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Friday, February 24, 2012

Sewing on Laminated Cotton and Iron-On Vinyl

Insulated Lunch Tote
Cosmetic Bag with Brush Roll

Two of my favorite classes/patterns are my Hey Sister! Insulated Lunch Tote and The Cosmetic Bag with Brush Roll. These two projects use laminated cotton and iron-on vinyl. Laminated cotton is regular cotton fabric that has been laminated at the factory; iron-on vinyl is a product that, when ironed on regular cotton fabric, adheres the vinyl to your fabric. The result is a light-weight laminated cotton fabric.

So here are my tips when sewing laminated cotton and iron-on vinyl.

1. Use a Walking Foot: I have sewn on clear vinyl and cursed my way through the project. Why? The fabric sticks to the bottom of the foot. So I've used tissue paper, post-it notes, and powder. BUT...I don't find that I have the same terrible problems with laminated cotton and iron-on vinyl; I just use my walking foot.

This is topped with wax paper - to make brush holder.
2.  Use Goody Hair Clips: Pins put permanent holes in the fabric, so use Goody Hair Clips. These are a cheaper alternative to what you can find in the quilting notions department. 

3. Use Quilt Basting Spray: If you need to hold layers together, spray it with Quilt Basting spray. It will be less likely to shift. With my projects, I needed to sandwich fabric and batting - so I just sprayed and stuck, then clipped!

4. Use a Sharp Needle: If your needle seems to struggle getting through the fabric/layers, switch to a Microtex/Sharp needle. It pierces the laminate better.

5. Use Wax Paper: You can't really draw on vinyl, so draw on wax paper, then clip it to you project. I had to do this when I was making the pockets for my make-up brushes. So you can see from the picture above, I drew my lines, then sewed right on those lines. I removed the wax paper - the final version is to the right.

6. Watch the Iron!: It's tough to get wrinkles out, so press from the back - and cover with a pressing cloth. DON'T press the front - the hot iron will melt the vinyl! For the iron-on vinyl, you can put the protective paper over it and press it.

Learn more about Iron-On Vinyl by watching this great video by Tiffany Bliss.


  1. Hi,
    I was looking at this pattern @ craftsy. If I purchase this pattern, am I allowed to sell the bags that I made using this pattern?

    1. Yes, feel free to sell the bags. And let me know where you sell them - I'll post it on my blog.


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