Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Simple Piece of Tape

Wednesday Tip of the Week

Bandage tape used in photo

How many times have you cut across a seam line which unlocks the stitching and the seam then begins to open up? Case in point, when you trim away excess length for a hem.  On some fabrics the seam will immediately begin to open which can be a real problem, on others, not so much. If nothing else, its a nuisance many a sewer will encounter and needs to be remedied as quickly as possible.

The seam nevertheless needs to be sealed permanently before it unravels deeper into the seam.  To keep the seam in tack and thus prevent it from opening up, I place a small piece of Scotch tape over the seam before I trim it. This is an easy way to hold the seam together and it keeps it secure long enough until the seam can be permanently re-locked.  This might mean adding hem tape which will seal the seam, or attaching the seam to another garment piece where it will be contained and secured within the seam allowance.  Or, I simply stitch across the seam to hold it in place. Once the seam has been secured I simply peel off the piece of tape.

Stitching across seam line to secure it
If regular Scotch tape is going to be too sticky, leave a sticky residue on the fabric or perhaps damage the fabric when removed, I will use the kind of tape one uses to secure gauze bandages onto skin. It's not nearly as sticky, just as easy to remove, and sometimes more visible than regular clear tape.

Tape is a mainstay item in my sewing tray.  I use it primarily for altering patterns, but it seems to find its way as an easy fix to many other sewing dilemmas.  

Tape removed, seam secured


  1. Hi Linda,

    I received your feedback from the BurdaStyle webinar that you attended in which you mentioned that you were interested in being an instructor. I book the webinars for Burda and would love it if you would contact me: dani[dot]perea[at]fwmedia[dot]com.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!


  2. I use painter's tape for this - it is cheap, easy to find, no stickiness and it so bright that it obvious on most fabrics. It is also nice to have on hand for labeling piles of pieces (particularly nice for quilters) and works better than a lint roller. I have used it on silk and leather and have never had any issues with residue.