10 Tips for Sewing with Vinyl – Part 2

In the second part of this blog post, we will have the opportunity to explore the 10 tips for sewing with vinyl and creating a truly functional, practical and pretty project bag. See the first part of this series here.

Discover the best BERNINA presser feet for working with vinyl

  1. Insert a size 80 non-stick needle into your machine.
  2. Fuse interfacing to the reverse side of all lining pieces and zipper tabs.
Interface fused to lining fabric and zipper tabs

Interfacing the lining and zipper tabs

Make the zipper gusset

1. Fold the prepared zipper end tabs in half. bad sides together as shown and sew the right sides to the end of the zipper on both sides with the crease toward the center of the zipper and a ¼” seam allowance using Patchwork foot #37 . Sew back and forth with 2 lines of stitching to secure (as it is a zipper stop) with matching thread. Press the zipper tabs away from the zipper.

Image of patchwork foot n°37.

Patchwork foot #37

For patchwork projects with seam allowances of 3 mm (1/8″) or 6 mm (1/4″) ✓ Three notches on the side for precise guidance ✓ For 5.5 mm and 9 mm machines ✓

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Sew a zipper tab

Double stitching line on zipper tabs

Completed zipper tabs

2. Place the right side of the zipper gusset accent fabric on the right side of the zipper, place the right side lining against the back of the zipper and trim all raw edges as shown. Sew with a #4 zipper foot with the needle position to the left of the foot. Do this with on both sides of the zipper.

Making a Zipper Gusset

Sew the zipper gusset

ADVICE: Activate the needle down function, stop and slide the zipper while you sew to ensure even seam allowances.

Zipper gusset away from zipper

3. Press all accent fabric and lining away from the zipper and top stitch using Zipper Foot #4 and the far left needle position, matching the accent fabric and lining and foot against the edge of the accent fabric as shown.

Inserting the zipper with zipper foot #4, top zipper seam

Topstitching close to the zipper with zipper foot no. 4

4. Cut the fabric around the gusset and zipper insert. Embroidery foot #39 with transparent sole & zigzag all raw edges.

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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Start building bags with vinyl

  1. Lay the long side of the zipper gusset, right side against the 16″ side of the vinyl, clip and sew with the Roller foot #51 & the needle position on the far right. This foot has 3 rollers for the best possible feed, it is fantastic for materials that tend to stick like plastic, vinyl, leather, etc. and it is compatible with 5.5mm and 9mm machines. Sew the second piece of vinyl to the other side of the gusset in the same manner.
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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Sewing a zipper gusset, attached zipper gusset to vinyl, sewing a zipper gusset to vinyl

Sew the zipper gusset to the vinyl with roller foot #51

TIP: Use tissue paper under the vinyl if the type of vinyl you have sticks to the soleplate of the machine. Also, don't iron the vinyl, as it will melt.

2. Press the zipper gusset with your finger away from the vinyl and sew the edge with the Zigzag Foot with Non-Stick Sole #52 foot with non-stick sole stitching along the edge of the gusset fabric. Foot #52 has the same features as foot #51, except that it works very well with zigzag and decorative stitches. I used stitch #77 and bright turquoise thread for the decorative top stitch. This is a back and forth stitch that looks like a thicker top stitch. You can also use any other decorative stitch, but audition it before trying it on your project.

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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Zipper gusset attached to vinyl, sewn with vinyl

Zipper gusset attached to 2 pieces of vinyl and topstitched

Top point #77, dense top point

Top Stitch with #77, has a dense quality suitable for when you want the top stitch to be visible.

Make the bottom of the bag

  1. Lay the bottom accent fabric of the bag, right side down, against the right side of the vinyl bottom. Lay the liner piece on the right side, on the other side of the vinyl, with the vinyl sandwiched in between. Clip and sew with roller foot #51 and needle position on the far right. Finger press both layers of fabric away from the vinyl and use stitch #77 or another decorative stitch as was done with the zipper gusset near the edge of the accent fabric.
Bag botton, Inserting a bottom on a bag

Fabric to cut ready to sew, bottom of bag

2. With zigzag #52 feet around all bottom raw edges.

Preparing a bag bottom, bag bottom, vinyl project bag, vinyl bag

The base of the bag is zigzag, ready to be sewn together

3. Create the corners of the box by marking a 1.5″ square on all bottom corners of the 4 bags on the liner side. Cut out these squares as shown. Zigzag the edges of all squares.

Boxing a bag, making a bag stand upright

Measure and cut a 1 1/2″ square to frame the corners of the bag

Sew the sides

1. Open the zipper to the middle, clip and sew the sides and bottom right side together, use stitch length 3.0 and roller foot #51 with needle position at far right, do not sew the squares yet.

Sew the sides of the bag, make a vinyl project bag

The bag is clipped, ready to sew the sides and bottom

Stitch length adjustment, stitch length 3.0

Remember, for best vinyl sewing, set a stitch length of 3.0, as shown in my BERNINA 350 Special Edition.

2. Finish sewing the framed corners by bringing together the bottom seam and side seam and matching raw edges, cut and sew as shown.

Sew box corners, foot #37

Cut and sew the corner seams of the box, match the bottom and side seams.

3. Gently turn the entire bag outside through the zipper. If the bag has wrinkles, use the heat of a hair dryer to remove the wrinkles. Add a zipper pull, watch a free zipper pull tutorial here.

TIP: If you need a recap of the 10 tips for sewing with vinyl, click the link to part one of this series here.

Vinyl Project Bag, Bernina Feet #39, 51, #4, #52

Vinyl project bag contains valuable fabrics

Admire your creation. I'm sure you also see with clear vision now!

I hope you enjoyed these vinyl sewing tips and now feel comfortable trying vinyl sewing, it opens up a whole world of possibilities.

Free Sewing Instructions: Sew with Vinyl


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