29 November, 2015

BAG IT Vinyl Sewing and Helpful Hints

For this last week of BAG IT with Elm Street Quilts, I have had little time to sew. I did enjoy a drama-free Thanksgiving at my house and I was thankful for those relatives who understand this is now a requirement.

I tried to sew on Thanksgiving as it was a day off work but got bogged down with fabric dithering and decided to just roll with it. Today, I managed to get myself into the sewing room where fabric choices were made quickly and sewing commenced.

My big project is a jewelry bag. I still need to hand-sew the binding down.

 I needed a quick & dirty project to 'cleanse my sewing palate' and these two small earbud pouches were sewn without too much fuss. I sized up on the second one as I don't need an earbud pouch. I like Erin's Circle Pouch better. I especially like the heart variation of her small circle pouch.

In any case, a larger see-thru vinyl pouch will be sure to fit in someone's stocking.

I totally stole Janine's idea, utilizing the lace zipper in these. 

It added a bit of polish to these easy bags.

I quilted the back - the diagonal stitching looks best.

Even with my teflon foot, the foot was grabbing at the vinyl during top-stitching, causing the threads to feed oddly. See bottom row of stitching. See those gold dots at bottom? This is the gold top stitching thread being pulled to the bottom. Lessening the bobbin tension might help?

 I had some trouble stitching on this vinyl and I have a little list that could help you sew with vinyl.

1. Sew vinyl with tissue paper underneath or on top or use fabric so vinyl doesn't get stuck on your feed dogs or machine foot. The tissue tears off easily.
Try to sandwich your vinyl in fabric.

2. Use a longer stitch length. This helps when you are navigating different thicknesses in your project. The longer stitch length also keeps things from going to perforated in a heart beat - where the vinyl has so many holes - it tears away from your project.

3. If you own a teflon foot, now is the time to bring it out. It tends to slide over the vinyl rather than your usual foot which grabs.

4. If you don't own a teflon foot, use some post its stuck on your sewing surface with just the feed dogs showing. Some people have used scotch tape on both the bed and underneath side of the foot.

5. My friend who sews with Michael Curry Design (Think giant disney characters and Macy's Thanksgiving Parade)has offered up using K-Y Jelly. You smear it on the vinyl so it doesn't stick and we are officially at TMI.

6. USE A SHARP NEEDLE - A NEW ONE. Don't use a dull one.

7. I had better luck with thicker vinyl bought at fabric store. It comes in guages - I have totally forgotten which one I bought but it's on the thicker side. When I first sewed with vinyl, I  used the vinyl bag I got bed linens in and had a lot of trouble sewing with that thinner vinyl.

8. Use your walking foot to help feed evenly. I have a pfaff which uses the IDT system. It helps keep things from grabbing so much too.

9. No Pins. Anything that leaves holes in the vinyl is to  be avoided. I like to use my Clover Wonder Clips - as long as they are used inside the seam allowance.

The little bag measures 5.5" wide x 4" tall.
The larger bag measures 6.25" w x 5" tall.


  1. Those bags are adorable - I sized mine to fit the fabric, vinyl and zipepr I had to use :) I've made *dozens* of those earbud pouches from DUMD :D I sized mine up a bit to make them more useful, and I have a container in my sewing room with fabric and batting scraps that I save to make the bags :D

    I agree that a nice heavy-ish weight of vinyl is easier to sew, and sturdier as well. The stuff I'm using is very thin, so it's certainly not for heavy duty projects. I have several vinyl bag projects pinned to try - some of them would definitely work better with the heavier weight. I don't think I'd use KY to make the vinyl easier to sew though - ewwwwwwwwwwww, lol!

  2. I love these bags. The zipper really sets off the plaid. Very festive for Chirstmas. Nice tips on sewing with vinyl too!

  3. I love those bags! I adore plaid and lace.. great choices. I like having clear vinyl on bags holding some of my sewing things like scissors and needles. Good job! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  4. Ooh, plaid! I like how you cut the top for the larger one on the bias. It looks lovely. The white lace zips are really set off by the red plaid. Two people are going to smile when they reach in their stocking this year!

  5. Nice looking bags. Thanks for sewing along with Elm Street Quilts Bag It


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