Saturday, December 29, 2012


Between holiday celebrations and end of the year inventory I also managed to eliminate one of my pet peeves the other day. I treated myself to a gift-to-me this holiday season. You might asking yourself what it is that makes me almost as happy as the diamond necklace from my hubby? It is simple. I have tamed the wicked Velcro on my winter jacket!

I hate Velcro. I know it has fabulous uses. Everything from the now defunct space program to toddler tennis shoes. I am aware that the introduction of Velcro changed the way we live. I even know that the product was developed by a guy that was trying to figure out why those thorny, chigger type plants stuck to his socks. Maybe "hate" is too strong of a word. It isn't like I rank Velcro up at the top of the list with things like..... stinkbugs. Let me correct myself.  Having exposed Velcro on my winter jacket drives me CRAZY!

I own a very nice ski jacket from L.L.Bean. It has a double zipper, tons of pockets, is light weight and warm. The strange material tabs that were used to Velcro the sleeves so that the air doesn't blow up your arm cracked and split shortly after buying it, so I cut those off. But that isn't the point. It is a nice jacket. It also has four strips of Velcro that close a flap over the zipper. The soft side of the Velcro, the kind that is left unused on my sleeves, isn't a problem. It is the gripper side that has caused me hours of frustration. When the jacket is worn open, which is more often than not, those Velcro strips grab on to anything they pass, including the remaining sleeve Velcro. I've spent a lot of time in that jacket stuck to myself - or the items that I was shopping for. If you have ever witnessed a battle between Velcro grip and a fine knit sweater, you know the bittersweet feeling as that sweater is scarred for life.

Enough of this daily aggravation! I have a kajillion dollars worth of sewing equipment at my disposal. I should be able to fix this.

I started by finding a scrap of black Ultra Suede in my stash. For all of you nay-sayers out there, this proves that saving things dating from the 1980's is not a total waste of space! The scrap was large enough to embroider and it matched the black accents on my coat.
Using the BERNINA software I quickly digitized a simple design and selected a spool of thread to match my odd shade of blue coat. Having the entire line of Isacord thread at your disposal comes in handy. I never have to worry about making a trip to the store for the right color, because nine times out of ten I'm working on these projects AT the store. Being in the store also came in handy when Brandon recommended that I use a #90 needle. Having a top-notch Tech at your disposal is pretty convienient too.

The process was simple, stitch out the design and an outline that was digitized the same size as the Velcro patches on my coat. Flip the hoop over and position soft Velcro strips in each of the outline areas. (I cut these longer than necessary and held them in place with tape) Put the hoop back on the machine and stitch the outline again. That stitched the Velcro to the back of the designs. I took them out of the hoop and trimmed them to size. Using the Ultra Suede meant that the edges were finished and will never fray. I chose a water soluble stabilizer for the project, so that was easy to remove.

TA-DA! Problem solved! I simply placed the decorative Velcro strips over the offending gripper strips and snag-no-more! If I ever have the desire to close the zipper flap I can simply peel off the decorative tabs and store them in one of the 17 assorted pockets.

Scrap of Ultra Suede - Free
Velcro - .70 cents
Thread to match jacket - $5.89
Software to digitize the design - $1999.00
Embroidery Machine - $10,000
Eliminating the aggravation - Priceless
Satisfaction - worth a million bucks!

I think L.L. Bean should include these with your coat!


BrendaLou said...

I totally agree!

Bunnie said...

I know this is late, but I love your ideas.

Jannah Delfin said...

Great post. I hope you can write more good stuff like this article.

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