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Sewing Vinyl 
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Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:30 am
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Unread post Sewing Vinyl
So, I'm starting to make my first head wrap, as per Kulu's awesome tutorial. I'm running into a snag, though: When trying to topstich, my sewing machine won't grab the "right" side of the vinyl - it's too sticky. Any suggestions, or should I resign myself to attempting a pretty handstich?

Progress picture included because posts are more fun with pictures! ;)

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Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:10 am
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Unread post Re: Sewing Vinyl
Are you using a ballpoint needle, like for knits? That helps a ton. Otherwise I've done it two ways (and sworn "Never again!" after both). One was to use scotch tape over the surface, then carefully tear it off. The other is to use a fine-mist spray bottle and keep the vinyl damp. That was easier than the tape but still not much fun.

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Mon Feb 07, 2011 2:40 am
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Unread post Re: Sewing Vinyl
Which way are you sewing? Right side to the foot or to the plate? I recommend to the foot.

Depending on how slick or sticky your vinyl is is how to go ;) Also it depends on your machine.

I always recommend a leather needle for vinyl and pvc regardless of the backing fabric because the plastic needs to be cut through. Any other needle will stretch that layer before/rather than cut it and then the shuttle cannot loop the bottom thread through the top.

I have sewn for long enough that I can guide my fabric through the machine with the foot pressure eased right off and have an even stitch, so I tend to do that. On my newer machine there is a knob at the top of the machine directly above foot to increase or decrease foot pressure. On my older I have to open the side of the arm and release a spring ;) I did this to top stitch 4 way stretch PVC on my Catwoman corset and that is about as fiddly as all heck ;)

There are walking feet or teflon feet that will help in some cases- the former has feed dogs much like in the machine itself to guide the top at the same rate as the bottom the latter is supposedly slick enough to allow the vinyl to slide under the foot. Both are very expensive.

If you are okay picking tissue out of every stitch you can also lay tissue over the coated side. I don't recommend this, fine pieces remain and show up really starkly if you use white tissue on any other colour than white. You may also be able to use a wash away stabilising material, but I haven't seen any here that would work this way. It needn't be expensive if you clip right to the stitch line before dissolving in water.

I also highly recommend a very strong smooth thread polyester for preference. I use Metrosene almost exclusively for stretch and coated fabrics. Cheaper threads are made of shorter fibres so they break more easily.

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Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:15 am
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Unread post Re: Sewing Vinyl
sorry i havent been on for a while O.o but if you are having issues with the vinyl sticking to the presser foot you can

1. buy a Teflon presser foot

2. put a piece of scotch tape over your presser foot and poke holes for the needle to go through (works most of the time)

3. put a piece of tissue paper between the vinyl and your presser foot. this is the option that i chose, just make sure its a pretty sheer piece of paper, if the vinyl is sticking to the plate under your foot then you can put the tissue paper between the vinyl and there too. when you are done sewing the paper rips right off

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Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:00 am
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Unread post Re: Sewing Vinyl
Thanks for all the tips!

I've been using a regular sharp needle, but I'll see if I have a ballpoint needle to try. Since I'm going through two layers of vinyl, both sticky-side out, both the foot and plate are sticking. I'll start off attempting the scotch tape method, then move down the list until something works...

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Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:41 am
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Unread post Re: Sewing Vinyl
Kulu wrote:
2. put a piece of scotch tape over your presser foot and poke holes for the needle to go through (works most of the time)


Brilliant!

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Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:37 pm
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Unread post Re: Sewing Vinyl
lol i would love to take credit for the scotch tape idea, but unfortunately i found that solution through Googleing how to sew vinyl in frustration over all the sticking!

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Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:04 pm
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Unread post Re: Sewing Vinyl
baby powder.
I used it to sew a vinyl vest and the needle went right through and came off with dam p cloth but make sure to blow out the machine so the powder doesnt gunk it up


Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:54 am
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Unread post Re: Sewing Vinyl
Update: The scotch tape method definitely helps. It's still not easy to keep the vinyl moving through the machine, but now it's definitely working better than before. Thanks everyone for the advice!

Edit:
Aaand here's another picture! I need to get some white velcro...

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Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:00 pm
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Unread post Re: Sewing Vinyl
Sapphire Phoenix wrote:
baby powder.


Oooh, also brilliant. I'm making a new headwrap tomorrow out of a pleather that's given me fits in the past and I will SO give this method a whirl. I'd rather use canned air on my sewing machine than spend 15 minutes picking tape bits out of my seams.

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Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:55 am
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