Lovely weather for
Ducks… Laminated Fabrics!
We are being treated to some very wet weather again here in the UK and it reminds me of a fun Window display I put together for The Village Haberdashery… Flashback to 2017 and this Great British Summer Outing vignette!
I particularly enjoyed stitching up the little raincoat and it was a first project using Laminated/PVC fabric. This fabric can be a little tricky to work with as it doesn’t respond in the same way uncoated fabrics do.
Annie at TVH asked me to put together a little list of top tips that I had learned… I thought it might be useful for you all if I shared these with you again so you too can conquer those laminated fabrics (and minimise any bad language at the sewing machine…!!)
13 Top Tips for Sewing with Laminated / PVC Fabrics:
1. Think about the project you want to use your laminated fabric for. Bear in mind that it will not be machine washable. Also, it is best to stick to reasonably simple shapes as it doesn’t always work well with lots of curves because it has no drape.
2. Use a new sharp needle. Size 12 or 14 will be fine but if you find it is struggling, try a Jeans needle. It is always best to test on a scrap of the laminated fabric first.
3. Normal sewing thread is fine. No need to use an extra-strong thread. I recommend Gutermann Sew All thread.
4. Lengthen your stitch length. About 3mm long should work. If the stitch length is too short the needle will create too many holes in the fabric and this could weaken your seam. A longer stitch length also helps to avoid puckers. You may however find you will need to decrease the length a little for any tight curves.
5. NEVER iron on the coated side of the fabric! A cool iron on the reverse side will be fine but make sure it does not touch the front for even a second (it makes a mess of your fabric and your iron! A certain for bad language!). Finger pressing the seams with this fabric is sufficient for these fabrics. Also, a pattern will usually require to topstitch the seams which will help hold them in place too. If you do need to get rid of wrinkles a cool setting on your hairdryer should help ease them out! Always try to store your fabrics in a way that they will not get creased. Rolling is a good option here.
6. Use an easy glide pressure foot and needle plate. You may find that the right side of the fabric is getting stuck to your pressure foot and needle plate as you are stitching. There are special pressure feet and needle plates available that help to stop the right side of coated fabric sticking. These are made of a ‘non-stick’ material called Teflon which will help your fabric glide through easily. However, if you do not want to buy one of these a piece of masking tape over your normal needle plate (avoiding the feed dogs) and on the bottom of the standard pressure foot should do the trick!
7. No need to finish the edges. Happy days! The coating on these fabrics will stop any fraying so you do not need to worry about finishing the edges. You could cut with pinking shears if you wanted a more fancy finish however!
8. Never use pins. Pins will leave permanent holes in your beautiful fabrics. Wonder clips are your best friend here as they do not leave any marks and hold the fabric really steady. Paper clips and bulldog clips also work but may leave some marks on the fabric.
9. Remember not to use pins when cutting out. Use pattern weights and a rotary cutter to cut out, or tracing paper and a tracing wheel to transfer the pattern. Alternatively, draw round your pattern pieces and then cut. Just choose the method that works best for you.
10. Sticky tape can be super helpful. Magic Scotch Tape is great for holding pieces like patch pockets in place while you stitch. This just peels off afterwards and should not leave a residue on the fabric (always test a piece first and remove as soon as possible afterwards).
11. Double-sided tape is also good for holding together openings in seams. This does not need to be removed as you won’t be able to see it once the seam gap is stitched up!
12. Waterproof the seams. If you are making something like a raincoat you will want to be sure to waterproof the seams so no rain seeps through. A ‘seam sealing tape’ will work well here and is super easy to use.
13. Check twice stitch once. Once the needle punctures the fabric that hole is permanent!
Feel free to message with any questions and I would love to see your makes with Laminated Fabric… why not sew a raincoat yourself, or a wash bag!
Share with #makethelakes