I love to use vinyl for sewing. I make a lot of bags and vinyl works great for these types of projects. Clear vinyl is perfect for making pockets you can see through to help make organizers more functional, and they look great.
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Problem: Vinyl Sticks
Vinyl has a tendency to stick to itself, the sewing machine, and your presser foot. This can make your stitches and fabric uneven. Luckily their are a few options to help with this.
Non-Stick Presser Foot- You can buy a nonstick presser foot for your sewing machine that will allow the fabric to slide under it.
Tape-Apply matte tape to the bottom of your presser foot. Don’t forget to leave an open space for your needle. You can also apply tape on either side of the feed dogs to help the vinyl slide on the sewing machine.
Tissue Paper-Use a piece of tissue paper on both sides of your vinyl to keep it from touching the sewing machine or presser foot. Once you’re done sewing you can easily rip the tissue paper away. This works well but it is hard to see what you are sewing and it does require a n extra step to rip the paper away.
Cornstarch-Rub a small amount of cornstarch across the vinyl where it will meet the sewing machine and the presser foot. You need very little cornstarch, you shouldn’t be able to see that you’ve used it.
Problem: Holes Are Permanent
Set your stitch length to a medium to medium long length. Every hole you put in the vinyl will stay in the finished product. If your stitch length is too small you will basically be creating a perforated line where you can rip the fabric apart. I usually use a medium stitch length with no problems.
Leather Needles-Leather needles leave a smaller hole so these work well for vinyl. I don’t usually have leather needles so I end up using universal needles and they work fine. If you are trying to decrease the size of the holes though this would work.
Wonder Clips– Pins will leave holes in your vinyl that will not go away. To avoid this you can keep your pins in the seam allowance or use Wonder Clips. I really like Wonder Clips so I already have them on hand and they work great with vinyl. If you don’t hav wonder slips try paper clips. This seems like it would be a little annoying, especially if you are making a bag, but it would work in a pinch.
Problem: Vinyl Can’t Be Ironed
Vinyl is easily wrinkled. A super annoying trait for a material you can’t iron. To smooth out wrinkles use a hair dryer on it. Smooth the wrinkles out with a cloth as you go. Just be careful not to burn yourself.
Seams-You can use a pressing cloth and a cool iron to press seams.
Vinyl isn’t as easy to sew with as cotton but it is worth using. You’ll open yourself up to a quite a few more projects by adding vinyl to your materials list. What is your favorite project that uses vinyl?
I would love to see how your projects turn out. Post pictures to Instagram #boutsofspontaneouscrafting.