Get Threads magazine!

Give a Gift

Reuse plastic bags for smooth sewing

Use recycled bags for sewing tricky fabrics.  

Use recycled bags for sewing tricky fabrics.  

Photo: Scott Phillips

I have found a simple solution for taming fabrics that are difficult to sew. If my fabric (such as batting, bulky or loose-weave fabrics, faux fur, or Velcro) doesn't glide smoothly over the machine plate or gets stuck in the machine foot as I'm sewing, I use a plastic grocery or other store bag to help. I prefer the bags from Jo-Ann Fabrics because they are almost transparent. I cut the bag to make it one layer; if I have a lot of seams to sew, I cut the bag into strips about 2 to 3 inches wide. I place the plastic on top of or beneath the fabric and sew normally, stitching through the plastic. The plastic helps the fabric slide smoothly as the stitches are made, and a simple tug easily removes the plastic after the seam is complete.

-Betty Bolden, Bolton, Connecticut


Do you have a good sewing tip? Send it in, and we'll pay you if we publish it in Threads magazine. We'll also select the cleverest tip in each issue, and the winner will receive a gift package from Taunton Press including Threads DVDs and other instrucional sewing books.

Send tips to:
Threads Tips
POBox 5506
Newtown, CT 06470

or by email at:



Comments (10)

Helen_in_Toronto Helen_in_Toronto writes: I also use strip of tissue paper; the kind you wrap presents in. I keep a stash of used tissue paper.
Posted: 10:05 am on October 26th

FelixBaker FelixBaker writes: very smooth.
Posted: 5:09 am on September 14th

FelixBaker FelixBaker writes: very smooth.
Posted: 5:07 am on September 14th

EdWallace EdWallace writes: well done work.......
Posted: 3:29 am on September 14th

MayShawn MayShawn writes: working is soo nice.
Posted: 2:14 am on September 14th

SamFowler SamFowler writes: Great job
Posted: 2:00 am on September 14th

CarlsMith CarlsMith writes: great work..
Posted: 3:41 am on September 12th

NealCox NealCox writes: nice machine.
Posted: 5:40 am on September 11th

EduardoCarr EduardoCarr writes: awesome work.........
Posted: 3:40 am on September 11th

Kyla Kyla writes: That is a great ideal,
Posted: 3:50 pm on October 21st

Log in or create a free account to post a comment.