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Tips & Techniques > Glue Sticks useful in place of pins

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Posted by: PhyllisC

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Member since: 8/2/02
Reviews: 202 (tips: 20)
Skill level:Advanced
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Posted on: 2/18/03 11:13 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 4 people   Very Helpful by 38 people   
3/16/03....Gigi Louis is right! There is no difference between regular glue sticks from an office supply store and the much pricier version sold by Dritz.

Added additional Glue Stick uses 2/19/03


Lately, I've been using fabric glue sticks almost as much as pins. For example, if you want to use clear elastic to stabilize a seam on knits, it's can be really challenging to get the elastic and the fabric under the serger. A few dabs from a glue stick along the run of elastic keeps it in place while you sew (pinning is just impossible). A little goes a long way, and it doesn't have any detrimental effect on either your needles or the serger knife. The glue is water soluble and always washs out. I also use glue sticks to turn up hems on knits before I stitch them.

Additional Glue Stick uses:

* Holding down a button or snap while you sew it on (either hand or machine)

* Tacking down Girl Scout patches while you sew them on.

* Basting the edges of knits (especially those where the edges curl) before you run them through a serger. Another benefit - no worry about pins going under the serger knife!

* Tacking trim such as rick-rack before you stitch it.

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MARY42184 said... (6/3/14 3:31 PM) Reply
a long time ago, i took sewing lessons from a lady out of her home, and the lady i took from said NOT to use Elmer's (or other similar kinds) because it will gunk up your machine and needle...That i should only use sewing kind to not ruin my machine. But i wondered if she was just telling me that because she wanted me to buy from her little "sewing shop" she had downstairs. So, is the Elmer's ok for machines/needles? I like to get them when school supplies go on sale...a 4 pack for $1 ...the purple that dries clear. Thank you ~ mary
PinzAndNeedles said... (6/17/11 11:02 AM) Reply
Yes! I ,too, use glue sticks from an office supply store instead of "basting glue." It saves so much money and works perfectly. And I also use them on knits to keep the fabric in place while I'm sewing. The knit fabric has less of a tendency to slide around when the seams are glued, too.
MaryD said... (6/25/07 3:07 PM) Reply
I LOVE using glue sticks for basting. In addtion to what I've seen listed here,I've used it for tacking patch pockets or trim in place before topstitching, for lining up the front end of two pieces of fabric before I serge (it seems like a lot of fabrics want to slip out of place after I put them under the serger foot -- and you can't put a pin right there) and for holding a little piece of stabilizer in place under the spot where I want to stitch a buttonhole. One question though: Since I've started using glue sticks in my sewing (about 6 months ago), although I haven't noticed any trouble with the needle getting gummed up, I've always felt a little worried that the needle will carry small amounts of the glue down into the bobbin area of my sewing machine and that over the long term it might not be good for my machine. Does anyone have a definitive answer about this? Or better yet, personal experience? It's just too darn useful a technique for me to give it up, but there always that little nagging concern . . . :-)
Sew*Confused*Jo said... (3/19/07 8:10 AM) Reply
Thanks so very much. I was worried about my serger knife getting gummed up. Now I'll go ahead.
mapatterson said... (10/12/04 7:02 PM) Reply
This is one of my favorite tricks. I donít know what I did before glue sticks. I watch sales fliers from my favorite stores and stock up when notions go on sale.
lisa m said... (9/12/04 6:31 PM) Reply
I use a glue stick to turn under the neckline or armscye before coverstitching.
clc said... (3/11/03 11:49 AM) Reply
One of my Favorite Notions! I use the regular Elmer's kind. I find it invaluable for holding Velcro in place. Those little bitsy pieces sure can wiggle aroung when you're trying to position them under the presser foot.
Claudine said... (2/20/03 12:36 PM) Reply
Great tip - I MADE the clear elastic work w/my serger...but this sounds like it'll make that task a no brainer going forward.
Paulette James said... (2/20/03 5:01 AM) Reply
I have been sewing about 30 years and have just discovered glue sticks. works great for serger work.
Gigi Louis said... (2/19/03 6:53 PM) Reply
I too use glue sticks a lot - they are so handy! I started buying the Elmer's wash-out glue sticks in bulk at the office supply and like them even better - they go on blue and dry clear.
PhyllisC said... (2/19/03 1:24 PM) Reply
Oh yes - Dritz Glue Sticks are widely available in any sewing/crafts store with a decent notions rack. Quilters use them alot.
Everyday Sewist said... (2/19/03 10:23 AM) Reply
Deepika, I think they are. I bought one years ago when I just started sewing, and I'm sure I found it at one of the chain stores. At the time I didn't know how to use it. (Apparently they are good for some things but not for others.) Phyllis's tip makes me think I should go buy one and try using it again as she describes. Thanks Phyllis!
Deepika said... (2/19/03 0:55 AM) Reply
very very helpful Phyllis. Is dritz glue stick readily available in Joanns?
SouthernStitch said... (2/18/03 11:28 PM) Reply
Phyllis, thanks for posting this. The mighty glue stick can really help beginners as well as the seasoned.
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