I love to organize but, there’s a problem with putting everything in pretty boxes and closing the lid – I can’t tell what’s in there anymore! If you can relate you’ll love the Clear Summer Organizers I have for you today. And since we’re talking about sewing Clear Vinyl, something you may not have sewn before, let’s look at a few tips that will keep you smiling while you sew!
- Clear Vinyl comes in different gauges that denote it’s weight. The liner on the roll you purchase from will have information on suggested use. When in doubt ask your local fabric store staff person. Buy a yard or two. You’re going to like making these!
- A Teflon or Roller Sewing Machine Foot is helpful, but you can get by without it. Vinyl is sticky and if you are sewing directly on it, it doesn’t always feed through your machine well. Alternatives to special feet are Teflon tape for the bottom of a regular presser foot or any kind of slick tape that allows the vinyl to keep moving as you sew.
- Pins make permanent holes in vinyl, so pin only within the seam allowance or the holes will show in your finished bag. Wonder Clips work well, but paper clips or binder clips could be used, too.
- Vinyl melts, so DO NOT iron it. This includes pressing the vinyl directly or when sandwiched between fabrics. Keep that iron away, far away!
- Thicker fabric like vinyl needs a heavier needle. A leather machine needle will be just what you need.
- Cutting lines are tough to see on clear vinyl, because it’s . . . clear. A fine tip sharpie works well for marking.
Our first pouch was designed by Deby of the Sew So Easy blog. As a mom of young ones as well as a crafter and sewist, she has lots of small essentials to organize. Her Snap Top Pouch is just perfect for so many of the things we all own.
For Deby’s pouch along with the Clear Vinyl you’ve chosen you’ll need small pieces of fabric and snaps. The amount of vinyl and fabric you need will depend on the size of your finished pouch. Think about what you want to store and be sure to leave enough room to add more – because more happens! You’ll also want to make it large enough that you’re not squeezing your items into a just-barely-big-enough bag. Since this is a customized bag, Deby provides great instructions for calculating the amount of materials you will need.
The fabric strips at the top and bottom of your bags are cut 1” wide, then folded and pressed. Deby has a fabulous trick for making a cardstock pressing guide to keep your strip the perfect width. Pressing that narrow strip without melting any fingers is another trick, though. My tip is to use a popsicle stick instead of your finger to hold the fold as you press. If you don’t have a clean one ready, take a popsicle break and hang on to that stick, it’s a great tool!
Deby’s Snap Top Clear Summer Organizers are quick to make and serger-friendly. Click here for the Snap Top Clear Pouch tutorial and click here for the Zip Top Clear Pouch YouTube video Deby added later. Be sure to read Deby’s Vinyl Sewing Tips post linked in the Snap Top tutorial!
Now let’s super-size our Clear Summer Organizers with a Drawstring Tote from Ashley at the Make It & Love It blog. Thinking about all the tiny toy pieces her feet were constantly avoiding, Ashley realized that toy bags could solve her painful problem. You may not have toys to store, but we all have plenty of little pieces that need big homes!
These round bottom bags are also made in customized sizes and Ashley has you covered as far as math calculations go. There’s a refresher on what diameter and circumference mean, too. No, there will not be a quiz later!
To make this a super strong tote, Ashley recommends heavy gauge vinyl and interfaces the bottom of the tote. You’ll also need cording for the drawstring and a cord lock. From there, just follow Ashley down the assembly line and in no time you’ll have fabulous Clear Summer Organizers stitched and ready to fill. Click here for the Clear Drawstring Tote tutorial.
The last of the Clear Summer Organizers I have for you is cleverly designed and super versatile. It will take you a little longer than the first two, but it has a LOT to offer! Featured recently in the Coats Sewing Secrets email newsletter, this Toy Bag With a View has a clear window, zip pocket and a drawstring to keep all those treasures safe. I love this one so much! It would be perfect for car trips or to take to Auntie’s house. Click here for the Toy Bag tutorial.
As you can see, Clear Vinyl is clearly marvelous stuff! Stock up, head for your sewing spot and enjoy keeping your Summer clearly organized and full of fun!
About the Author
Annette Millard began sewing at the age of three, made her first dress at ten and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. Annette feels very privileged to have spent most of her work life in the sewing industry and loves teaching, making her own handmade wardrobe and writing about sewing. She spent over ten years as the newsletter and web site content writer for the Pacific Northwest's largest locally-owned family of fabric stores and is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for sewing with the Sewing Secrets community.