Vinyl is a versatile fabric that you can use to make all sorts of helpful items with sewing machines. Yet it can be a tricky to sew on any sewing machine, including the Janome MC8900QCP, and requires a few adjustments to normal machine settings. You can expect great results with the tips below that can make sewing vinyl and faux leather on Janome sewing machines a breeze.
Get the Wrinkles Out
Vinyl can become wrinkled or bent when stored. Trying to work with it on your sewing machine in this state makes it more difficult than it needs to be. Whenever working with vinyl or faux leather, make sure it is flat and smooth.
If it is wrinkled or curled, smooth it out by laying it on a flat surface and then gently warming it with a hair dryer until it smooths out. Stitching will be much easier and more accurate.
Clip It, Do Not Pin It
Using pins with most fabrics is something you normally do; however, pins can leave permanent holes in vinyl and should be avoided. Replace pins with fabric clips strong enough to hold the vinyl together while you sew. You can also use spring binder clips from the office supply store or even large, strong paper clips. Do not leave vinyl clipped for more than a few hours or the clips will leave indentations in the fabric.
Stick It to Cut It
Vinyl is slippery and can move around very easily when measuring and cutting. Avoid mistakes and wasting good fabric by sticking loops of painter’s or masking tape on your cutting surface, then laying the vinyl on top. The tape will prevent the fabric from sliding around while you measure, mark, and cut.
Unstick It to Stitch It
Once the vinyl pieces have been cut out and you are ready to sit at your Janome MC8900QCP, start by changing the presser foot. Vinyl can get sticky under a standard presser foot, affecting the way it feeds under the needle.
Ensure smooth feeding and stitching by using a non-stick Teflon coated presser foot, walking foot, or roller foot. These presser feet are designed to evenly forward fabrics that might stick or bind under the foot. If you do not have these, strips of Teflon coated tape can be placed on the bottom of a normal presser foot next to the feed dogs to aid in feeding the vinyl.
Switch Your Needle and Thread
Since vinyl is thicker than most other fabrics and can still end up with permanent needle holes, switch to a strong and sharp yet thin leather or denim needle. Complement this with heavy duty or industrial type thread that can hold the vinyl together but withstand any tugging or movement at the seams. Strong thread is especially important if you are making a bag or some other utilitarian item that will get a lot of use.
Let Your Stitches Out
The last step before sewing vinyl on a Janome sewing machine is to adjust the stitch length. Vinyl is thicker than standard cotton fabrics and is basically just a fabric backing with a plastic layer bonded to it; it can deteriorate if stitched too tightly. To prevent stitches from making a perforation line along the seam, always use a longer stitch of 3.0 mm or more. This produces a stronger seam with fewer needle holes.
Vinyl is a great fabric choice for making all kinds of useful items on sewing machines, including handbags, seat cushions, and more. To avoid cutting and stitching problems with this slippery yet sticky fabric, you will just need to make a few adjustments to your Janome MC8900QCP. By using the right accessories along with a quality Janome sewing machine, you can create just about anything using versatile vinyl!