Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sewing Vinyl

If you've ever tried to sew vinyl or plastic, you've discovered that the metal presser foot on your sewing machine STICKS to it like nobody's business.  

What can you do?  The solution is simple: just put a piece of tape over the bottom of the presser foot.  Really, that's it.  I used an xacto knife to cut out the bit where the needle and thread go through.  When you're done sewing the vinyl, just peel off the tape. Ta da!

I used this technique to sew a vinyl dress and to add a pocket to the inside cover of a small notebook.

71 Comments leave a comment

7/9/2008 10:10 PM

April said ...
Thank you so much for posting this! I feel like a complete idiot now for not having the same brilliant idea. Your advice came just in time too since I am about to sew some vinyl for a special gift. :)
7/9/2008 11:00 PM

Sister Diane said ...
Further evidence that you are a flippin' genius.
7/9/2008 11:08 PM

ismoyo said ...
Oh yeah, i do that too!
It works wonders for the otherwise so sticky vinyl!
7/9/2008 11:14 PM

kat said ...

i hope whatever you're sewing out of vinyl isn't a part of what you were crocheting in the previous post. i'm just saying.
7/9/2008 11:49 PM

Sukey said ...
this is BRILLIANT! i usually put paper on top of my vinyl and just rip it away after, but it's hard to see exactly where you're sewing this way. your way is ingenious!!
7/10/2008 1:44 AM

alice said ...
Great tip!!
7/10/2008 3:54 AM

LeeAnn said ...
Smarty pants! Thanks or sharing!
7/10/2008 7:15 AM

Neus Herranz said ...
Great idea. I plan on doing some vinyl bags to classify the recycling, and this tip will be very useful
7/10/2008 7:52 AM

Curupisa said ...
Thanks for the tip! Here it is way too expensive to buy a teflon foot.
7/10/2008 9:49 AM

JennyC.No3 said ...
7/10/2008 10:18 AM

Jody said ...
You are such a rock star! I never would have thought of that :)

7/10/2008 10:26 AM

Wendy said ...
Fantastic! Now I just need to find some vinyl to sew.
7/10/2008 12:42 PM

HildeC said ...
You are a genius!!!! I've been thinking over and over again how to solve that problem. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! :-)
7/10/2008 5:32 PM

Awesome Idea!
7/10/2008 7:29 PM

dorie said ...
nice hint--thanks!
7/10/2008 8:59 PM

Michelle said ...
Excellent tip! And so much cheaper than having to buy a teflon foot!
7/10/2008 10:14 PM

Vivienne said ...
Wonderful idea, so simple it really needs a genius to think it up.
7/11/2008 1:26 AM

erin wilk said ...
great tip! I always just used a teflon foot- they're less than $5 most of the time, and I'm lazy, so I use mine on almost every fabric rather than change it out.... I also found that the teflon feet work fantasticly on thin, loosely woven materials that normally just get pulled out of shape. Wonder if the tape trick would work on them?
7/11/2008 4:43 PM

Tina said ...
FABULOUS tip!!! I was looking into getting a new foot for my machine. You just saved me about $50!
7/11/2008 6:30 PM

julie said ...
That's genius! I'll have to try it.
7/11/2008 6:59 PM

Peggy said ...
Would never of thought of that. Thanks for the tip.
7/12/2008 1:32 AM

kalurah said ...
Oh my simple!
I have always just sewn over thin tissue paper or air mail paper (not cheap) and then torn it away when I'm done sewing.
This is WAY simpler!! :P
7/14/2008 2:39 AM

Sarah said ...
You have completely rocked my sewing world with this tip!Thank you!!!
7/15/2008 7:03 PM

Ann said ...
What a simple solution!

I had no idea what was going on when I was trying the vinyl stitching. I figured my lack of experience was killing any chance I had; I ended up adding grommets around the perimeter and knitting up the sides (it was a bag). Back to where it was safe.
8/3/2008 11:26 AM

Shannon said ...
Wow!!! This is the best tip EVER. I usually stick paper over the vinyl part and then gently tear it out when I've finished sewing but that adds the the time it takes to sew with vinyl. Thank you for sharing!
8/9/2008 5:58 PM

Colleen said ...
Oh my gosh, how stupid am I?? I just finished a pocket chart with plastic pockets where I had to redo every other pocket. I started by trying to use tissue but it kept slipping. Then I used talc but got worried about my machine. Then I had the brilliant (?) idea to use painters blue tape! lol Only unlike you, I taped all the pockets on and sewed over the blue tape and then pulled it off. Now you have made it clear that I could have just taped the presser foot! Too funny. I still have two more charts to go and your suggestion will be used on the next two. I was brain addled by the end.
6/24/2009 5:58 PM

club penguin said ...
I usually put paper on top of my vinyl and just rip it away after, but it's hard to see exactly where you're sewing this way. your way is ingenious!
7/5/2009 9:32 PM

futuregirl said ...
Colleen ... Well, at least you can finish up without the headaches. :)
7/6/2009 10:38 PM

Jane said ...
Worked unbelievably! I was ready to throw my project and the sewing machine away!
8/2/2009 9:45 PM

futuregirl said ...
Jane ... I hear you! It can be frustrating when nothing. will. move!
8/20/2009 9:27 PM

anne marie said ...
THANK YOU for sharing this. i googled this exact problem just now and came across your blog. thanks so much!
9/20/2009 6:15 AM

so glad i found this post today while catching up on your recent ones. I'm getting ready to buy some plastic to make a new table cover and was dreading the thought of trying to sew it. i have hope now. thank you. : )
11/22/2009 11:19 AM

Jean Toler said ...
You are a genius!! I was sewing vinyl, and about to
have a nervous breakdown, so stopped, came in to the computer, got on your website, and read about putting tape on the pressure foot! It was like a miracle! I finished my project, and now I am a much wiser person. Thanks a million!! ?
12/10/2009 6:31 PM

nina pawlowsky said ...
Wow!! Thanks for that... I'm a teacher and my students always want to sew vinyl and I get crazy over them. This is a real excellent idea! Thank you so much!
6/7/2010 3:00 PM

futuregirl replied ...
nina pawlowsky ... Yay for averting crazy! I'm sure they'll come up with something new to drive you nuts with. :)
6/23/2010 8:43 PM

sakeena said ...
WHAT?!! This WORKED :| I just sewed through 4 layers of vinyl. You saved me $14! teflon foot shmeflon foot!
7/5/2010 2:43 PM

futuregirl replied ...
sakeena ... Woohoo! More money for cupcakes!
7/5/2010 2:53 PM

Dorcas Christian said ...
wow thank you I sew beanbags and this will help me ...!
11/10/2010 7:51 AM

futuregirl replied ...
Dorcas Christian ... Yay!
11/10/2010 6:38 PM

laura said ...
Thank you for this tip!! Tried sewing oilcloth one time. Winded up throwing it away because of this very problem> Wish I had known this trick then!! lol
3/23/2011 6:55 PM

futuregirl replied ...
laura ... Oh, yeah, it would work for oilcloth, too, wouldn't it? Thanks for pointing that out! Too bag it wasn't in time to save your project. :)
3/28/2011 2:34 AM

maureen furlong said ...
Thank you for that fab tip.
5/19/2011 8:45 AM

Erin said ...
Hi. I just wanted to let you know that I saw this tip on Pinterest, and I'm mentioning it on my blog.
5/31/2011 9:52 PM

futuregirl replied ...
Erin ... Too bad it didn't work on your double-sided vinyl. Maybe you could try tape on the presser foot and tissue paper underneath (which you can just pull off after stitching through it)?
6/9/2011 12:10 PM

Karen said ...
I just tried all the other tips I could find and came up empty. This was perfect!! And free? Almost too good to be true. Thank you!
6/9/2011 11:48 AM

futuregirl replied ...
Karen ... I could send you an invoice ... ha! :) Happy to help!
6/9/2011 12:09 PM

THANK YOU... you just saved my sanity.
6/13/2011 1:50 PM

geraldine said ...
What type of tape did you use?
7/12/2011 11:17 AM

futuregirl replied ...
geraldine ... It's just regular tape that you'd use at an office. The non-sticky side is sort of matte. Tape that has a high-gloss, shiny non-sticky side probably wouldn't work.
7/22/2011 2:27 PM

Nicole said ...
really? so easy. thanks for sharing!
9/27/2011 8:02 AM

Maria said ...
Really? So clever! Thanks for sharing!
10/28/2011 2:13 PM

Thank you! It works and was exactly what I needed to know.
12/7/2011 1:20 PM

jford said ...
Thanks for posting this.. as I am about to sew a vinyl cover for a grill on a diesel truck grill. found you on Pinterest.
2/4/2012 3:03 PM

futuregirl replied ...
jford ... Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to comment. :)
2/13/2012 10:44 AM

joan said ...
this is a good piece of information thanks.I learn ssomething today. what a clever idea.....
2/23/2012 3:21 PM

Mary said ...
I have been ready to tear my hair out trying to sew a vinyl project for my mom's group. A week straight of trying this or that with NOTHING frustrating!! I can't wait to try this today!
3/1/2012 5:55 AM

Sharon said ...
Such an innovative idea! Thanks for sharing!
3/1/2012 8:55 PM

Cathy Heley said ...
Great idea...I just purchased some vinyl. Thanks
4/16/2012 8:01 AM

Larissa said ...
Hey! Just wanted to say this tip saved my project. I was knee deep in when I discovered that the laminated cotton I was sewing clung to the foot so much that it wouldn't feed through. One of my readers gave me this link and it worked like a charm. I had to use blue painter's tape because the clear tape I had on hand was too shiny and had the same grabby effect as without the tape. Thanks for posting this ridiculously easy fix!
4/28/2012 12:01 PM

Linda said ...
Wow, now isn't that a TA DAH moment!! Thanks, Linda
8/2/2012 6:11 PM

Ellie said ...
Thank you, thank you!! Just sewed a vinyl bag for my daughter and both of us were pulling, lol! She wanted me to sew some more but I said this was the first and last! I will reconsider now, this will make it sooo much easier.
8/28/2012 9:52 PM

Hilda said ...
This is fantastic idea. I like to do book covers and it is so, frustrating.
Thanks for the idea, I gonna try.
11/29/2012 11:24 PM

Belle said ...
I'm with Sukey. Have always used paper when adding card holder pockets to bags and purses. Can't wait to try this!
2/18/2013 9:48 AM

Lisa said ...
I'm sooo glad I found this! I was about to go spend money on a teflon foot. I also put a piece of tracing paper under the vinyl to the left of presser foot sometimes. From time to time the vinyl gets stuck to my extension sewing surface. The tracing paper keeps it running smoothly. Now that I have the tape hint...I should have nooo more sticking problems at all! Thanks you sew much!!
3/4/2013 8:14 PM

futuregirl replied ...
Lisa ... Woohoo! :) Thanks for taking the time to comment.
3/9/2013 7:54 AM

Nina said ...
Wow I was actually going to Joanns to buy a special foot for vinyl boy am I glad you posted this ...brilliant idea!!!! Many many thanks
6/27/2013 9:02 AM

futuregirl replied ...
Nina ... Yay! Thanks for the comment. :)
6/30/2013 2:51 PM

Marlne said ...
6/27/2013 12:38 PM

futuregirl replied ...
Marlne ... Thanks!
6/30/2013 2:52 PM
Rosario said ...
Gracias por el dato, jejee... yo también había probado con distintos papeles y no me había resultado . Ya mismo lo voy a intentar con tu "invento"...
6/29/2014 6:17 AM


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