10 Tips for Sewing with Vinyl – Part 1

Creative articles on sewing

In this 2 part blog post I will share my 10 tips for sewing with vinyl. BERNINA's sewing machine settings, stitches and presser feet make all the difference in creating a beautiful and useful project bag. Check out part 2 here.

I have been visiting many quilt stores recently as part of my summer hobbies and noticed some beautiful designer vinyl project bags at a premium price. Actually, I felt these bags were trendy because I saw them in many stores. It gave me a clear vision, pardon the pun. I know with clear vinyl and pretty fabric this could be an amazing project.

This bag would be very useful for organizing your most recent projects. It's also a great bag to take with you when traveling. Fear not, there is a way to sew with vinyl plastic, it all requires the right equipment!

Enjoy this free project tutorial while learning about the best BERNINA feet for working with vinyl

  • 16 gauge vinyl recommended
  • Light fuse interface
  • Zipper #5 -14″
  • Pretty accent fabric for the top and bottom of the bag, 1/4 yard
  • Lining fabric (light fabric recommended)
  • Thread matched to fabric and lining
  • Decorative sewing thread (optional)
  • Decorative stitch #22
  • Embroidery foot #39 with transparent sole
  • Roller foot #51 Or Zigzag Foot with Non-Stick Sole #52
  • Sewing machine with the possibility of extending the stitches – Used was a BERNINA 350 PE
  • Decorative zipper pull (optional) or see my Youtube channel for a free tutorial on zipper pulls
  • Clips (no pins)
  • Non Stick 80 pointed sewing needle recommended (see photo of supplies)
  • Tissue paper (optional)
  • Ruler
  • Marker pen
  • Scissors
  • Refer to 10 Tips for Sewing with Vinyl below
Image of the BERNINA 350 PE.

BERNINA 350 PE

The BERNINA 350 PE – a wide range of functions, ultimate operating comfort: the young model from BERNINA for ambitious beginners.

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Image of zigzag foot with non-stick soleplate #52.

Zigzag Foot with Non-Stick Sole #52

For all utility and decorative stitches ✓ The non-stick coating on the soleplate ensures smooth sliding ✓ For plastic, vinyl, leather, etc. ✓ For 5.5mm and 9mm machines ✓

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Image of roller foot no. 51.

Roller foot #51

Three rollers for optimal fabric feeding ✓ Easy sewing of materials that tend to stick ✓ For plastic, vinyl, leather, etc. ✓ For 5.5mm and 9mm machines ✓

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Image of embroidery foot no. 39 with transparent sole.

Embroidery foot #39 with transparent sole

Superb effects obtained thanks to the couching of pearl threads ✓ Sewing of festoons and relief effects ✓ Simultaneous sewing of reinforcing thread or elastic thread ✓ For 5.5 mm and 9 mm machines ✓

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Vinyl Project Bag Supplies, Ruler, Fabric Clips, #51 Roller Foot, #37 Quilting Foot, #39 Open/Close Embroidery Foot, #52 Zig Zag Foot with Sliding Sole, Vinyl, tissue paper, permanent marker, lightweight iron-on interface, #5 zippers, accent fabric, lining, sewing clips, #80 non-slip schmetz needles, pull tab, BERNINA #350 PE

Supplies Needed for Vinyl Project Bag

Cutting Instructions:

  • Cut 2 pieces of vinyl 13″ x 16″
  • Cut 2 pieces of accent fabric 16″ x 2.5″ and cut the same for the lining (bottom of project bag)
  • Cut 2 pieces of fabric 16″ x 1.5″ and cut the same for the lining (zipper gusset)
  • Cut 2 pieces of interfacing 15.5″ x 2.5″ (bottom lining of bag)
  • Cut 2 pieces of 15.5″ x 1″ interfacing (zipper gusset lining)
  • Cut 2 pieces of zipper end tabs from 1.25″ x 2.5″ accent fabric
  • Cut 2 pieces of .75″ x 2″ interfacing (zipper tabs)

10 Tips for Sewing with Vinyl

  1. Determine the gauge size of the vinyl. The higher the gauge, the thicker it will be. I would recommend sewing with 16 gauge vinyl for most clear vinyl bags.
  2. Using a rotary cutter and a ruler will be the easiest way to cut vinyl. (If using scissors, you need to mark your cut lines to be precise).
  3. Putting your vinyl in the sun or using a hair dryer on low to medium heat is a good way to remove wrinkles.
  4. Strong 100% polyester thread works great for sewing clear vinyl.
  5. Using tissue paper under the vinyl can help pull it through the machine bed if necessary.
  6. Using clips to hold the material together will work better than pins, to avoid creating holes in the vinyl.
  7. Using a sharp non-stick needle will make the process easier.
  8. Lengthen the points to 3.0 to keep the holes further apart and prevent tearing.
  9. Use a Teflon foot.
  10. Use a rolling foot.

Stay tuned tomorrow when I follow the step-by-step process to explore the 10 tips for sewing with vinyl while building the beautiful homemade vinyl project bag. ☀️

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