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Tips & Techniques > Painters' Tape Hem Stabilizer for Knits

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Posted by: NancyDaQ

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Member since: 1/12/02
Reviews: 69 (tips: 6)
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Posted on: 7/6/03 12:17 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 9 people   
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Painters' tape is the blue masking tape used for painting your house. It is easier to remove than the traditional kind.

Like a lot of good tips, I made this discovery by accident. I was trying to hem a knit fabric with wide ribs and I couldn't get it to lay flat. I was concerned that the hem would look bunchy or stretched out instead of smooth. So taped the area to the immediate right of my stitching line and sewed the hem with a 4 mm straight stitch. Perfect! I tried this method on another t-shirt and again, it looked fine. The tape acts as a temporary stabilizer and gives an edge to guide your stitching (I don't sew through the tape, but just next to it).

Of course, you will want to test your fabric to make sure the tape won't mar it. To avoid problems, I recommend sewing right after applying the tape and removing the tape before you press the garment.

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adelaide original said... (10/25/09 8:33 PM) Reply
This is just what I was looking for.
NancyDaQ said... (7/22/03 11:24 PM) Reply
Since I wrote the comment I have also used it on some woven rayon. Blue painters tape is my new favorite notion. :-)
Karina said... (7/21/03 8:14 PM) Reply
I thought I was the only one who used masking tape to stabilize. I've been known to use it on both sides of the stitching line. Nothing stretches! Thanks for sharing.
NancyDaQ said... (7/10/03 7:53 PM) Reply
I forgot to mention, I also basted the seam allowance with the wide rib knit--Just in case. I didn't have to do this the second time, as it was a more well-behaved knit.
Everyday Sewist said... (7/7/03 10:21 AM) Reply
What a great tip! I've been avoiding rib knits every since I had one stretch out of shape while I tried to sew it. I will try your technique next time.
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