Member since 4/20/05
Date: 12/18/12 4:27 PM
I've noticed Louise Cutting, in her videos, often uses Steam-a-Seam to baste pieces together. Not seams, but pieces like pockets and other details. I've seen David Coffin use glue sticks in his videos. I just watched a quilting video in which Sharon Schamber used school glue to hold the binding on a quilt.
What are the downsides to basting with glue (or Steam-a Seam or glue sticks)? Does it gum up the machine (my major concern)? Please post your successes or failures with this method.
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Member since 8/24/02
Date: 12/18/12 5:00 PM
I use Aileen's Tacky Glue all the time for this kind of 'basting.' My source for the idea was an old, old, OLD Palmer & Pletch booklet on sewing.
The trick is to cut the nozzle so that the opening is very narrow; that way you can deliver a tiny dot of glue rather than a big glop.
When I want to bast an interfacing to a collar, for example, I lay the pieces together, interfacing on top, and then just lift up its edges to apply teeny glue dots in the seam allowance at maybe one-inch intervals (depending on the fabric). The creamy glue does not dry instantly, so you have a little time to work, and it's so thick that it doesn't really seep through ordinary fabrics too badly.
Anyhow, when all glue dots are applied, I just lightly pat the edges to stick things together firmly. If you make a mistake before everything is dry, you can separate the layers easily. Even after the glue is dry, you can still PULL the layers apart, but it's not pretty.
The glue gets used the same way when I turn under narrow hems on shirts, or miter corners before stitching them, or to hold deeper hems in place on sturdy wovens. I sometimes put a dot of glue in the centers of buttons to keep them quiet when I sew them down. I glue-baste thicker ribbon trims and appliques in place before stitching. Trying to think here, but the fact is I use glue all the time. There's always a bottle of old Aileen's Tacky next to my ironing board.
I haven't found any downside to this approach, except maybe on sheer or very delicate fabrics, where you could feel the slight bumps from the glue dots.
Member since 2/3/06
Date: 12/18/12 5:22 PM
I've used glue sticks for years - for all sorts of purposes - and have never had a problem with the glue gumming up my machine. The glue dries quickly, can be repositioned if necessary, pressed, and it washes out easily. Great for holding hems in place when coverstitching, sewing on pockets, appliques,etc.
British Columbia CANADA
Member since 7/23/07
2 members like this.
Date: 12/18/12 5:27 PM
LOVE using glue and a few head smacks that nobody thought of it sooner! School glue (you can iron it dry), glue sticks and wash away wonder tape have been brilliant additions to my sewing room. No stick, no gumming and can hold the fiddliest bits of silk chiffon or stubbornest pieces of denim. Love it. But I did say that already, didn't I?
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Member since 9/18/04
Date: 12/18/12 5:36 PM
I've used Elmer's Washable School Glue (EWSG) in quilting after seeing Sharon Schamber use it in some of her videos.
Modifying the tip of the bottle to easily deliver a much smaller amount of glue is important. The dispenser top that comes on the EWSG bottle delivers much too much glue for use on fabric. A small amount delivered in a thin line is all you need. Sharon Schamber sells replacement nozzles, but the same craft nozzles are available at most craft stores, also. Or, you can use the Bic Pencil Tip Modification (opens a PDF), which I learned about from one of Sharon's first YouTube videos, long since removed.
Once you have a thin line of glue between two layers of fabric, you can press the the glued spot and dry the glue right away. Dry glue will not gum up your needle or machine.
It works great! You can easily pull apart a glued and pressed seam/join to open a seam, or reposition something and re-glue it. EWSG washes out very easily. Sharon said she tried other brands, but Elmer's was the only one that performed well enough for her when rinsing or washing out the glue.
-- Edited on 12/18/12 5:39 PM --
New York USA
Member since 2/12/06
Date: 12/18/12 10:00 PM
I use glue sticks for all sorts of things. The cheapest washable glue stick I can find. I've had no machine problems with it as long as it's dry. Washes out w/no problem.
One place I really like to use it is for knit hems. Much easier than steam a seam (and cheaper) and it holds the hem in place for stitching.
Member since 10/30/10
Date: 12/18/12 11:04 PM
I have used steam a seam to hold binding and to use on facings. LOVE IT. Have had no problems with it gumming up my machine. You have to iron steam a seam to make it permanent and the glue seams to disappear into the fabric when you do that. What I also like is that it wasn't stiff nor did it seem to add any bulk.
I inherited some really old steam a seam rolls from my MIL when she moved into assisted living. It's 1/4 inch and it still works I could not believe it.
Member since 12/3/05
1 member likes this.
Date: 12/19/12 7:22 AM
Instead of glue, I prefer to use tape which is simply another form of glue. It's easy for me to apply and I don't have to wait for it to dry. My two favorite tapes areDritz 1/8" Basting Tape (which is narrow enough so that you can easily position it to bypass your needle), and 1/4" Leather Tape (a stronger tape that isn't just for leather), both sold at very reasonble prices by Cleaner's Supply. I keep large quantities of these two tapes in my stash because I use them all the time.
No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.
Member since 12/21/02
Date: 12/19/12 8:01 AM
I use both.
I especially like Steam-a-Seam or Stitch Witchery for things that are going to be topstitched, like patch pockets or shirt plackets. It's great for when you don't want things to slip AT ALL. It holds things very firmly and topstitching comes out looking great. I wouldn't use it for regular seams, like shoulder seams, side seams, etc. where you want to keep fluidity. Neither of these products gum up my needle.
I use glue sticks (Elmer's school glue that says on the label it's easy to wash out) for things like holding underlining in place. I do detect a little gumminess when using the glue sticks, but might not if I was patient and waited for it to dry before sewing. The residue is only on the needle, though. I've never seen evidence that it got into the bobbin works or other parts of the machine.
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|Doris W. in TN
Member since 2/9/04
Date: 12/19/12 10:14 AM
Steam-a-Seam and glue-stick maven here, esp. glue sticks for placing zippers before sewing them in.
The only time I had a problem was with Roxanne's glue, when I used it to tack down a collar w/stand on handkerchief linen, and ironed it profusely. The glue set permanently and left dark dots that will not wash out. It's not visible to the public, but lesson learned.