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Probably the last thing I should be doing right now is sitting down in an office chair in front of a computer screen to blog.  I’ve been sitting in 10″ high molded plastic or wood veneer chairs all morning, followed by an afternoon of sitting in an office chair that someone else’s butt broke in already.  Now I’m seated in a wheelie chair (fun!) that unfortunately has lost all its padding (not fun) in the six years I’ve owned it.  Has Oprah done an exposé on when you should replace your office chair?  She should.  Her masses will listen.  Then I spent the last couple of hours alternatively crouched over a mini-ironing board that’s definitely the wrong height for ironing, and a sewing machine that’s definitely the wrong height for sewing.  Or maybe the non-sewing chair I was sitting in is the culprit.  I’d hate to blame my new toy

I’m making some more I Spy Bags for some friends and customers, a task I had not been looking forward to.  I’d cut out all the pieces, assembled all the toys, and purchased the PVC pellets I use to fill them.  Yet they sat unassembled on my sewing machine because of vinyl.  Sewing vinyl is a torturous task.  I will try to describe it in a way that non-sewers can understand.  Remember the vinyl seats in my parents’ 1978 Buick station wagon?  Of course you don’t, but you had a car with vinyl seats, or you sat in a rental truck that had them, or you sat at a diner with a vinyl booth once.  And I know you’ve ridden a school bus.  Cue the vinyl.  Now cue summer time.  And you’re wearing shorts.  It’s hot and sticky because the rental truck didn’t come with A/C or the A/C in the Buick doesn’t reach the “way back” (as we called the 3rd row), or because someone driving feels that having the windows open is better.  But you’re trapped.  And so are your thighs.  Channel that friction between your naked skin and the sticky PVC (aka vinyl) as you peel your thighs up from the seat they’ve somehow glued themselves to.  Now imagine trying to glide your school bus seat through the gears of  a sewing machine.  It’s like pretending your car seat is a slip-n-slide.  It’s just not working.  It’s a no-go.  Until now, I’ve churned out I-Spy bags using an arduous process my mother taught me: tissue paper.  So I used to save scraps of tissue paper and use them to sandwich the vinyl between layers so it never actually touched the sewing machine.  Afterward I had to carefully tear the tissue away and cut myself another scrap to do the next seam.  Others on craftster have suggested using Vaseline, dropping down the presser foot, or buying a Teflon foot. 

Being cheap, I never even looked to see if my old machine had an accessory Teflon foot I could buy.  But my new machine came with a plastic foot with a magical surface on the bottom I can only assume is the famed Teflon.  All I can say, after churning out two I Spy bags tonight as if I were sewing regular cotton, is that I’m throwing the tissue paper out.  And it’s very hard for me to throw anything out; just ask Mr. Apron.  I’m a complete convert.  I told my machine I was sewing leather/vinyl (seriously, there’s a button), and it automatically sets the stitch length for me and suggests a foot and a needle.  I took the extra time to put in the heavy duty needle and the new foot, and it was magic.  Like switching to Corinthian leather seats on my rental car.  I hope you’re a convert, too.

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May 2020