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My velcro woes!

nmog | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I am in the process of making many, many children’s capes for a craft sale in November. I’ve also arranged it so that whatever I don’t sell (or need for another sale) will go to the local children’s museum for dress up. The fabric is from the clearance department but I found some wonderful cross-dyed taffeta and some satin with all sorts of magical designs on it. I’m sure that both of these fabrics are polyester-based.

 I have always used velcro on the capes my own kids have worn and it has been fine to sew. I used the stick-on velcro with adhesive and then have sewn it on with a zigzag stitch to reinforce it. However, the adhesive on this new batch of velcro is gumming up my needles and turning this into a very frustrating project.  If I use the sew-on velcro the edges seem to pull away from the cape fabric and scratch the kids.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I’ve made 60 capes so far and am hoping to hit 100. Of course, housework will just have to come in second….



  1. Palady | | #1

    You might try Sewer's Aide.  it's generally available with Notions in the fabric stores 


    I've applied it by using a soft tip stick and rubbing the tip on the machine needle.  With the stick-on velcro, it will need repeated applications as you stitch.  You might use some scraps and a small bit of the stick-on to see if the SA stains the fabric.

    >> ... the sew-on velcro the edges seem to pull away from the cape fabric and scratch the kids. ... <<  Unsure of what is happening here for you with this approach.  I've zz it in place many times with out issue.  My technique was to be watchful in catching the outer section of the velcro strip. 


    1. nmog | | #4

      That sounds great - thank you. I think that I might have seen that in our specialty sewing store, and I'll have to try it. I didn't think of using it for gummy needles.

      In term of what is happening with the corners sticking up, I don't know either. I wonder if I should snip the corner off to almost make the rectangle look like an octagon (or an asscher-cut diamond, either one!). Even when they are sewn across they still seem to like to move.

      Thank you for your help!


  2. stillsuesew | | #2

    I'm surprised you were able to sew through any of it with the sticky back on it. You might try a fabric glue down the center of some 'sew on' velcro and then do the narrow zig zag around it. I agree with sewing it on with the stitch going over the edge of the velcro.

    1. nmog | | #5

      Yes, I am now wondering if sew-on is the way to go, with special attention being given to the corners. I was hoping for an easy way out with so many capes, but quality is important, too!

      Thank you for your help!


  3. woodruff | | #3

    After a few dreadful experiences with the stickum on the glue-on Velcro, I switched to sew-on, and have been very successful going at it like this:

    Apply a swipe of glue stick to the center of the sew-on pieces, stick them in place and let dry a few seconds.

    Then I straight-stitch right along the very edge of the velcro. I mean RIGHT ON the very edge. This keeps the edges from lifting up. I've also done the zigzag, but have found the straight stitch actually seems to feel smoother to my touch.

    1. nmog | | #6

      I haven't used a glue stick before- can you see the residue from the other (wrong) side? It's so hard to get the sew-on stuff to stay in place before it's sewn - it sounds like you found the answer!

      Thank you!


      1. woodruff | | #7

        Glue sticks are everywhere, particularly now with all the back to school sales going on. There are of course special fabric glue sticks, too, but I suspect they are pretty much the same. I use "Elmer's Washable School Glue Stick, Goes on purple, dries clear," bought at Long's drugs (now CVS). It--as well as the fabric glue stick I've also used--goes on in a thin stripe. These glues are not runny or wet or messy in any way, and will not show through the fabric, yet they remain workable and movable for a bit, so you can slightly change the position of whatever you're working on. I mash things into position and let them dry for a few seconds. After that, they're pretty secure.Since they are so cheap, I suggest you pick up a couple and experiment with some scrap fabric. I think you will be pleased.

  4. gailete | | #8

    Not sure if it will help but when I got a  sticky needle I used alcohol on a cotton swab and cleaned off the needle and I think finger nail polish remover would also work (it has been a few years) I do remember swabbing it down with the needle still in the machine and didn't take any time at all.

    1. KharminJ | | #9

      And, if an "orangey" smell is more to your liking than "nail polish remover(!)", "Goo Gone" on a tissue or swab will also work. It comes in sizes ranging from 4 oz. to half-gallons, depending on where you shop. K

      1. nmog | | #11

        I actually have some Goo Gone. I never thought of it for sewing! Thank you for your help.


    2. nmog | | #10

      That sounds so simple! That is so much more economical than getting rid of all of the sticky needles. Thank you.


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