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seams on velveteen

kahurangi | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi all, I’m making a swing coat out of heavy cotton velveteen. The fabric’s working great but I’m having trouble getting the seams to press open. I have a needleboard,  and can press them OK, but the seams are just slowly closing up again.  I hold them open with my press mitt until the fabric completely cools, but then as construction continues they just close up again.

I tried a sample using Gem Bond to glue the seams open flat, the way you do with leather, but of course the glue seeped through the ground into the pile and made it stiff and icky. I do not want to topstitch the seams open because I find it very hard to get any kind of topstitching looking good on this fabric, and as it has a CB seam my shortcomings will be all too apparent.

An article I read (not in Threads) suggested double sided sticky tape – but in clothing?? Won’t it lose it’s stick eventually and then I’ll have a big ol’ mess.

Any suggestions gratefully received.



  1. Jean | | #1

    Would a narrow strip of this tape work with your fabric?

    View Image

    1. kahurangi | | #2

      oh, doh! I bet it would! I will go try a sample - thanks for that!


      1. SewTruTerry | | #3

        If all else fails there is always pad stitching by hand to get it to lay flat and/or open.

        1. Teaf5 | | #4

          When I can't get the seam allowances to stay open, I decide to let the fabric have its way. I trim both to a quarter inch and stitch them closed. It doesn't seem to make any difference on the right side, and the single, narrow allowances are easier to avoid when pressing.BTW-the fusible web tape works well on lightweight fabrics, but it doesn't hold heavier ones very well.

          1. mem | | #5

            I agree with you I think that adding all that hardware would just change the drape of the garment. If you must have them flat why dont you just pick stitch them open from the right side ?

          2. kahurangi | | #6

            As teaf5 suggets, the fusible isn't handling the weight of the velveteen. A sample holds well but I just tried the first seam with it last night, left it hanging overnight, and then waved it around a little this morning (like walking would do) and sure enough it started unpeeling slowly. I think pickstitching would be the best thing , but i'm not sure I've got the time to do it (under some completion pressue!). I think I will try them cut to 1/4 inch and sewn shut. I'll let you know how it goes next week when it's all finished. Many thanks for your great suggestions. I don't know anyone who sews, so it makes me very happy that I can share my troubles with you all.


  2. SewNancy | | #7

    Try a wool dauber ( a tightly rolled piece of wool tied off like a roast.) wet it and run it on the seam line and then iron on needle board.

  3. solosmocker | | #8

    I would iron the seams open on a 1 1/2 inch dowel. The seams should fall to the side and not leave an imprint. I would daub them with water as previously mentioned and after pressing, hit them with a wooden sleeve board. Let them cool and dry before moving on and ironing the next section.

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