Sewing a Prop from Vinyl
 
Hi everyone! 

I understand this meme fad may have passed, but I still spent time making a tutorial at the time, anyhow since I do not plan to make any more of these props. "Forbidden Fruit" was a meme that reached its peak in December 2017/January 2018, it made me laugh, so I decided to make a prop for it. 

While this tutorial shows the step-by-step creation of one of those forbidden fruit-shaped props, the techniques can be utilized to make ANY interesting see-through prop using vinyl. These props may be a challenge to make since they are utilizing unusual materials, its OK to make a few prototypes to experiment and explore the materials.

This tutorial is free to redistribute (creative commons details within the .txt component of the provided .zip file) and here for everyone's enjoyment. 

There are several more WIP photos contained in the zip file and referenced by filename throughout this tutorial.

Materials

  • Paper for a pattern & to use as a jig
  • Ruler
  • Chalk
  • 6 to 8 mm vinyl (sold on rolls at fabric stores)
  • Transparent thread (regular thread can be used too!)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Razor Blade
  • Fur scraps
  • "Frosty Snow" sparkles
  • "Cluster Stuff" stuffing
  • Hemostat or tweezers
  • Microfiber cloth (for cleaning)

Optional: 

  • Powder
  • tissue paper
  • hairdrier
  • Long needle (for arranging interior pieces after they are sewn)


Getting Started

Vinyl can be difficult to see and potentially difficult to sew. If it sticks to your sewing machine you can use tissue paper as a stabilizer (and also a tool to mark your pattern) or a dusting of powder to prevent sticking. 

Research the shape you wish to repeat in vinyl for your prop I show this in 00reference and 01reference in the .zip file. 

You can print the pattern shown in 06pattern the remaining pieces are a simple square that you can measure out with a ruler. Two 12-inch squares of vinyl made sufficient working space that made a finished product about 9x10 in size, once stuffed and trimmed.


Sew the Vinyl

Sew each feature to, what will become, the interior side of your vinyl square. Use a 3-4 mm straight stitch on your machine to sew everything together. Leave a gap unsewn to put your filling in. I used scraps of faux fur, it looked very cool pressed against the clear vinyl, much like soap swirls. 

Trace the pattern on to fur with chalk. 

Cut the fur at its backing with a razor. Use a hemostat or tweezers to carefully place it inside your design elements.  Make sure to pluck any stray fibers or lint that is on the visible side of the vinyl because it may be there forever! If you wish for your design element to stick out more, you can stuff it from behind or add more layers of fur scraps to make it thicker. Sew each swirl closed. 

Once it is closed up, you can further position the swirl of the fibers with a long, thin, needle. Squeeze it through the gaps in stitching and the layers and leverage it around to spread the fur to the very edges and cover up any raw edge parts that may have been visible. 

Once your top design is complete, layer the 2nd square of vinyl as the backing. 

Since the vinyl scuffs when marked on, I used a jig of paper to sew each curved edge. Shown in 14SewBottomUsingJig. It was so I could follow the curve without marring the vinyl. Tissue paper that you later tear away works too. Leave an opening to stuff.


Stuffing the Prop

If you haven't already mix your filling elements. Get creative! Add sparkles or glitter to "cluster" or "down alternative" style stuffing. You can get some very unique swirl patterns with it as a result! I used "Frosty Snow" as my sparkles and blended it in a separate bag with a small amount of stuffing. This step gets MESSY! Static cling will make your fill stick all over the vinyl, so have a microfiber cloth at hand to clean it from the vinyl's surface if you need to.

Use a scrap piece of vinyl to funnel the stuffing in to start it, then press the rest in with your fingers gently. Be careful not to pull at the stitches between the layers too roughly in this step as it can be easy for them to perforate the vinyl. Practice on prototypes helps.

Use your microfiber cloth to clean out the sewing path you will use to close up your prop. Shown in 17CleanOUtSewingPath. Then sew it closed! 

Clean up the layers that may have caught some of your sparkles or glitter with your microfiber cloth, then trim the piece to its finished shape! 

You can use a hairdrier to loosen up any wrinkles that may be in your vinyl and promote a glossy shine. Enjoy your new vinyl prop!  Happy crafting! 


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This particular guide on working with vinyl to create a prop is provided as a .zip file that is free to distribute. Pass this tutorial knowledge to your friends and colleagues! Providing credit for use of the techniques goes a long way to help others find my tutorials and learn how to level up their technique for themselves, too! (And maybe someday become my patrons too!)

Special thanks to my Patrons, with their financial support I can spend so much time developing all of this and carefully photographing tutorial steps in detail for the benefit of all. You guys are sincerely appreciated and without you this tutorial wouldn't exist! THANK YOU!