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Sewing clear vinyl Tutorial

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Clear vinyl is used to create clear pockets in several Sacôtin patterns : the Fringante toiletry bag , the Pavane hanging kit bag and the Compère wallet.

Here are my tips for choosing, cutting, sewing clear vinyl and removing its creases.

Which clear vinyl thickness ?

This is an important choice, clear vinyl that is too thin will look bad with creases that you won’t be able to smooth out, clear vinyl that is too thick will make the sewing project impossible to handle.

For Sacôtin patterns like the Fringante toiletry bag , the Pavane hanging kit bag and the Compère wallet, I recommend 0.2 mm (20/100 – 8 gauge) thick clear vinyl.
It’s a thickness which has hold while remaining flexible enough to be handled.

Transparent plastic sleeves for binders won’t do the job, they are far too thin and creases won’t smooth out easily.

Portefeuille compere sacotin
Compère wallet
Poches transparentes - Patron trousse de toilette Fringante Sacôtin
Fringante toiletry bag
Pavane hanging toiletry bag

Smooth the clear vinyl before cutting

Before cutting it, if your clear vinyl has creases, you can smooth them out as follows :

  1. Heat the clear vinyl :
    • either by ironing it with parchment/baking paper and on wool setting (medium heat). Iron for 10 seconds, moving the pressing iron constantly, do not leave it in the same place for long.
    • Or by a burst of steam 20 cm (8″) away from the vinyl.
    • Or by using a hair dryer.
  2. Then place a heavy book over the clear vinyl for a few minutes.

Be careful to NEVER put the iron soleplate in direct contact with the clear vinyl!

Cutting clear vinyl

You can cut it with a rotary cutter or scissors.

The advantage of the cutter is that the cut is done flat. If you already cut your fabric pieces with a rotary cutter, the technique is the same for cutting clear vinyl.

Personally I am a danger to myself with a cutter and after my rotary cutter slipped on my hand a few years ago, I now only use scissors.

So I developed my own simple little technique for precisely cutting the clear vinyl with scissors: you just have to first tape the paper pattern to the vinyl, on all the edges. This way the clear vinyl and the paper pattern will hold together and will not move while you can cut precisely.

Sewing clear vinyl

I use size 70 universal needles to sew clear vinyl.

A fine needle and a long stitch (about 3.5 mm) are preferable for clear vinyl stitching. Short stitches with a large needle will perforate the clear vinyl too much and it may tear along the seam.

I use a regular presser foot because in the Sacôtin patterns which use clear vinyl, we stitch on the fabric, the foot isn’t entirely on the vinyl and therefore it doesn’t stick.

Smoothing the clear vinyl once the project is done

Is your project complete and the clear vinyl got wrinkled during the turning right side out or handling?
Send jets of steam 15-20 cm (6″-8″) away from the vinyl to smooth it out. This is what I did for the large pocket of the Pavane bag below.
Be careful to NEVER put the iron soleplate in direct contact with the clear vinyl!

There, nothing too complicated 🙂

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