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Sewing with thick materials
adanac
adanac
Intermediate
Member since 4/26/13
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Date: 4/26/13 4:54 PM

I'm new to sewing and I need some advice for a project. I have to sew 1/8 inch thick plastic sheets to form a sleeve and I need an idea of what products to use because I do not know where to start.

What needles should I use?
What type of thread should I use?
Are there any warnings or considerations I should know about?

thanks

plazaglass

plazaglass
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FL USA
Member since 12/22/07
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In reply to adanac <<


Date: 4/26/13 10:35 PM

I don't have any experience sewing plastic, but wonder if you might research how to sew leather since your plastic is so thick.

I've read that when sewing thinner plastic, a walking foot is recommended to keep the layers moving evenly under the foot.

Al Johnson
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Al Johnson
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Date: 4/26/13 10:58 PM

What kind of plastic are you going to sew? Hard like ABS, or soft like polyethylene? In any case, you will find it extremely difficult or impossible to do with any home machine, even old cast iron ones. You might look into harness sewing industrial machines like the Singer 7 class.

------
A sewing machine is just a welder for textiles.

sings2high
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Date: 4/26/13 10:59 PM

Get an old mechanical Singer sewing machine from the first half of the 1900's. Millions were made and millions remain, still working. One of the sales techniques used to sell Singers was to demonstrate to the lady of the house that it could stitch right through a wooden yardstick. I have my grandmother's 1940's Singer 15-91. It sews everything I have ever thrown at it, from silk to leather to 16 layers of denim. You can often pick these up for less than $25 at yard sales.
As for accessories, I recommend a Teflon needle around a size 16, and a walking foot. If you can't find a reasonably price walking foot, put the layers of plastic between two pieces of tissue papers and stitch through all of it. The tissue can be torn off later.

------
Measure twice, cut once. While this saying is useful in many ways, I have no qualms about editing my posts.

UFOs completed in 2014: 1 - woohoo! finished my oldest UFO - an apron cut out in the mid-80s with a pattern from the mid-40s! and the bias binding promptly disintegrated in the wash! Ok, it was from my Great-Grandmother's stash, which means it was bought anytime from the 1910's to 1970's.
Projects started recently completed in 2014: 1
New Projects started in 2014: 2
Stash:
sewn in 2014: 0
bought in 2014: 17.25

I know...I'm procrastinating.

beauturbo
beauturbo
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In reply to adanac <<
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Date: 4/27/13 0:49 AM

If I just needed to do it once or a few times, I think I would put them together and use something like a very hot heated needle, or skewer held in some pliers to make (by melting the plastic there) matching holes in both pieces. Then take a large hand sewing needle, with whatever thick large thread or cord I wanted to use and sew them up by hand, though the melted holes like that. I would leave long thread end to start and go up and down every hole and then back the other way so there were no empty places and then just tie it off real good. The plastic while you were melting the sewing though kind of holes probably would get and glob onto your hot needle or metal skewer, but if you had a very damp sponge sitting there to wipe it off with every few holes, it might not get too sticky while doing that. You might be able to try that.

t
-- Edited on 4/27/13 1:00 AM --

tinflutterby
tinflutterby  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/27/13 2:44 AM

I'm sitting here trying to imagine what you are going to do with the seam allowance or how you will turn the sleeve. I hope it is soft. I think I would look at lapped seams and glues or a leather punch and hand sewing.

skae
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skae  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/27/13 7:58 AM

Make sure you make the stitches longer.
Use a leather needle size 14or16 .
I use a Teflon foot it go more smoothly.

------
Ecclesiastes 11:7,8 Nothing on earth is more beautiful than the morning sun. Even if you live to a ripe old age, you should try to enjoy each day, because darkness will come and will last a long time. (CEV)

Elona
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In reply to sings2high <<


Date: 4/27/13 8:51 AM

Excellent suggestions!

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