You Need a Man to Carry That for You!

When planning my quick 36 hours in New York, I knew I wanted to get some fabric block fused / interfaced. I first heard about Quick Fuse and Cut from LindsayT. It’s conveniently across the street from Botani. There, you can get lengths of fabric block fused on the cheap. I pretty much took every piece of fabric I thought I would ever make into a jacket or coat (and would fit in my carryon size bag). I also took Trena’s with me since she was going to be in meetings during the day. In total, we’re talking six different wools equaling 13 yards (and what felt like 30 pounds of material getting off the E at 34th Street) for a cost of $35 to fuse**. Sweet baby carrots! That represents hours upon hours of fusing.  My dislike of fusing has truly kept me from being bothered and sewing coats and jackets. And, unlike Gigi, I do not fuse for life. I fuse ‘cuz I gotta.  Igor (who is literally from Transylvania) lets you pick out the different weight interfacing you want used.

I mostly used weft (right) but went lightweight tricot (left) with this accidentally felted purple. They also have lighter colored interfacings.

Just one problem. When I went to get the material, they rolled it up like a carpet — about six feet tall and eight inches round. And, HEAVY. Since the store was closed, there was no one there to unroll it and put it into bags. I was struggling down Seventh Avenue with what looked to be a dead body or a Turkish Rug in my arms / over my shoulder / on the ground. Yes, that was me cursing my lot!  I was walking down the street with NancyK and some man, sitting and smoking, says, “Baby, you need a man to be carrying that for you.”  Yet, he didn’t get up off his tuchas to help. All I could say was, “Yes. I know!” Can I also add that I love NY because either I’m cuter there or men are far more comfortable telling you how cute you are on the street. Either way, I can take it for 36 hours.

All I could think about was how this was going to get on the bus and how this was going to fit in my itsy bitsy car once I got to Baltimore. Or, how I was going to carry that, my backpack / suitcase and my carry on size bag of technical knit. Luckily, my sewing friends came to my rescue and helped me cleanly unroll 13 yards of fabric, pack it away and carry it to my bus from the bar. I lurv them.

So, I think this is absolutely my new thing. Each trip, two pieces of material will get fused. I have about four more that I’d like to get done. I feel a lot of jacket makin’ goin’ on.

** Well, I paid an additional $26 too. The guy wasn’t there, the store was closed when I got there at 3:30. I begged them to give me my material as I was leaving town that evening. I didn’t know if the price included the interfacing (which is $2 a yard) and I didn’t want anyone to get in trouble.



  1. If I lived in NYC I would bring everything to Quick Fuse! Alas, it’s a very long trip from Florida so, instead, I make quick work of fusing with a commercial heat press. If I had to fuse with an iron I’d never make a jacket again!

  2. I’ve had the Quick Fuse experience. I think I paid $10 for weft interfacing for two yards of wool fabric. It’s good to call ahead because sometimes they close unexpectedly; I believe I went there during Fashion Week.

    I really prefer hand-sewn interfacing, but if I ever need a large-scale fusible job, I’ll go to Quick Fuse.

  3. It was really something seeing you come up from downstairs with a 6′ roll of fabric. You were pretty impressive striding down the street with that roll of fabric on your shoulder.

  4. I’m a little confused. Can this stuff be pulled off where needed? ‘Cause even when making a (Canadian) winter/jacket you don’t fuse every singe piece; such as the collar, facings (unless you want it super-uber heavy), or the hem allowance. It’s just too bulky to sew and have look nice if it’s all fused. So, I’m just curious I guess.

    Btw, I LOVE the look of ALL those fabrics and will be looking forward to each of them metamorphosing into jackets/coats!

    p.s. I have walked down city streets with actual bolts of fabric in my time – and had to schlep them both to and on public transit. Good times! lol

    • I thought about that since one of them needs to be a skirt and as blazer. But, when I sew (the few I have) jackets, I am not so careful in leaving interfacing out of the seam allowance. These are blazer / suitweight rather than coat weight. Well, the red, black and white is closer to coat weight. I totally would have taken the roll onto the Bolt Bus! I just think it would have been a scene 🙂

  5. Reminds me of the time I was moving offices on K street in downtown DC. I had to carry a giant framed map from 1050K St to my new office two blocks down. Several men remarked that it looked awkward and heavy but NOT ONE offered to help! I am so jealous of your fusing – I avoid jackets because I too HATE fusing

  6. LOL! Your description of walking down the NY streets with a dead body or Turkish rug made me laugh. So descriptive! I could feel the weight of that thing weighing me down with every step.

  7. That’s quite the story, Cidell. Now will folding the fabric as you have done leave a permanent crease? I’m just asking. Very curious. I imagine if you don’t leave it like that too long it won’t be a problem…Maybe the carpet roll was to prevent permanent creases?

    • They fuse them on this big table and use the roller to lay it out evenly. I should look for a photo of it. Something else. I think they had it rolled up since it’s easier to store it and I didn’t leave my bag with them. I have it rolled up again. I’m seriously hoping I can plow through all of them this winter.

  8. Mental note for the NY trip. Don’t fuse, very hard to take on board as carry on luggage to Australia. Thanks for the belly laugh!

  9. I’m definitely a frustrated potential customer too..
    You know you don’t need to fuse everything, right? Fusing didn’t even exist 30 years ago, and all the tailoring you may admire from the mid-20th century was done with hair canvas. Stitching that on takes time, but less than lugging fabric to NY, it’s perfectly mindless movie-watching sort of work. Results are better and more durable too.
    Moreover, nobody needs a man for anything like that, not when a few sewing friends are handy :-). Men would probably drag your fabric on the ground, or not fold it properly.

    • I don’t have the time, desire or ability to hand stitch. I have fairly bad tendonitis in my hands that makes hand work painful. It hurts when I’m doing it and for a good week after. I can’t open bottles or doors and have trouble even picking up my keys.

      Kathleen Fansanella says that home sewers overthink interfacing and a little interfacing never hurt anything. . My fabric is still flexible and I suspect I’ll be adding even more interfacing to some parts of it. I also had some fabric done that’s impossible to cut out neatly without interfacing.

  10. The women in my hometown would probably have responded to fella’ with one of their favorite rejoinders, “No sh.. Sherlock.” Some of life’s funniest moments come when others do something you would never in a million years imagine – like turning 13 yards of fabric into a bodysized carpet roll. Now I don’t think anyone could have predicted that one! 🙂

  11. How cool that you can get fabric fused! Only in NY, I bet 🙂
    I like the idea of hair canvas and hand-stitching myself.. but that also means I’ve made zero jackets this fall! Can’t wait to see what you start on first.

  12. When you have Jamaican blood in your veins you can move anything, especially when it’s something that is not easily had at home. Travelling with bulk does not faze a Jamaican….say that 3 times…I have moved my entire sewing room 4 times across the earth because I had to have it with me for longer term stays.

    You can do it if you really want…lol…

    I block fuse too it is just a pain and time-consuming with a household iron. I purchased a large ironing board which sucks the steam downwards when I step on the pedal. It makes it a lot easier.

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