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Video: How to Make Thread Bars and Chains

Threads magazine - 177 - Feb./Mar. 2015

Judith Neukam; Shot by: Evamarie Gomez

In Threads #177 (February/Mary 2015) sewing expert Claire Shaeffer explains how to create thread bars and chains. In this Threads Essential Techniques video we bring her method to life to demonstrate how these delicacies are sewn. Once you’ve mastered the techniques you’ll be able to detain wayward straps, linings, and more.

Do you add thread bars and chains to your garments? If so, how do you typically incorporate them? Have you ever used thread bars or thread chains in unconventional ways?


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  1. User avater
    LuvThreadsMagazine | | #1

    SO looking forward to that upcoming issue of the Threads Magazine (complete disclosure: I constantly feel that way, and have no intention of seeking treatment to alleviate the condition).

  2. MADavis | | #2

    I have used thread bars many times with my sewing. One of the things my mother taught me many years ago and never forgotten. Not only have I used them at the top of zippers, but also to hold skinny belts on dresses at the waist, to securing wedding gown trains off the floor. They can be pretty invisible among lace patterns. One of the major uses is at necklines, they are softer and more flexible than your standard metal loop.

  3. airolg | | #3

    I use thread chains at the shoulder line on sleeveless tops to hide bra straps. I make a chain by the finger-crochet method shown in the video, but instead of tacking down the loose end as in the video, I sew the knob (male) half of a snap pair to the end of the chain. Then I sew the female half of the snap pair to the shoulder line of the garment. I do this on each side of the garment. Once the garment is put on, each chain is slipped under the corresponding bra strap and the snap is closed.

  4. sailcocktail | | #4

    I am a crochet artist as well as a sewer, and have used thread bars and chains many times in my sewing. I've crocheted loops for keyhole buttons, strap-catchers (with very small snaps) on the velvet gown I made to wear to officiate my son's wedding, and loops for hooks many times. I have a variety of weights of crochet thread so can match the weight to the use. Generally I find size 10 thread to be the most useful but I have been known to crochet size 40 rayon embroidery thread to match a fabric, since I have hundreds of colors of that. I've also crocheted elastic thread to make a button loop for a clutch.

  5. BRosser | | #5

    Thanks for the review, and some new tips that I needed to know. I simply enjoyed watching you sew the bars with ease.

  6. DaveHaynes | | #6

    I found thread bars and chains super smart. As someone have mentioned, its use at necklines changes the whole perspective.

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