How to Sew Plastic

Written by emily weller
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Sewing plastic, whether it is vinyl or fabric-backed PVC, can prove difficult. The plastic tends to stick to the feed dogs and presser foot of your sewing machine and any little mistake can be permanent, as the needle holes remain visible. Changing the presser foot to a walker foot will help the fabric move smoothly under the machine. To ease sewing, use the sharpest machine needle you can.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Walking foot
  • Sewing machine
  • Leather sewing machine needle
  • Polyester thread
  • Tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Plastic such as vinyl or PVC
  • Paper clips

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  1. 1

    Remove the standard presser foot from your sewing machine and attach the walking foot.

  2. 2

    Adjust the stitch to the straight stitch and use a standard stitch length.

  3. 3

    Attach the leather needle to the machine and thread it with polyester thread.

  4. 4

    Cut several strips of tissue paper that measure 1 inch wide.

  5. 5

    Stack the plastic to be sewn and the tissue paper like a sandwich. The tissue paper will be on the front and back sides and the plastic should be in the middle. Hold the paper and plastic together with paper clips.

  6. 6

    Sew the plastic together with the machine. The tissue and walking foot will help it glide under the machine well. Tear off the paper and throw it out when done stitching.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't use straight pins to hold the plastic together, the pins will leave permanent holes.
  • Never iron plastic; it will melt.

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