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Tea break
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Tea break - tips and tricks

In a previous Tip we outlined how to use double-sided sticky tape (DST) when making joins in blackout bonded interlining. Once you have some tape in your workroom, there are various other jobs it is good for. It’s also worth mentioning that there are various strengths of tape.

The least expensive and slightly less sticky type is easily available online, often backed with brown thin paper. The next step up is for general craft use, then there are others that are much stickier and can be used for tasks like lampshade making. Finally, there are some that are permanent after 24 hours in place, waterproof and work much more like a glue for attaching trimmings etc.

They are available in a range of widths, starting at about 4mm, and some are thicker than others which may influence which jobs they are suitable for. Here are some suggestions:-

  • When making cover buttons, put a small piece of tape on the button shell to hold the fabric in place while assembling the button.
  • Use a strip of narrow tape down the centre of Velcro when sewing it across the top of a roman blind as it helps prevent the top edge ‘shrinking’ during stitching.
  • Low-tack tape can be useful when pattern matching seams, use it away from the seam line and remove after sewing.
  • Hold decorative trim in place before stitching as it may be easier than using pins.
  • It can be useful to hold seam allowances in place after joining fabric widths or attaching contrast borders where the fabric cannot be pressed or has a tendency to spring back.
  • Some makers like using tape to hold the top edge of interlining inside roman blinds.
  • You can ensure fabric covered battens and fascia stay neat before stapling by anchoring the fabric along the length with tape.
  • If you find yourself working with unstable or springy fabrics, tape can be used to hold side turnings neatly against interlining before stitching in place.

In some situations it is better to use the lower tack tapes and remove them after sewing, e.g. Pattern matching seams. If the tape has to be left in place then be careful where it is positioned so that your stitch line does not go through it and ‘gunk up’ the needle. Always test in an inconspicuous area before using, and be very wary of placing any sticky tape on fabric with a pile such as velvet.

(If a needle needs cleaning after accidentally stitching through sticky tape, spray a little silicone onto a cloth and wipe the needle through it.)

Where to buy: -

  • Ebay — various types of tape
  • Merrick & Day — Trimfix tape for attaching trimmings and permanent fixing
  • MyDecozo online shop — general double sided tape in various widths
  • Dannells — specialist lampshade making permanent tape and others for fabrics
  • and many general craft suppliers.

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