proceed with the shoulder seams and fold the neck facings in place.
Now you can peel away the paper backing from the fusible tape.
Smooth out the neckline and make sure that the facings are situated properly. Now you can use your iron and steam the facings in place.