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Topstitching Vinyl

cycler1729 | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi –

I just began a project sewing vinyl and it isn’t that hard because there is a backing but when I began to topstitch where both right sides are on the outside it was impossible.  It refused to move through the machine. 

Any ideas on how to do it?  I was thinking possibly tear away stabilizer or stiff tissue paper – do you think that that might work?


  1. solosmocker | | #1

    I would suggest a Teflon foot.

    1. cycler1729 | | #2

      That's a great idea - and what about for the underside where it doesn't move?

  2. User avater
    Becky-book | | #3

    suggest special foot and/or tissue paper on both sides. also try reducing foot pressure.

    Have you considered using fabric glue instead of top stitching, depending on your reason for the stitching?


    1. cycler1729 | | #5

      The stitching is decorative but necessary.  I completed it but it'd look a lot better if I were able to add the topstitching.

      How do you reduce the foot pressure?

      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #6

        Some machines have an adjustment to reduce the amount of pressure applied by the foot; it is usually some kind of knob on the top of the machine, left side, over the needle bar.  See the picture of my old machine.


        1. cycler1729 | | #7

          That's a beautiful machine!  I'll look to see where it is on my machine - I've got very limited space so I put it away if I'm not going to be using it.

          1. User avater
            Becky-book | | #10

            Not every machine has a pressure adjustment.  My newer one does not have it!


  3. Pattiann42 | | #4

    Try this on two pieces of scrap.  Tissue wrapped generously around the seam so the top and bottom are both covered, then use a walking foot so that both the top and bottom pieces of the vinyl are both moving together as the needle stitches.

    The tissue will help the vinyl glide and will also protect it from being marked by the feed dogs and walking foot.

  4. Teaf5 | | #8

    Tissue paper works well with vinyl. If you tape pieces of heavier paper to cover the flat metal parts of the machine that the whole piece has to slide over, you need only thin strips of tissue on top and under the seam to get it to slide through.

    If you have trouble tearing away the tissue, you can spritz it with water, which won't hurt the vinyl but will dissolve the tissue.

    1. cycler1729 | | #9

      I KNEW that this was the right place to ask!  Thanks so much - I thought that that was how to do it but I didn't want to take a chance of putting a lot of holes in the vinyl figuring out how to get it to work - there are some already from my first attempt but there are only about an inch and I'll probably be able to stitch over those in the new stitching.

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