Sewing Clear Vinyl?

topic posted Fri, May 19, 2006 - 12:27 PM by  ..XS..
Hey Kids. Newbie here. Question fer-ya....

Current project involves sewing clear vinyl.

I'm making see-through garments for the burn. I saw clear plastic rain coats online and was inspired. I'm thinking about skirts, tunics, maybe even a jacket, all to be worn with limited undergarments, if any. Then I plan to run EL wire through out and light is up baby.

I've experimented with some lighter weight plastic (shower curtains) just to get a feel for it. Challenging shit. And I'm no expert. But I have unlimited determination.

It's a pain in the ass so far, but this is what I've learned...

Can't iron directly for obvious reason, but if I cover the material with paper, I can iron down seams/hems pretty well. Since it's vinyl, it doesn't really necesitate hems, no threads to run.

Stiches need to be pretty wide, too many needle holes seem to ruin the look and make a mess of the seams/hems.

Talcum powder seems to help prevent the shit from sticking all together while trying to run it through the machine.

Any tips, suggestions, helpful hints, links, references etc...from anyone with experience with vinyl (about 20 mil, thick stuff) would be tremendously appreciated.

Thanks in advance kids.

XS de la playa....
posted by:
Los Angeles
  • Unsu...

    Re: Sewing Clear Vinyl?

    Fri, May 19, 2006 - 12:41 PM
    you pretty much have it, although I would add the following:

    I recommend, instead of talcum powder which may gum up your machine to either a) buy a teflon foot (around $12) or b) cover a foot with blue painter's tape. That will help keep the vinyl from sticking to the foot. Also, when I was making a vinyl corset, I was having the damndest time with the vinyl sticking to the plastic of my sewing machine's body. So I covered the entire thing with the same blue painter's tape. Worked like a charm!

    I would recommend the painter's tape over using regular paper tape because painter's tape is easier to peel off when you're done with it.
  • Unsu...

    Re: Sewing Clear Vinyl?

    Fri, May 19, 2006 - 12:45 PM
    oh, yes...

    because pinholes show in vinyl, generally you want to pin within the seam allowance, if at all. Thick vinyl, though, may be well impossible to pin, so taping the sides together with more blue tape or doublesided tape should work.
    • Re: Sewing Clear Vinyl?

      Fri, May 19, 2006 - 12:52 PM
      Ooooooh.... Good ones Isara. Glad to know I'm off to a good start. As far as pins go, I've tried to pin along the anticipated seam or thread line. It seemed to have worked well in the previous experiments. Finger's crossed and forging ahead. Thank you baby.
      • Unsu...

        Re: Sewing Clear Vinyl?

        Fri, May 19, 2006 - 1:45 PM
        good luck! :)
        • Re: Sewing Clear Vinyl?

          Fri, May 19, 2006 - 4:37 PM
          I used to use strips of tissue paper along the stitch line instead of tape. It rips out really easy and you can sew over it with no special foot. I'd cut the strips about an inch wide and lay them over the seam as I sewed. There's some commercial stuff for stabilizing embroidery called stitch and tear that I've used when it was around. Same thing- cut a strip, sew over it and tear away. If the vinyl is thick, you may want to consider overlapping your seams, like some leatherwork, instead of doing a classic seam. You can run a double row of topstitching on either side of your seamline. This makes your seam flat and eliminates seam allowances, if that makes sense.

          Have fun!
  • Re: Sewing Clear Vinyl?

    Sat, May 20, 2006 - 9:03 AM
    all good advice here... i sew my art projects exclusively in two fabrics only: vinyl and cotton velveteen.

    for the clear vinyl, up to 10mm, in general it is:

    instead of pins: scotch tape instead of pins (the blue painters tape is good too)
    stitches: zig zag stitch in colorful thread and also flat fell seams
    sticking: use tissue paper strips (you can reuse and reuse)
    needle: change frequently. sharp needle is key to success here
    thread: polyester or cotton. nothing too much stronger than the vinyl.

    otherwise for vinyl in general
    - the baby powder is indeed messy, i have used it for small black pieces of wet vinyl (the worst in stickiness) otherwise, i avoid it
    - the teflon foot works well for wet vinyl because it has stretch backing and thin sticky front... teflon feet work best when you have two different types of fabric joining or two different front/back

  • Re: Sewing Clear Vinyl?

    Tue, May 30, 2006 - 11:47 AM
    Depending on your machine, you might want to try a rolling foot. It's like a regular presser foot, but has little wheels on the bottom. I've used one for latex and rubber, so I can imagine that it would also work for vinyl.
    • Re: Sewing Clear Vinyl?

      Wed, May 31, 2006 - 9:50 AM
      Right on. Right on. Keep 'em coming kids. I've got all my materials now, and I'm recruiting my sewing mentor for advice and assistance. The extremely talented, and invaluable friend, Miss Deb. Love you baby.

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