Welcome to part 2 of our series about working with difficult or unique fabrics! Today we are going to cover the real sticky stuff and strap webbing types! Let’s hop right in and get into these tips!
If you missed Sewing Difficult and Unique Fabrics: Part 1 check out the post to see the tips regarding needles and sewing machine feet!
Clear Vinyl comes in a variety of thickness and colours. When choosing the type of clear vinyl for your project, keep in mind where it will be used and how. This vinyl really likes to stick upon itself when you are turning bags so be prepared for a little battle of your patience! You will need to use a nice sharp needle to pierce the vinyl when you sew. Using a longer stitch length and a thinner needle will help prevent the edges from perforating apart and will help keep it sewn together. If your vinyl has any large wrinkles or indents, you are able to carefully press them out but you MUST use a pressing cloth over top. Use a lower heat temperature and move quickly to ensure you don’t melt it. Allow it to cool completely before you begin sewing it. Clear vinyl is fun to use but is definitely something you want to play with before you add it to a project!
Bonus tip: With clear vinyl, you cannot pin it in place so instead you need alternatives such as Wonderclips. Clips can sometimes leave indents so my bonus tip is to use tape! Be sure to use washi, painters or masking tape because regular clear gift tape will stay on forever 😉
Strap webbing comes in a variety of different types and thicknesses. Nylon is the most popular but you can also find it in cotton as well. The beauty of strap webbing is that you save so much time not having to make a strap! It comes in a variety of colours and even textures so you can truly have fun with your straps! If your webbing has any large wrinkles or indents, you can carefully press them out but you MUST use a pressing cloth over top. Use a lower heat temperature and move quickly to ensure you don’t melt it. Allow it to cool completely before you begin sewing it.
To finish the end of your strap webbing you have a few options. For nylon (plastic) webbing you are able to melt the ends (I just use a lighter!). This gives you a nice smooth finish but you must use extreme caution and melt SLOWLY as too much heat at once and it will melt, drip and burn you or your surface beneath you! For cotton webbing, you do have to fold over the end twice to hide it in a “seam”. Another option is to cover the ends with bias tape. The ends of cotton webbing will fray so they do need to be covered!
Bonus: If you want a fun and colourful way to cover the ends of your webbing beautifully, check out the Double Sided Strap Tutorial!
Oilcloth is generally a cotton fabric that has the print side covered with a vinyl/waterproof coating. Nowadays it comes in a variety of prints and it can even be thicker outdoor canvas fabric too! When adding interfacing to Oilcloth, you want to be sure you are pressing on the interfacing side with a pressing cloth to ensure the waterproof side doesn’t melt. Also be sure that your ironing board is free from any little bits and don’t use a terry cloth towel because the textures will show in the coating! To sew oilcloth fabric you will want to use a non stick foot. Some can be extremely sticky! Your needle thickness will depend on your project. For bags and the like, use a denim, leather or Microtex needle so it can handle the layers!
Cork comes in many, many different colours, textures, prints and thicknesses. The type of cork you use really depends on your project and availability to your region. The beauty of cork is that it is naturally a stiff material so interfacing will not be needed. You may find that a non stick foot will help sewing go smoother, especially if you have a shiny metallic kind. When it comes to fleece or foam, it’s best to baste it on rather than fuse it!
One thought on “Sewing Difficult and Unique Fabrics: Part 2”
great information, thanks! How about waxed canvas? Any tips please?