Hold On: Embroidery Tips for Holding Things in Place

Looking for ideas on how to hold fabric, batting, and runaway threads in place? Read on!

As part of Bonnie’s embroidery shortcuts request on Facebook, several people offered tips for keeping fabric and thread tails in place.


Several people mentioned Dritz Wonder Tape. This double-sided adhesive could quite possibly be the eighth wonder of the world. It helps hold applique fabrics in place as well as zippers and pockets. It disappears when washed, just like a water-soluble stabilizer.

Most of us are familiar with using painter’s tape, Scotch tape, and Transpore Surgical tape (found in pharmacy section of most big-box stores) for holding applique fabrics, project pieces, and batting in place in the hoop. Don’t worry if you stitch over them, they will tear right off afterwards.

Glue Pens and Glue Sticks

Glue pens and sticks also work well for holding applique fabrics and trims in place before embroidering or sewing. A number of pens are available in the industry, including Fons & Porter and Dryline.

Did you know that you can also use school glue sticks? Make sure it is the purple kind so that it is temporary, will wash away, and won’t harm your machine.

Thread Holders

Most spools of thread have snap bases that hold the stray end in place. If not, pony tail and skrunchy bands work quite well.

Pattern Weights

Another favorite was bred of necessity and we can thank our grandmothers for this tip that was also shared. Many continue to use saucers and knives as pattern weights. No need to reinvent the wheel, plus, it brings back fond memories.

How do you hold things together when embroidering?

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  • Judith - April 20, 2020

    Thank you for all of this information!!

  • Bonnie Welsh - April 13, 2020

    Marie—We must have our various tapes in the sewing room right? Scotch tape is still a necessity for so many things. But it’s not perfect for every job. None of them are. =)

  • Marie Davis - April 13, 2020

    I use one or the other of these…Micropore surgical tape, RK embroidery perfection tape or scotch tape.

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