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To determine the stretch requirement, refer to the section marked “suggested fabrics” found onthe back of most commercial patterns for the minimum percent of stretch needed to size the pattern correctly. If a percentage is not given, then locate the stretch guide alongside the edge of the envelope. Hold a scrap of PVC at the beginning arrows and stretch fabric fully. If the fabric reaches to the goal arrow or beyond, the pattern is suitable for the type of PVC you’ve chosen. If the PVC does not reach the goal, but comes very close, you may experiment with the pattern in a larger size than recommended for your measurements.

Pressing is the fastest way to ruin PVC; never touch an iron to vinyl! High heats melt the Polyurethane surface, while lower heats will loosen the fusion of the surface to its knit backing. Therefore, study a pattern’s directions to discover whether the finished product will lay flat and drape pleasingly without pressing. Avoid pleated skirts, creased pants, and other designs where pressing cannot be omitted. Patterns with interfacing are fine, but skip the fusible varieties for those that sew-in.

Darts should be used sparingly in a PVC garment, because the tuck will be very noticeable. Vertical darting can afford a dramatic tailoring effect, but diagonal darts near the bustline often detract from a style.

Vinyl and most leather-like fabrics do not gather well, so a few adjustments to your pattern may be necessary. For set-in sleeves, reduce ease by trimming sleeve caps 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch. Begin 3/8” from the uppermost point, and continue toward the pattern dot that indicates the stopping point for ease stitching. Sew but a single line of ease stitching, using a long straight stitch and upholstery thread run over beeswax. It is also recommended to replace self-casings for elastic found along the edges of garment, accessory, or home decorating patterns with an enclosed elastic finish, for a smoother appearance. Place elastic along fabric edge, lining up the innermost edge with the pattern foldline. Sew this edge with a zigzag stitch while stretching the elastic both in front of and behind the presser foot. Fold the fabric edge inward, encasing the elastic. Stretch the elasticized fabric while sewing a second zigzag stitch along the raw edge, catching the elastic again.

If you are using a garment pattern you have not tried before -- or designing your own -- it may save you money to sew a mock-up (or “toile”) of that pattern in your planned size out of a cheap fabric before trying it in PVC. This allows you to try on the pattern to check the fit and make any adjustments to the bust or hems before ruining your good Patent Vinyl Cloth. Mock-ups are useful tools in PVC design, as you cannot pin this fabric together at the seamlines to try it on without permanently pricking the Polyurethane surface.

PVC sold on this site is 60” wide, so use the layout suggested in your pattern instructions for 54- or 60-inch fabric widths. Use the fabric yardage estimates for fabrics “with nap” only. Depending on the manufacturer, the fusion of the vinyl to the knit backing may be less secure near the selvage. If this is the case, lay out pattern pieces away from the selvage.

Mind your grain lines! Commercial patterns indicate grain lines with arrows. Align pattern

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