Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Great Notion

This post is aimed particularly at our less experienced sewing sisters. I love to do whatever I can to help bring along success for newbies so that they can continue in this fine craft. As I was working on my latest machine project I thought it might be worth a few words to mention this notion and what it can do. This is one of those notions that can really make your sewing life easier and more professional looking. Allow me to introduce you to Steam A Seam 2.

Steam a Seam is wonderful for zipper installations, attaching piping and other trims, stabilizing knit hemlines, and on and on. Here I will show you how I put my zipper in the top of the bag. Two pieces needed to be stitched to each side of the zipper. This is the top opening of the bag. The ends will then be sewn to the gusset which wraps around the bottom and sides.
Steam A Seam is a coiled, sticky sided fusible tape. You pull the length you need out of the box and there is a lot in the box. I use this stuff a lot. I bought it two years ago and am probably a little over halfway thru the box. When you pull your length of coil out you will notice that the non paper side is sticky. Press this down where you want your zipper or trim to go. Once I do that I take my fingernail and run it across the tape, pressing it firmly into the zipper or base fabric. After doing that hard press lift up one corner and remove the paper from the tape. Now the exposed tape is sticky. Press onto to it whatever you need to. In my case here I pressed the fabric that needed to be stitched to the side of the zipper. Now this tabe is a fusible web. So the next step is to iron that fabric strip on the side of the zipper and fully secure the fabric to the zipper tape with the heat of the iron. I then lift up the fabric and iron the underneath seam as well as my fabric is coated with fusible fleece and I want a good bond.
Now that the iron has fully secured the zipper to the fabric I put in my edge stitching foot. Forget that funky Pfaff zipper foot. There is not enough grab with that thing. I use the edge stitching foot and run the blade right up tight to the right edge of the fabric, next to the zipper. The blade runs between the coil and the fabric edge. I adjust my needle to #4 Left position and top stitch my zipper into place. Voila,,,,,it is now ready to be stitched to the gusset as you can see here.
And here you can see the zipper all installed. I like to use longer than specified zippers for almost every type of installation. You can always cut them to fit once they are installed and by using a longer zipper you can zip it up past the end of your installation and then not have to deal with any lumps and bumps from the zipper stops. So always buy a zipper longer than you need and then do a hefty zigzag on the zip once you are done to give it a secure stop. Then you should be good to cut the excess. Or, you can just stitch the excess into a crossing seam and cut it after stitching that seam. If anyone has any questions just fire away. The bottom line is learn what notions are out there. Use them to make your life easier. Surf boards like Pattern Review and sewing blogs to get info on all these things. Try them and make your sewing life easier.....Bunny
                  FWIW....I am making a bag as a gift for some one who did me a great favor. The pattern I am using is Butterick 4409, view F, but with the handles. This is my current machine project while I work on Carly's bishop, which is now coming along nicely. More on that in an upcoming post as well as some info on washing silks.......Bunny                                                                                         


  1. A notion worthy of mention! I always have it on hand, it can be used on tons of stuff.

  2. I'm not a newbie, but I have never used this stuff. It looks great. I'll be looking for it. Where do you buy it?

  3. Great post, Bunny! I've used it for putting the piping above the smocking but somehow never thought to use it for a zipper. Duh?? I will from now on!! Thanks, Hon!

  4. Yes, me too, love that product. My daughter needed a dress hemmed, so I handed her the stuff and told her to go to it. I figure that's probably how she'll hem and mend when she's in college anyway.

  5. I hemmed a pair of pants 15 minutes before leaving for work last week. Love this stuff.


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