Having three Uniquely Michelle patterns (the Kristine ID Wallet, the Just the Ticket Luggage Tag, and the Set To Go Cosmetic Bag Set) that have clear vinyl in their materials list has prompted quite a few questions. Most of the questions involve the thickness or gauge and options for buying clear vinyl. If you have questions about sewing with clear vinyl, you will find answers to those questions in the patterns themselves. Especially the Set To Go Cosmetic Bag pattern; it includes an entire page of hints and tips for sewing with clear vinyl.
Clear vinyl comes in a variety of gauges. I have seen anywhere from 4 gauge to 60 gauge clear vinyl for sale on the internet. The higher the gauge number, the thicker the vinyl. 20 gauge vinyl is very thick, probably thicker than you want to use for sewing anything bag related. If you are using clear vinyl as part of the lining of bags, as in the Set To Go Cosmetic Bag pattern, a 4 to 8 gauge vinyl is great. It is still very durable, easy to sew, and not so thick as to interfere with the finished look of the bag. Actually, adding clear vinyl to the lining of a bag can help hold the shape of the bag very nicely. Personally, I like to use a 4 gauge clear vinyl for lining a bag.
If you are using clear vinyl for an ID window pocket on a wallet (Kristine ID Wallet) or luggage tag (Just the Ticket Luggage Tag), a 8 to 12 gauge clear vinyl works well. A little thicker vinyl adds some stiffness to the ID window pocket making it easier to insert or remove a business card, credit card or ID card into or out of the pocket. My personal preference for vinyl for ID window pockets is 12 gauge clear vinyl. You will notice that 8 gauge clear vinyl crosses over for use as a bag lining as well for a ID window pocket, so if you only want to buy one gauge of clear vinyl, 8 gauge would be the best choice.
I buy my clear vinyl from JoAnn Fabrics because I have one close by, but it is sold on the internet by several different stores as well. I searched, "clear vinyl by the yard" and came up with many options for purchasing clear vinyl including JoAnn Fabrics, Online Fabric Store, Fabric.com and Hobby Lobby. There are others too, but these are the stores I am most familiar with. Clear vinyl is 54-inches wide, so it isn't too expensive to buy. Instead of buying clear vinyl though, another option is to reuse some that you have from something else, such as the clear bag that a bedding set came in.
Please share any other uses you have found for clear vinyl in your sewing adventures or any recycle/reuse options you can think of for clear vinyl. I would love to hear what you have to say!
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