If I Was a Superhero, Vinyl Would Be My Arch-Nemesis

Vinyl. You know, that wonderful fabric that sticks to your legs in the summer time every time you stand up. It has some good qualities too though. It is also durable, and is super easy to wipe clean, which makes it the perfect material for a newborn posing bean bag! My friend Mande wanted one for her photography studio (check out Magic by Mande on Facebook), but these special bean bags start at about $75, and that is without the bean bag filling. So, Mande ordered some vinyl for about $15, and I grabbed some velcro from my stash and made one for her! Total cost, once she gets the rest of the beans she needs, will end up being about $45…MUCH cheaper for a complete bag than it is for just the cover!

The only problem is vinyl is a pain to sew with. Much like it sticks to your legs when you are sitting on it, vinyl also sticks to the metal presser foot and doesn’t feed through the machine like it’s supposed to. They do make a plastic presser foot that is supposed to work a lot better with vinyl, but unfortunately, I do not have the special foot. So, naturally, I found a way to make my metal presser foot work! My first piece of advice for sewing with vinyl, is don’t. Find a fabric that won’t stick, and is easier to work with, but if you must, especially if you plan on sewing with vinyl often, I would HIGHLY recommend spending $10 on the proper presser foot. Here are some other tips that might help you:

~Practice on some fabric scraps before starting your project. Vinyl is very different from sewing with cotton, and is not forgiving if you make a mistake. If you have to rip out a seam, you will have a line of holes where the seam used to be.

~If you don’t have access to the correct presser foot, and decide to use your regular presser foot instead, a tip I found is to put a piece of scotch tape on the bottom of the presser foot. I still didn’t have much luck this way, so before you start, see the previous tip.

~Put a piece of paper on top of the vinyl. This brilliant tip was inspired by paper piecing. After you finish sewing each seam, just rip the paper off! (carefully of course, you don’t want to rip the seams up with it) I used regular printer paper, but tissue paper would probably be a better choice, since it is more transparent. The biggest issue with the printer paper that I had was I couldn’t see where the vinyl was underneath. Otherwise it worked like a charm!

Any tips you would like to add?

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