If you’ve been following me for a while you’re likely familiar with the woven labels I sell in my shop. The labels are designed by me and intended to be the finishing touch on all your handmade textile projects. If you’re new to sewing or just would like a little more info about how exactly you can use a woven label I’m going to share more info about that today.
First, there are two common styles of woven woven labels: ones that are sewn into seams and ones that are sewn on top of flat pieces of fabric. The first is what you often see in clothes you purchase from stores. They usually have the garment size, washing instructions, brand name and country of origin. You may also find these inside the garment along the inside side seam. Often you may not even notice these tags unless they are scratchy and bothersome.
The second type of woven label is one with the left and right sides folded under and sewn on top of the garment or project. This is a great label style that can often be added to already sewn projects since they can be added on top of just about any piece of fabric.
Below I’m going to jump deeper into the various methods of sewing labels as well as some tips for securing them while you sew.
Sew into a seam
inside the garment
My favorite place for this type of label is in the inside, center back. It’s a helpful way to indicate which side is the back because no one wants to have to think about that when getting dressed. Just sandwich the label between a seam while you’re sewing.
outside the garment/project
This is fun if you want the labels to be on display! Extra fun for kids clothes or on non-apparel projects like storage bins.
Sew in between bias tape
Same as sewing along the inside seam of a garment but you sandwich the label between the folded bias tape and the fabric.
Sew along all sides to create a “patch”
All the labels intended to be sewn into seams can also be turned into a little label patch. Fold the top edges down and give them a good press with a hot iron. Then use a straight stitch to edge stitch along all sides.
Sew on top of a finished project
Sew along the short sides with a straight stitch
This is the most common way to sew these labels. You can match your thread to your label or use a contrasting color to make it pop.
Sew along the short sides with a decorative stitch/contrasting thread
If your sewing machine does a small, decorative stitch you can use this to sew the label onto the project. I recommend testing the stitch on a scrap piece of fabric because you might want to adjust the stitch width/length to get the look you want. Once you test it out, give it a go! I like using a cross-stitch looking stitch for this that mimics simple hand sewn stitches.
Hand sew in each corner to secure
You don’t need to use a sewing machine to sew the labels onto finished projects. You can also sew both types of labels by hand. Use a simple whip stitch to secure the edges or sew little “x”s in each corner to secure it in place.
Sew along all sides to create a “patch”
Used your machine to sew a straight stitch very close to the edge along all sides. You can also do this by hand for a similar look.
Combine both styles of labels
Combine both types of woven labels into one super label! All my labels can be mixed and matched to create one custom label. Before sewing them onto your project, sew an inseam label onto another such as the Handmade or You Are Beautiful label using color matched thread. Then sew the wider label along the short sides as you normally would.
Tips for securing labels while you sew
I have two favorite materials that I often use every time I sew a label onto a project. The first is something you may already have on hand—an Elmer’s washable glue stick! I love using these because they are super cheap and I usually have them on hand for my daughter’s craft projects. If sewing a label into a seam, apply a little bit of glue on the inside of the label to keep the edges aligned. Next, apply a little glue near the top edge, on the front and back sides of the label. I usually place one straight pin in it secure and then I sew it into the seam as normal. The glue completely washes out the first time you wash the finished garment/project.
The second method I like to use is holding the labels in place using washable double-sided Wonder Tape. Cut or tear off a small piece of the tape and remove the paper backing. Place the tape near the top edge, on the front and back sides of the label. Remove the tape on the other side and press into place, then sew as normal and the tape will dissolve the first time you was the finished garment/project.