Saturday, June 30, 2012

Taping your presser foot to sew on PUL

I love Pinterest.  It is an amazing way to share and bookmark ideas.  Or I should say, that is what it is at its best.  Its also another way to spam me, annoy me with pointless and meaningless sayings and memes, and waste my time with things that aren't helpful or useful.  But with a little concerted effort, its a great way to share and and find revolutionary ideas.  Well, this may not be exactly revolutionary, but man did it help me out tonight.

A long time ago in a blog post far far away, I made a diaper pail liner using PUL as well as a wet bag.  PUL is difficult to sew on because it is a plastic-y, sticky material.  The presser foot snags on the fabric rather than gliding over it, creating an endless source of problems ranging from puckers in the stitching, missed stitches, bunched stitches, bent and broken needles, messed up timing, and even damage to your machine.  A way to avoid having this problem is to place something between the presser foot and the fabric, such as tissue paper, or even regular old printer paper.  While this really does help, it doesn't completely fix the problem and can open a whole multitude of its own issues, like getting it torn off and all those little bits stuck under the thread out without damaging your stitching, loose stitches because of the extra material being sewn over, and not being able to see the line you are stitching very clearly.

Enter Pinterest.

I saw a pin about a trick for sewing on vinyl and thought I would give it a try with PUL.  My foray into sewing stuff for my son's cloth diapers led me to use Joann's PUL which met with mixed results.  I had to replace some of the items I made after the PUL self destructed, but other items made with a different bolt of fabric is still going strong!  Anyway, This method recommended taking a small piece of scotch tape and taping the bottom of your presser foot to make it slippery.  I was pretty skeptical, but I figured I would do half the new project with paper and compare the experience and the stitching to the tape.  You do have to make a hole for the needle to avoid gunking up your needle and subsequently your machine and make a slit down the middle in the front for the thread to slide through, but it worked pretty darn well!  The presser foot slid nicely over the fabric, with only a fraction of the friction.  WORLDS BETTER than using paper or tissue paper or any other method I have found thus far.

So now we know.  Scotch tape for sewing on sticky fabrics works! Not only do you not have to deal with paper, you can see what you are doing and it leaves your hands free for removing pins, keeping your fabric aligned, and all those other things you do NORMALLY.  Go Pinterest.

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