On the Merits of Stay Tape

You know, I never used to believe in stay tape. I thought it was a bunch of malarkey. I was really into only doing stay stitching for awhile, but I’ve come around friends. Stay tape is miraculous. Well, it can be anyway. I think the biggest problem before was that I wasn’t using fusible stay tape. That makes a big difference – seriously. I’m especially fond of this kind I’ve got in the shop. I use both types regularly. There’s the straight stay tape – great for use on wovens in straight-ish seams that need a little extra pick me up – and there’s also this knit stay tape – great for use in knits, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE it for curvy seam lines.

For my silk crepe wrap version of Simplicity 1880, I used the knit stay tape along the wrap front. Before I put this stuff down, my bodice front was stretching out like mad. After I put this stuff down, the front bodice doesn’t stretch out along the seamline. Pretty nifty eh? I also used it in the sleeve hem too. Works like magic. In fact I’m pretty sure that there’s magic in this stuff. Anyway, here’s a short tute on how I use it.

Step 1 ~ Take your pattern and either measure the section you want stay-taped or line your stay tape up along it and cut out a piece.

Step 2 ~ Adhere the stay tape to the wrong side of the pattern piece that’s been cut from the fabric. Give it a good spritz and use a press cloth and then press with your iron giving the section a good amount of steam. Make sure you’ve got the fusible side down on the fabric’s wrong side. I totally know I’m not using a press cloth above, but that’s cuz I like to give it a once more over after the press cloth adhering. Also, you can baste the stay tape down before pressing it into place, just so you know. That would give you double security of both a stay stitching line and stay tape!

Then you’re done. Yup. And you don’t have a bunch of stretched out seams all over the place. That’s the best part of all. Done in no time flat.



21 thoughts on “On the Merits of Stay Tape

  1. Thanks for this, and for all your helpful sewalong posts. I’m not following the sewalong, but I’m sure I’ll be back to check these out in the future!

  2. And leftovers bits and pieces of fsible tricot interfacing work in a pinch when you have run out of stay tape. Thanks for the reminder. I’m getting ready for a small project where it will come in handy.

    1. Yes, I believe so. Hem tape is usually a bit heavier and thicker than stay tape. Usually stay tape is extremely thin/fine so it’s really unnoticeable in seams. Seriously, magic.

  3. Such a timely post! Just yesterday I was cursing the only type of stay tape that’s available in my area–it’s a silly piece of plastic that gets chewed up and eaten by my sewing machine every time! Why oh why do they bother to sell it? I can’t imagine a scenario where it actually works as advertised. But, enough ranting– I’ll definitely have to invest in some of the better grades you’re offering in your store. Thanks for helping to solve such a frustrating problem!

  4. I used to be against stay tape too until I made a garment (sans stay tape) and it stretched out like crazy! Thanks for the recommendation on stay tapes!

  5. I don’t mind sewing tape – so I just save selvedges. Then I can get my ‘stay tape’ in a range of colours, not just black and white, and you use a bit of your fabric that you’d otherwise throw out 🙂

  6. I’m curious what I would do if an edge of the stay tape doesn’t get completely enclosed in an inseam or binding. Would I trim the tape to a smaller width or just leave some exposed?
    thank you

  7. I clicked on the links. The description says there are 3 different colors (black, white, natural) but the drop down only lets me have white. Is that a glitch in the system and you do have the others, or are you out and will have them in soon? Thanks!

  8. I’ve never used stay tape, but it does seem pretty magical now that I see it in action. I’ll definitely have it check it out, especially the next time I use knits.

  9. Truly, most sewing notions were developed to solve real problems. There is no shame in resorting to commercial seam tape, hem tape, interfacing, etc. Yes, you can make do without them — people did for thousands of years — but why not make life easier on yourself when you can?

  10. I’ll be honest–I never really understood the point of stay tape. But now that I see it in action here, I can think of some failed projects that could have benefited from this type of treatment. Thanks!

  11. I’m sorry, I’m really a newbie to sewing but I really don’t know what you mean by ‘stretched out seams’

    1. I think maybe once you start delving into fabrics that are more drapey, you’ll definitely know what I mean. Also, seams that are cut on the bias, like the wrap dress front, can stretch out in any sort of fabric. When a seam has stretched and you simply sew up a garment with the seam still stretched, it will leave a rippled-like and gaping mess. This is especially true of curved necklines.

  12. I love this tape too – which is good because I recently bought 30 mts! Just be careful placing the iron directly onto it. Better to use an ironing cloth and more heat to ensure that seal is enduring.

  13. A++ for usage of “malarkey”!!! I love that word! And I’m psyched that you’re carrying this now, as once my Vilene Pellon bias tape is used up, I know where to get something just as fab 🙂 It wasn’t until I found that stuff that I became a believer in stay tape, too.

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