New Tool in the Sewing Room

We’ve all done it, cut our appliqués a little too close to the tack-down stitch. If we’re lucky our design has a nice, thick satin stitch that can cover our boo-boos, but sometimes the fabric still comes up. At middling, it’s a loose edge that you have to tack down; at worst it’s loose enough to let the presser foot catch and then gets itself sewn into the design, and then we have a real mess.

Can you see? I placed a pin under the edge of the tape, it’s just peeking out from the stitches

I learned about this product during an OESD online embroidery event, hosted by Sew Special Quilts in Katy. It’s used for holding down items like zippers that are added to in-the-hoop projects, but it came in handy when I recently clipped my dupioni too close to the tack-down stitch and it started to fray. (Fabrics like dupioni and organza seem like they’re just waiting to unravel, don’t they?) I knew if I could get the loose edge to stay in place I had plenty of satin stitches coming to hold it all down. Luckily I remembered the tape I had just bought, and it worked very well!

The seam is split and pressed flat

It’s not just for embroidery though; I used it recently in a sewing project too. I’m making a skirt out of ponté knit, which is a pretty beefy fabric. The pocket on this skirt is sewn into the seam, which gives me several thick layers to deal with. I like to split the difference part-way down the seam, then press it open and topstitch it in place. (The edges aren’t finished since ponté doesn’t ravel, and it reduces the bulk a bit to leave them nekkid.) (Yes, that is a word in the South. A little further north in the South, I believe it’s pronounced nekkit. Both are acceptable here.)

Tape to cover the split

If I were using my sewing machine to topstitch, I would have sewn with the wrong side up to make sure this clipped area stayed tidy. But I used my serger/ coverstitch to topstitch, which means sewing blind. To make sure each seam allowance stayed where I wanted, I used the wash away tape.

Topstitched without a hitch!

If you’re like me, you’ve been using painter’s-type tape to tack down the parts in your in-the-hoop projects, and while it pulls away from fabric OK, it makes a horrible mess with batting. And, it never quite all comes out from under the stitching so you’re left with little dots of pink. But I really like this wash-away tape; it sews easily and there are no worries about leaving it in your project, so no fighting to get it off batting. The pink tape still has it’s uses and I will keep it in my toolbox (it’s a tool!), but it will be sharing space with this new tape.

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