How I found more time in the sewing room

If you like to sew bags or use fusible interfacing, you NEED to see this about how you can do it so much quicker!

Sewing is a great hobby.  You can pick up a quick project and sew for 10-15 minutes then come back to it tomorrow, next week, even next year.  Or you can sit and sew full-on for the full weekend if you like. Your sewing machine won't complain it's tired.

Actually, finding the time to sew is the hardest part of sewing I think.  How many of us truly have the time we want to dedicate to our favorite hobby?  How many of us have rushed a project because we don't have all the time we need, and then made a mistake and had to spend 15 minutes with the seam ripper?  Hands up – me too.  Many times.


How I saved time in the sewing room

We've been following along with a series about sewing tools, looking at whether spending more can give us better results, give us more fun or save us some time.  Today this is a semi-related article to that because I spent money, which I am usually loathed to do, and actually saved so much time and effort that I had to share it with you.

applique pressing sheet

This is my time-saving miracle.  What – it doesn't look like much?  No, it really doesn't but this super-sheet has revolutionized the way I use my iron on interfacing and saved me a tonne of time when it comes to bag making. Let me show you.

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Save time when using fusible interfacing

The old way:

applique pressing sheet

Cut out the fabric, fussy cutting as necessary. Trim a little off all of the pattern pieces.  Use those smaller pattern pieces to cut individual pieces of interfacing.  Match up the interfacing with the fabric.  Fabric wrong side up, interfacing centered on top – fuse the interfacing.  Can't see the fabric so sometimes I get wrinkles and bubbles and don't notice until later.  Clean the iron because inevitably it still gets sticky from coming into contact with the edge of the fusible. Wipe brow and it's lunchtime already.

Now I have two quick choices:

1.  Fussy cut the fabric and then fuse all the pieces to the interfacing in one go and cut them out.  The sticky stuff is face up so won't stick to the ironing board, the fabric is on top so can be fused smoothly and you can make sure there aren't any wrinkles or bubbles and the applique sheet stops the fusible sticking to the iron.  You can fuse right to the edges quickly and easily with no mess.

applique pressing sheet

2.  OR – See how much fabric I need, fuse the whole piece to the interfacing in one go and then cut out the pattern pieces already with interfacing fused to them!  Or with a larger bag, I can cut the fabric into manageable pieces, fuse those and then cut out the pattern.

Collage 1

So much quicker than the old way I used to have to do it without the applique sheet – not to mention all the time I've saved not having to clean all that glue off my iron.

The applique pressing sheet

I bought my pressing sheet from at a local store.  It measures 18 x 20 inches, is glossy on both sides so you can use it either way.  I keep it rolled up at my ironing board and use it all the time.

You can also get them at:


  • Keeps edges from rolling on small pieces, press them through the sheet.
  • Protects delicate fabrics
  • Prevents iron scorch or gummy transfers to your finished projects
  • Stops fusible interfacing sticking to the iron or the ironing board
  • Use with traditional applique pieces
  • Use to iron interfacing to bag patterns, either a piece at a time or in big sheets to save all that time

Get one if you like to make bags!

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27 Responses to How I found more time in the sewing room

  1. Dani P says:

    I save the paper backing from vinyl rolls. You have to use them to fuse the vinyl, so they are meant to be used to fuse.

  2. Christine Hunter says:

    If you buy address label blanks, the paper that holds the labels is a release paper. Once you’ve printed and used all of the labels, that backing paper can be used as an applique sheet. It also works great as a base for glueing. The dried glue will just peel off.

  3. Mea Cadwell says:

    I’ve been reusing the brown paper that comes in packages I get in the mail. I iron the paper flat at the end of a sewing session when the iron is cooling down and it’s ready to be used for applique (one use only) or as pattern paper (adhered to freezer paper to make it thicker and last longer). I thought it was a good way to recycle it.

  4. Hanneke says:

    great tip. thanks a lot you wonder women!

  5. Cheryl Wical says:

    How do you get the fusible adhesive off of the applique sheet so it doesn’t transfer to the next set of pieces you’re fusing? I’ve used your method with paper towels instead of the sheet, but have the adhesive transfer problem unless I keep track of where the extra adhesive might be when using the towels again. Thanks,

    • Sue says:

      I use a dry Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to clean my teflon sheets. I keep one in with all my supplies for fusible. If I get some on my iron I use a dryer sheet to clean that.

    • Christine says:

      Adhesive doesn’t stick to the Teflon sheet. Just wipe it over each time you use it if you are worried.

  6. Ruth says:

    You can also use a silicone[cookie sheet liner. I found mine at Costco, 3 different sizes in a package for about $ 12

  7. Christine says:

    Great idea. I love those Teflon sheets both in the sewing room and the kitchen. I have two sheets kept specifically for cooking biscuits. Nothing sticks to them and they wipe clean

  8. denise HOSNER says:

    Do you know if parchment paper would work? These sheets are pricey!

  9. Jennifer Wright says:

    I use a roasting dish liner from Aldi or Lidl, 99

  10. amoore says:

    You could also use plain tissue paper. One use only as excess glue will adhere to it.

  11. Jennifer says:

    I thought I recognised the sheets. the same thing is sold here in the UK as roasting non stick liners for roasting/baking sheets. I also line my grill pan with one. I buy mine in a roll from the Pound Shop. Never thought of using one for this. Thanks for the tip.

  12. Debi W. says:

    Very helpful time saving tip! There will be a run on these soon – great stocking stuffer.

  13. peg sullivan says:

    I have been using applique sheets for years (doing Applique projects of course.) What a great idea.
    You still have to do some cleaning of the sheet. I just use the edge of my rulers and shave off any sticky residue. Keeping it rolled helps to preserve for years.

  14. Teresa Barton says:

    Hi Deby Thanks very much for sharing I use the same method it really is quicker.
    You can buy those sheets at poundland .The sheets work really good and at a low cost.

  15. Dolores says:

    Great idea–thank you for the useful tip–one I can actually use.

  16. Cathee says:

    I am going to do #1. In watching some of the Craftsy classes, one of them suggested option #2; but, in my mind, option #1 will let me use as many little inches of my woven interfacing as possible. Thanks for sharing. I don’t have this mat yet, but I have a silicone pressing sheet that I am going to try out.

  17. Gina B. says:

    I use parchment paper in exactly the same ways. Nothing sticks to it either, so I can use the same sheet over and over.

  18. Judy Alexander says:

    Thanks Debbie for the great tips!

  19. LeChatPonti says:

    Very clever girl! You’re fab really. Love your tips & tricks, and you rock at modeling.

    I have designed and sewn all my bags interfacing-less as I am self-taught and couldn’t understand it and figure it out (oops). I’m going to give it a try now.

    • The investment was worth it just for that moment when I pick the iron up and look at the bottom and its still all shiny and clean with no gummy stuff! Thanks so much for all the kind things you said – you rock too!

  20. Guess what just got placed at the top of my Christmas wish list? This looks like a huge timesaver!! I’ve got a Craft Gossip post that features your tutorial scheduled for later this morning: –Anne

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