Tips to sewing with Vinyl

I’ve been working on some Valentine’s Day projects lately and one of them involves vinyl. Yick. It took me a while, but I finally got some things figured out!
Red Marine Vinyl from Joann’s
The first thing I figured out was to cut this one layer at a time! I tend to be an impatient cutter, so if it’s just cotton or something, I can do four or so layers. Straight lines with my rotary and a ruler, I can manage way more! But vinyl is apparently finicky and you don’t end up with accurate lines when you do it that way. So I took it as a lesson in patience. Or something…
I know a lot of people use binder clips or paper clips to hold their vinyl, but I found if I pinned close to the edges,
the pin holes practically disappeared by the end.
I also found on curved seams, you still have to clip the seam allowance. I thought I could get away with just flipping it over (yeah, yeah, the whole patience thing didn’t stick), but that caused real problems!
These (hard-to-see) little messy spots are from not clipping the seams, and also from sewing the lining on the outside. That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but since the vinyl doesn’t have any give to it, it pulled the lining away from the edges – despite using pins – and made it a pain in the patoot to keep even while sewing.
Messed up sides
 Vinyl under tissue
As for the actual sewing, I’ve heard a couple different methods for keeping the vinyl from sticking to the presser foot. My son is currently addicted to Mythbusters, so I figured I better conduct my own experiment!
The first method is to use tissue paper over the vinyl. This worked, to an extent. It was really difficult to see where I was sewing though, and the paper stuck inside the stitches.
Also, it would take forever to pick it out of all the seams!
The second way is to put a piece of Scotch tape over the bottom of the foot. Be sure to cut out a little window over where the needle goes down before you start sewing! Some of us forgot this little step and now have a sticky needle…
Other than that, it worked like a charm! Even with a fancy stitch that moved the vinyl all over the place.
And it worked quite well on the actual project, too – curves and all.
So – wanna see what I’m making? Of course you do!

                               A button just for Tasha

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These sweet little bags! Personally, I’m in love with them! My normal philosophy is to make boy stuff because there are sooo many girly things available, but I couldn’t resist when I had this idea :)
They have a lace strap and are lined with white, sparkle gray, or dark gray and have random pretty buttons from my collection (I knew I was saving those for something!).
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Happy sewing!
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