Halloween Sewing Tip #6:

Specialty fabrics like vinyl can help make your costume extra-special. Don’t be afraid to use them when you sew!

Check out the start of the gumball machine costume pictured above. Clear plastic for the glass, vinyl for the money slot – they all add to the reality of the costume. Specialty fabrics can seem intimidating, but with a few easy-to-follow rules and tips you can conquer them!

  • Use a leather/denim needle: Vinyl and thicker fabrics require a larger needle size to sew properly. Get one at your local shop.
  • Use a Teflon or Ultra Glide Foot: This will allow the stickier fabric to slide through the machine more easily. (The snap on Janome Ultra Glide foot is pictured in the photo above.)
  • Press carefully: Vinyl and clear plastic, even real leather, can be pressed carefully with a press cloth! But, too much heat can melt these specialty fabrics. Check the manufacturer’s instructions and use a press cloth to avoid direct contact with your iron’s sole plate. When in doubt, start with a low heat and work your way up.
  • Don’t use pins: Needles and pins will leave permanent holes in vinyl or plastic. Instead use clips, clothespins or paperclips to hold your fabrics in place before sewing.
Find more tips for sewing vinyl and thicker fabrics: You can read these tips for sewing thicker fabrics and use these leather/vegan leather tips on your vinyl projects as well.


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Disclaimer: I am a Canadian Janome Artisan. Janome provided artwork (with my photos) for this project and the Skyline S9 on-loan machine I am currently using. As with all the products I write about – I always tell you my own honest opinion.