Velcro is the brand name for a product known as hook-and-eye tape, but most people simply call it Velcro, just the same way that most people call tissues Kleenex. If you’re wondering how to sew Velcro, just know that it’s much easier than you think. In fact, you don’t even have to be an experienced sewist to be successful at it.
Sewing Velcro usually involves executing a backstitch instead of a regular stitch.
Velcro is especially convenient when you’re making clothing or other products for children because it means that they can put on and take off the clothes by themselves whenever they wish.
How to Sew Velcro: the Basics
There are numerous benefits to sewing with Velcro. This is an inexpensive item that comes in dozens of colors, and it is super easy to sew onto just about anything. It can replace zippers, buttons, and numerous other fasteners, and even beginning sewists can sew Velcro with ease.
The first thing you need to do is take a look at the Velcro to get familiar with the two different sides. You’ll notice that one side has tiny loops in it and feels a little scratchy, while the other side is soft. Always check the pattern you’re using in case it specifies where each piece should go.
The quality of the Velcro is also important. The cheaper kinds can be hard, sort of stiff, and therefore difficult to work with, while the better types — which are still inexpensive — are nice and soft where they should be. This is the type of Velcro that you want.
If you get a pattern that doesn’t specify where each piece goes, it’s best to make sure that the scratchy side is facing out and the soft side is facing in. This is because if the tape touches the skin when you’re done, it’ll be the soft piece and not the scratchy piece.
When learning how to sew Velcro, it’s always a good idea to take a scrap piece and practice with it. This is especially important if you’re a beginning sewist because if you mess up, the mistake doesn’t have to be permanent.
To get started, you’ll need the following:
- The right type of Velcro
- High-quality thread
- Good needles
As far as size and color go, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, remember that the smaller the project piece, the smaller the Velcro should be. You can use 1/4-inch Velcro for a doll dress but you’ll likely need a 1-inch piece for larger items of clothing.
And while matching the Velcro to the thread is important, this isn’t always possible. If the fabric is an unusual color, try using white Velcro for lighter fabrics and black or brown Velcro for darker ones. If you can’t match the color exactly, get it as close as possible.
Getting Started with Sewing Velcro
The first thing you need to know about sewing Velcro is to buy the right type of Velcro, and by that, we mean the type that you have to sew. The type of Velcro that has adhesive on the back might sound simpler to deal with, but this type often causes skipped stitches. The cheaper brands should also be avoided because some of them are too hard to work with.
When it comes to your thread, a good polyester thread should be used for sewing your Velcro onto pieces of fabric. Make sure that you choose a color that closely matches the Velcro so that it looks nice and neat when you’re done.
In fact, keep in mind that the fabric underneath the Velcro may show your stitches, so the thread in your bobbin has to match this color as closely as possible. Take your time when matching the thread to the Velcro and your end project will look a whole lot better.
The thread you use should not be the cheap kind. You’ll want a strong thread that is the same color as the Velcro and will make the project look a lot neater. The last thing you want is a thread that is super cheap and not that strong.
Regarding the needle you use, you’ll want to choose a thick one that is very sharp. A size 14 or 16 (90 or 100 in Europe) should work perfectly, but if the needle keeps breaking, switch to one that is made for leather or denim to make sure that it can accommodate the Velcro you’re using.
You might also want to dip your needle into some beeswax or some type of needle lubricant before you start working. This always makes it easier for the needle to go through the Velcro.
It’s also a good idea to use a thimble when working with Velcro. This will protect your fingertips and allow you to work with confidence.
Before pinning the Velcro in place, some people choose to cut each of the four corners of the piece so that they are angled and not straight. This isn’t a necessity, of course, but some people find that it allows the piece to lay down a lot neater once they start to sew.
Pinning the Velcro in Place
To hold the Velcro in place, use basic sewing pins that are a good quality. Velcro meant to be sewn is thin enough for you to get your pins through, while thicker Velcro can be accommodated with either fabric glue or a line of double-sided tape.
If you use the latter method, make sure that the tape or glue isn’t underneath the edges where the sewing will take place. If you do, it can cause either skipped stitches or broken threads because it gums up the needle and ruins the stitch.
And before you get started sewing, make sure that the two sides are lined up evenly. Spend some time on this step because when learning how to sew Velcro, this is a very important step. After all, the last thing you want is to sew your Velcro on and then learn that the two sides don’t match up perfectly as they should.
If you need to, use either a marking pen or chalk to show exactly where the two pieces need to be lined up. Whatever you do to line up the two pieces will help you get excellent results in the end.
Starting to Sew Velcro
When sewing Velcro, there are a few tips that you need to remember. First of all, you’ll need to use stitches that are straight and smaller in length. For instance, a length of 1.5 or 2.0 will work perfectly. If you make them any longer, the stitches may skip occasionally.
You can also use a small zigzag stitch with a length of 2.0 and a width of 2.0. Anything longer than that might result in skipped stitches.
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re stitching close to the edge, which is easy because most Velcro is made with a flat border for you to sew on. Getting close to the edge may be easier for you if you use a zipper foot instead of a regular presser foot. If you choose the zipper foot, make sure that you use only the straight stitch and not the zigzag stitch.
Finally, always use the backstitch at the beginning and end of the stitch so that you get the durability you need. And if you notice a few crooked stitches on the Velcro side that are looped and not soft, don’t panic. As long as the stitches you use are small and tight, the Velcro should stay in place and not come undone.
When you get to the end of the project and tie your knot, make sure that the knot is on the fabric side of the Velcro and not directly on the Velcro. If you do this, it becomes much more difficult for the knot to become shredded and fall apart.
What About Sewing Velcro by Hand?
Learning how to sew Velcro by hand isn’t difficult at all. In fact, many sewists prefer to sew projects such as these by hand because they consider it not worth the time to wind a bobbin just for the task that won’t take that long to do by hand.
If you do sew on Velcro pieces by hand, make sure that you use a backstitch for the whole piece. A backstitch is a super-easy stitch to learn and sews the piece on nice and tight.
Just as with Velcro sewn with a machine, you should always do a test piece first to make sure you’ll do it correctly once you get to the real piece. After all, a little practice never hurt anyone and helps make sure that the final project turns out perfectly.
Learning how to sew Velcro is really not that challenging, even if you’re a beginner in sewing. Practice pieces with scraps of Velcro doesn’t take much time and helps ensure that the end project is just right in the end.
Sewing Velcro is also easy and fast whether you use a sewing machine or do the job by hand. Either way, it shouldn’t take you too long to master the task.