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as you serge. You will need to adjust the differential feed dials on your machine to prevent fabric expansion. Consult your overlock machine operator’s manual for the proper settings, and test the stitch on scraps of leftover PVC, making adjustments as necessary.

Many designers choose not to line their vinyl-wear. However, if the color of the knit backing will show and does not please you, use a stretch lining or widen the facings on the pattern.

Hemming on any stretch knit should be done after the article has hung for 24 hours on a hanger, to ensure an even hem.

Understitching is especially important in fabrics that cannot be pressed. Use this technique to keep your facings from rolling to the outside of your apparel or home décor creations. To understitch, open out the facing and finger press the seam allowance toward it. Sew a medium length straight stitch through the facing close to the seamline, catching the seam allowance.

Topstitching not only adds intrigue to a PVC creation, but also flattens the seam allowances in lieu of a hot iron. One common complaint from PVC sewers is that topstitching thread can appear dull on shiny PVC. To overcome this dilemma, try topstitching in a matching shade of rayon thread like those designed for machine embroidery. This thread is shiny enough to compliment the vinyl surface and its loosely twisted construction allows for give. (Note: Rayon thread is not sturdy enough for seam construction and should be used for decorative finishes only.)

Edgestitching is a form of topstitching sewn very close to the seam, drawing less attention to the stitches. Edgestitching has a more pleasing appearance on less casual garments.

Consider these seam finishes for strength and a designer look: flat-felled, topstitched, double topstitched, welted, double welted, slotted, lapped, or tucked. Instructions on how to create these finishes can be found in most sewing guidebooks.
TLC for your PVC

Garments constructed of Patent Vinyl Cloth should be hand washed, or machine washed in the gentle cycle, with cold water and a mild non-bleach detergent such as Woolite. Short garments may be hung to dry, while heavier outfits are best dried flat to prevent stress to the shoulder and waist seams. Curtains, sofa covers, and other home décor may be sponged-wiped with a soft sponge soaked in cold water. Accessories are best sponged off in cold, with a light addition of detergent if the article has contacted something sticky. Rinse the sponge well with cold water and re-wipe to remove soapy residue. Keep sharp and abrasive objects away from your creations, to avoid damage to the smooth shiny surface. Finally, the best TLC you can give to your PVC creations is to show them off!

About the author... N'stasha Ariel grew up in the high-fashion climate of New York. Although she has lived in many states since then, she never forgets her NY roots. Today, she designs Gothic and Renaissance clothing, corsetry, and custom costuming. A skilled leather carver, N'stasha also enjoys creating ornate courbouilli armor. Her previous publications have been in the fields of short fiction and poetry, in periodicals such as Sensations Magazine, The Chronicle, and Exposed.