Applying Vinyl to Delicate Fabric

Applying Vinyl to Delicate Fabric

Since Fall is now officially among us, it is time to start making some winter clothes.  I woke up Monday morning to 52 degree weather. Not only did I have a difficult time getting out of bed, I immediately asked my husband when are moving somewhere warmer. Okay, some people may think I am overreacting a bit; I really just love warm weather.  

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Yesterday, I was at the store and saw a cute sweater knit top with vinyl lettering.  My first thought, of course, was I have never applied vinyl to sweater knit before. However, I was not afraid.  Several people have requested my advice on how to apply vinyl to delicate fabrics. So, here is a quick tutorial how I apply vinyl on fabrics that may not be able to withstand high amounts of heat.

First, it is important to measure your top/dress for the size of your design.  In this case, I used the fabulous Ellie and Mac Sweetie Dress Sewing Pattern. Baby Girl loves this comfy, twirly dress and I love it because it is a super quick and easy sew.  You may remember my Easy Costume Creations blog post  I wrote using the Sweetie Dress.

If your fabric can withstand a small amount of heat, match up the dresses’ shoulder and side seams and fold the dress in half.  Place the dress on a silicone heat press pad (here and on a very low heat press a crease in the middle of the dress.  This will help you line your vinyl application. This fabric was in my “stash” from a wonderful sweater knit box from Sincerely Rylee.  Her fabrics are amazing!  This one is a super soft and thin sweater knit, perfect for Fall. 

With you cutting machine (I use the Silhouette Cameo) design, line up the vinyl image on the front of your dress.  I used this unicorn silhouette SVG from Etsy. Using the crease created with the heat press, move the design around until the design is straight on the dress.  I prefer to pick up the dress by the shoulder creases to ensure the design is straight.  

Normally, you would place the heat press directly onto the design.  However, if you are using delicate fabric, it may melt, burn or destroy your fabric.  After all you hard work making the outfit, that would be a catastrophe. So, what I do is place a plain cotton fabric on top of the dress and vinyl design.  It is important to not choose a color that may bleed. Believe me, I know from experience. Then, turn up your heat press a little higher than the recommended setting, as the cotton fabric will absorb some of the heat.  If it is recommended to hold the heat press for around 30 seconds, you may need to do this a couple of times. Refer to the instructions of your particular vinyl to see if you need to pull the plastic off when it is hot or wait until it cools down.

Voila!!  Now you have a super cute dress with a super cute vinyl decal. 

About the author: Lo creates fun and unique fashion for her family over on the Seams Sew Lo Blog. She also hosts a Sewing Deals Calendar to find all of your favorite Sewing Deals. Follow Seams Sew Lo on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.


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