Sew-In Magnet Stitching Tips

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So…

I tell everyone who will listen that I LOVE using our sew-in invisible magnet snaps because…

  • They snap together first-time EVERY-time!
  • They’re EASY to sew in place with a regular machine needle.
  • And they’re strong enough to keep my bag firmly closed until I WANT to open it!

As a matter of fact, it’s the strength of these magnets that causes the only real downside I’ve found to using them, because here’s the deal… once they are sewn into a project, you pretty much have to keep them “face up”, away from the metal sewing bed or they will clamp to the machine so firmly that it’s hard to keep your project moving thru the feed dogs. And this solution works well except for when I want to do a little topstitching, because I for one don’t do my best topstitching from the underside of my project. (how about you?)
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I was contemplating this dilemma a few days ago and when it was time to do a little topstitching on a bag I was thinking, “what if I could cover up these magnets just long enough so they wouldn’t interfere with my top-stitching”??? And then it hit me…

EUREKA!

magnetshield5What would happen if I covered the magnetic face of each sewn-in magnet with a spare magnet from my stash?  So I pulled out a spare magnet set, separated the pieces (above right) and placed it over the sewn-in magnet allowing it to snap into place. (at right)

Then I placed my bag front “magnet-side-down” on my machine to see if the magnet would still clamp down tightly to my metal machine bed and you know what? The difference was amazing. While the covered magnet was still attracted to the metal bed, the attraction was very manageable and didn’t interfere with the normal movement of the feed dogs! I was ecstatic.

magnetshield3Now I can almost hear some of you saying, “That’s great Kat, but I don’t have spare magnet sets just laying around like you do. Is there anything else I can use to get the same effect?” So I tried several things.

I tried covering the magnet faces with small pieces of metal from the hubster’s shop, but this was ineffective since the magnetic field passed right thru that metal causing it to clamp to the machine bed just as tight as the magnet itself did. What I really needed was something non-metallic with a magnetic field of it’s own and that’s when I remembered my extensive collection of refrigerator magnets (at left).

magnetshield6They cut easily with scissors, so as you can see (at left), I made them just the right size to cover the magnet. And while I found them to be very effective at negating the magnets attraction to the metal machine bed, BUT… I also found that they were not held in place as firmly as the spare magnet was in the example above, and because of this, they sometimes came detached as the fabric was moved and repositioned. I circumvented this problem by waiting as long as possible to place the refrigerator magnet in place.

magnetshield8Later on in the process, I re-tested these “magnet-neutralization” techniques to make sure they would both still be effective even after the magnet “faces” were covered by the lining, and they were!

In the picture at right, I’m putting spare magnet pieces to work for me so I can topstitch close to the gathered cording on the top edge of this bag front, as did my cut-down refrigerator magnet pieces also continued to be effective.

So… in conclusion…

The best way to keep sew-in magnets from engaging with the machine bed is STILL to keep them facing UP and away from the metallic machine bed as you stitch. However, some procedures (such as topstitching) are best handled with your magnets facing DOWN and in these cases we recommend engaging (and thus neutralizing) them with either a spare magnet or a refrigerator magnet.

And now…. it’s YOUR turn!

Do you think you might try either of these methods the next time you use one of our sew-in magnets? And most important… can you think of any other item or material that might be a suitable substitute? And remember, we love reading your comments and answering your questions too, so please feel free to leave your remarks in the space provided below.

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6 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. Great idea you are a “problem solver ” for sure !!

    • I really dont know why i didnt think of it before. The old “plain as the nose on your face” adage applies here I guess. It doesnt TOTALLY solve the problem, but it certainly makes it MUCH easier. 🙂 Try it!

  2. I have found that if I put a piece of printer paper between the magnet & fabric and the metal plate and another piece on top of the magnet I can sew them on, through the paper, and then easily rip the paper off when I am done. the top paper is to keep my presser foot from “sticking” on the plastic which was an aggravating problem from the first time I tried to sew these plastic covered magnets onto fabric.

    • I’ve never had that problem with the presser foot sticking to the plastic. That’s a new one on me, but I’m glad this works for you! 🙂

  3. Great idea! I think I might just get a spare magnet set to have on hand for the next time I’m working with magnets. Having them stick to the throat plate hard enough to remove it, is a huge problem for me–one which I partially solve by lifting the magnet a bit with my hand. To me, the ease of not having the magnets remove the throat plate, would be worth the cost of keeping a spare magnet!!! Thanks for the tip!

  4. All these ideas are so clever. I won’t shun those magnets in my next project.