Friday, February 5, 2010

More on the safety vests

Not surprisingly I'm still struggling a bit with sewing vinyl onto nylon!

This is the pocket I'm sewing on; the angled bit sticking out to the right will work like an envelope flap and will be tucked in to keep the Information Card in place, so it can't slide out of the pocket opening.
The first challenge was how to keep the vinyl pocket in place on the vest in order to sew it. I can't pin it as the pins will leave holes in the vinyl, but blu-tack seems to work fine! Only, I can't put blu-tack on the vest itself as it doesn't come off (found that out the hard way, lucky it's a sample vest!), but the paper template is stuck to the vest with sticky tape, and the vinyl pocket is stuck to the paper with blu-tack. Can anyone say "complicated"?
Here is the vinyl pocket in place, ready for sewing.

When I went to Spotlight for materials (and advice) I was assured that I did not need a special foot to sew thin clear vinyl, apparently it will 'glide right through as the feed dogs are underneath'. I have done a little bit of research, and thought I may have to buy a teflon foot, but was again assured that my regular foot would be fine.  Fail.

Have you met my old friend Quick Unpick?

A quick fix was in order as I was not driving back to Spotlight to buy a teflon foot. Some powder, although a bit messy, did the trick.

With some powder on the vinyl it did glide under the foot for much better results (and wiped off pretty easily too).

I also discovered that reverse stitching to lock the threads is a bad idea when sewing with vinyl. Instead, I pulled the top thread through to the wrong side and tied off the threads before trimming.

Here is the 'envelope flap' out...

And tucked in to stop the card falling out.

So now I have the method sorted on the sample vest, only 60 more to go. Wish me luck!


  1. You'll deserve a medal and some fabulous good karma by the time you finish that mammoth task!

  2. It sounds as though you're becoming the world's expert on sewing this ... I hope there's plenty of chocolate coming your way.

  3. 2 words- walking foot! More versatile than a Teflon foot, you can use it for anything!You'll choke on that much talcum powder, and probably stuff your machine! Good effort, I might add!

  4. Have you tried sticky tape to hold it in place. Or put the pins where your sewing line will be and holes won't matter.
    I say Spotlight gave you a bum steer. A teflon foot is worth its weight in gold.

    Also if you get some scotch tape (yes it has to be that frosty looking stuff) you can stick it to the bottom of your foot and it will work as well. Not sure how durable it is, you may need to replace it every now and again....

    Email me is that doesn't make sense...

  5. I'm with Bec and Jodie - you can't beat a speciality foot. A Teflon foot (or scotch tape!) would be brilliant over PVC. And the walking foot would have the added advantage of keeping that slippery sucker safety vest in place.

    I am trying to remember if you have a Janome? You're welcome to borrow either my Teflon or walking foot or both!

    Oooh, and another hint ... sew with a layer of baking paper at the top and rip it away at the end. It also works like a charm.

  6. Gypsy my sweet, i sew with PVC & vinyl almost every day, go the teflon foot but make sure you have a heavy duty needle in your machine too. So a walking foot is good for the polyester you are sewing onto.
    Had to giggle that Jodie the librarian suggested scotch tape, they love scotch tape in libraries!! I would pin exactly where the stitches are going. I can assure you, pin pricks will not be noticed over gathered fabric or poor stitching!!
    Remember you're not sewing for YSL or Dior, it's a freebie you're doing!!
    A teflon foot should cost you about $15 & last a very long time, it's very handy for plastic & vinyl sewing.
    Be nice to your feed dog too, it's saving the bottom fabric. Complicated is right but keep it up, it will come. Also, try sewing in AC or cool of night (if that is possible) as a hot day will only make it harder & induce tears. Love Posie

  7. thanks for initiating the vinyl conversation, i've been trying and failing to sew with vinyl too :)


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