Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sewing Vinyl

If I were to describe myself, I would say I'm a "natural" type.
Just a hint of granola.

Meaning I like natural fibers in natural colors.
I love environmentally friendly textiles, like Fox Fibre.
I like leaves prints or leaf shapes. I like earth tones.

How then is it that vinyl is also a love?
Man-made plastic is quite far removed from all I've just described.
Maybe it reminds me of the shiny burgundy patent leather shoes I so dearly loved in third grade. I don't know. I just think sewing vinyl is fun.
At least the clear vinyl is fun.

You can buy clear vinyl in fabric stores under the heading "table covers".
Some people also use it for book covers, baby bibs, and beach bags.

Check out this "futuristic" apron pattern from 1966.
This must have really been avant garde at that time.
Futuristic Apron, 1966

Or this tres chic tunic from 1973
Vinyl Tunic Apron, 1973

Or the funky food dome from this accessories pattern, 1967
More accessories, and simple aprons, 1967

Come on, that's fun, right?
I think so.

I just made an apron with vinyl accents. I hope CPS Magazine sees fit to publish it. We'll see...



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Barb...I too have this thing for vinyl :) I love working with it & recently made a bunch of wallets & used clear vinyl on the inside. Never tried an apron, hopefully soon I will.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a vinyl apron would be brilliant - think how easy it would be to clean!

I think my preference for plastics dates back to the first time I saw 'The Graduate'.

12:16 AM  
Blogger The Calico Cat said...

Love the mom-n-me look! But the best part is that it took me three times before I was able to read "ragbag" I kept trying to make it say garbage! (No idea why...)

4:26 AM  
Blogger Suburban prep said...

These are great. Cute and oh so useful especially for crafters. I know I usually put on an old sweatshirt when working with something that might get "good" clothing messy.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Vallen said...

I think my mom had one of those see-through aprons. She wore it over her paper dress. No kidding!!!

10:03 AM  
Blogger FinnyKnits said...

You are braver than I - it's too close to the stuff my mom loved when I was a kid. She still uses the same vinyl placemats from when I was a kid! Ugh. I'll be curious to see what you make :)

2:46 PM  
Blogger z-silverlight said...

Vinyl. Very popular occaisionally.Seems like ever other decade.

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most people are afraid of sewing vinyl. It is good to let people know that it is just a easy to work with as regular fabric.

Thanks for the tips!

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering what gage of vinyl you find easist to sew with

3:17 PM  
Blogger woof nanny said...

I like the medium gauge. I'm not at home right now to look at the number, but I know at Joann's it's the orange one. I hope that helps.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, do you have any tips on securing the seam when sewing vinyl?
My seams are not very strong they are starting to rip apart.
Is there some kind of special tape or method to use to stop this from happening?

5:39 PM  
Blogger woof nanny said...

Anonymous: I haven't really made anything that put stress on the seams, and I've usually finished the edges with bias tape, ribbon, or with decorative stitching.
See my apron
recipe cards

Just be sure to tie off (knot) your threads, just as you would with regular sewing. People who quilt forget this sometimes, as quilting stitches are much smaller. But with vinyl, the thickness requires a longer stitch, hence the required tying off of the beginning and ending stitches. But hopefully those links will offer further tips too.

10:25 PM  
Blogger Nope said...

Do you have any recommendations for a needle size or technique? I've looked online and so far it looks like I should use a number 12 sharp, use a wide basting stitch, and leave the tissue paper on the bottom to help with the feeds. I've worked with lots of different fabrics but this is my first time trying clear vinyl so if you have any advice or can agree with any of the advice I've been given I'd really appreciate it :-)

12:39 PM  
Blogger woof nanny said...

Hi Erin,
Your email address doesn't come up in my comment notification, so hopefully you'll come back here for the answer. I don't use a basting stitch, just a slightly longer stitch than I'd use for sewing on regular fabrics. I like to put tissue paper between the fabric and the needle, and sew on the paper, but I know a lot of people place in the the bottom. I haven't really played around with the needles. It's all a bit tricky, but you get better at it as you do it.
Here are more of my posts with info and hopefully inspiration:
recipe cards
My recipe cards were in Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine, with a lot more info on how to sew on vinyl. Hopefully the links are still valid.

7:14 PM  
Blogger woof nanny said...

Erin, please see all the comments too--good info there

7:15 PM  

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