How to Sew Vinyl – Easy Lunch Sack Tutorial
Sewing vinyl doesn’t have to be intimidating! If you are new to sewing it can seem like it is really difficult. But with a few easy tips and tricks you will be sewing vinyl projects in no time! Note that most of these tips and tricks also apply to other sticky materials like faux leather, oilcloth, and basically anything plastic. I have paired up with JOANN to bring you all these tips and tricks plus a fun vinyl lunch sack that is filled with glitter! Glitter all the things am I right?!?!?!? Scroll down to see the lunch sack tutorial.
How to Sew Vinyl
This post was sponsored by JOANN. I have been compensated but all ideas and opinions are my own.
What needle should I use for vinyl?
A leather needle, like this one, is a great option for sewing vinyl. It works great for a thicker weight vinyl and prevents the thinner weight vinyl from tearing because of the shape.
I have also used a standard all purpose sewing machine needle without issue. This is something you can test on your machine. If you have trouble with the regular needle definitely try the leather needle and see if that fixes your problem.
Another important thing to worry about is your sewing machine foot. If you are using the standard 1/4″ or zig zag foot you are definitely going to run into problems. I am a firm believer in using the tools that you have one hand and not buying a ton of extra accessories that you won’t use. So if you have a walking foot use that when you are sewing vinyl. The vinyl is sticky and you want the extra feed from the walking foot in order to move the top section of vinyl along with the bottom. However if you don’t have a walking foot and are going to make a purchase, or you plan to sew vinyl frequently use a non stick foot, like this one.
What is the best thread for sewing vinyl?
My favorite thread for vinyl projects is simply an all purpose polyester thread. This Gutermann is my go to, (for all projects really not just for sewing vinyl.) It is strong and easy to work with. If you start trying to use a finicky thread with your finicky vinyl you are going to be pulling your hair out, all of it! Plus this sew all comes in tons of colors which is great since you are most likely going to see every stitch. Using a contrasting color is pretty and adds some visual interest.
More tips and tricks for how to sew vinyl:
- Don’t use pins to secure your pieces together. This will put holes in the vinyl and it won’t heal like fabric does. Instead use clips, like these, which will hold the pieces together without poking holes. These are a great investment as I use them for all my projects all the time!! They are AMAZING!
- Use lots and lots of clips.
- Take your time and go slowly. Rushing or forcing it will only cause problems which are super frustrating.
- Use the right tools. If you are having issues there is a good chance that you are trying to take a shortcut.
- Use scissors or a craft knife to cut the vinyl. Or get a rotary cutter that you set aside specifically for vinyl use. Just like paper you don’t want to mix your rotary blade with vinyl and cotton fabric as they will dull the blade in different ways.
How to sew a vinyl bag:
Vinyl – I used THIS 16 gauge.
Cutting the vinyl:
From the vinyl cut:
2 – 8″x4″ rectangles
4 – 11″x4″ rectangles
2 – 11″x8″ rectangles
Then mark a 14″x8″ rectangle. On one of the 8″ sides place a bowl or circular item and trace a semi circle so that it meets the two sides. This piece will fold over to create the front of the bag. Cut two of this piece.
Assembling the vinyl bag:
You will always want to place the two matching pieces together because we are sewing everything in a double layer. This will give us a place to put all the glitter.
Line up 2 of the 11″ x 4″ rectangles with the two rounded back pieces of the bag (you can see in the image below that I have clipped these two pieces together along the curved edge to keep them straight.) The 4″ bottom should meet up with the non rounded 8″ edge. The 11″ side should go up 11″ of the 14″ side. Clip in place. Clip the other two 11″x4″ rectangles along the other side of the back piece. Sew along the two long edges.
Now grab your two front pieces (8″x11″) and clip them so that the bottom edge meets up with the bottom edge of the back and side pieces. Sew in place.
The last step to assembling the bag is to use the two 8″x4″ pieces and clip them around the bottom edge. You will need to use a Y seam to sew this bottom piece in place, see THIS post if you need tips on Y seams. Before closing the last side place glitter between the two layers of the bottom.
Finishing the bag:
Now you have the front, back, and sides with an opening between the layers. Fill these with glitter. Then stitch the openings closed. If the vinyl has become uneven anywhere you can simply use your scissors to straighten it out. You could also consider using some pinking shears to create a fun edging.
Use your snaps to create a closure for your new lunch sack.
You can use lots of other things to fill the bag. I thought about using sprinkles but I thought the stitch holes would let water in which would be a disaster! You could try pom poms, crayon shavings, or even little crochet hearts. The possibilities are endless! You could also paint on the layers before sewing them together to create a fun look! Fill with food and enjoy!