12 Minis in 12 Months

4 Tips for Sewing with Vinyl

*This post was inspired by How to Sew.

Vinyl can be a really useful material to use for a bunch of different types of projects, like my Hello Pouches pattern. Since it’s see-through, the vinyl allows you to see inside the pouch without actually opening. This is only one of the many applications of vinyl in projects. 

However, sewing with vinyl can be tricky because it sticks to your pressing foot. It’s also much thicker than regular fabric, and it doesn’t maneuver the same, either. Sometimes, this means broken needles if you don’t take the right precautions. Here are 4 tips you can use to sew with vinyl:

1. Use a size 90 needle. Since vinyl is so much thicker and less pliable than normal fabric, it requires a special needle. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bunch of broken needles and an unfinished project. A thicker needle (specifically size 90) will do the trick in punching through the vinyl, and it should be strong enough to withstand it and keep from breaking.

2. Use a Teflon foot or adhere tape on your regular pressing foot. Vinyl is sticky and doesn’t slide as smoothly along your pressing foot as normal fabric does. You’ll have a really hard time getting your vinyl to move through your machine if you are using your regular pressing foot. A teflon foot is a separate part that you’ll need to purchase, but its non-stick metal will help the vinyl glide along its surface, and it’ll be so worth it! For a less permanent fix, you can also stick adhere tape to the bottom of the pressing foot, which will have a similar effect. It may wear off and start to fall off eventually, which is why I recommend the teflon foot option, but in a pinch, the adhere tape should do the trick.

3. Don’t use pins. Use wondertape instead. If you use pins to try and secure your vinyl to the rest of your project, you will have a bunch of unsightly holes leftover on your finished project. The tiny holes in your fabric allow space for the pins to poke through without leaving permanent or noticeable holes. Vinyl obviously doesn’t respond to pins the same way, which is why I recommend using wondertape. It’s really easy to apply and is clear so that it doesn’t leave unsightly residue. 

4. Use tissue paper. Vinyl will stick to the bottom of your machine in the same way it will stick to your pressing foot. It’s a little more complicated to address this than the foot because you can’t swap out the part as easily. You can use tissue paper between your vinyl and the machine and it’ll glide along much more easily. 

There you have it! These four tips will help you to sew with ease with vinyl and avoid sticking, broken needles, and extra, unsightly holes. Now grab your favorite vinyl pattern and let your next creation come to life!

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