Adventures in sewing vinyl

Ok, so if you know me you know I love pretty much anything having to do with creating of any kind.  Well, yesterday I decided to tackle making a vinyl slip cover for my friend's beautifully upholstered chair.  Why?  Well, because I have two little boys and even though she has slip covers on them already, they are fabric covers and there have already been some spills that went through the fabric and onto that gorgeous upholstery AND with the fabric covers on you can't appreciate the beauty underneath!  ;)

SO, I started off by googleing "tips for sewing on vinyl" as I've never sewed on vinyl before.  I discovered a few tips that turned out to be VERY helpful:

1. When sewing on vinyl, place some pattern paper over that top of the vinyl as you sew.  (Otherwise you get horrible results--don't ask me how I know) ;)

2. Use a size 14 needle.  All I know is that this is a medium range size, for thicker material I'm assuming?  Worked great for me.

3. Regular thread works great.  I tried using upholstery thread, thinking it would be sturdier--no bueno!  I'm guessing if I were really sewing savvy I could have figured out how to sew with upholstery thread (maybe adjust the tension better--see below) but I'm not. So I gave up.  And used what worked! 

I also went to the VERY BEST resource I have when sewing is concerned, my MOM!  My mom has been sewing all her life and has been a professional seamstress for a good portion of her life.  From her I learned something also very important:

TENSION.  You have to have the right tension both in the tension wheel (is that what it is called?) and on your bobbin case.  I had no idea you could adjust the tension on the bobbin case!  But, after I adjusted the tension to 9 on the tension wheel and turned the little screw a couple of times to the right on the bobbin case, my machine was sewing beautifully on vinyl and NOT bunching up on the bottom as it was before I adjusted the tension.

And a couple of things I just came up with on my own:

1. LOW tack painters tape if awesome for holding the vinyl together until you're ready to sew or glue.

It held my ribbon in place until I was ready to sew it in place.

2. Beacons 3-in-1 glue, rocks.  This is my favorite all-time go-to glue.  It works like nothing else on paper (the main kind of liquid glue that I used in my paper crafting because it dries strong in seconds--really) and gobs of other products like  wood, cork, glitter, beads, trims, etc.  
Beacon 3 in 1 Advanced Craft Glue 4 Ounces 314OZ; 3 Items/Order

Alright, now as I told my husband, I am not a professional seamstress as my mom is, so the end result did NOT look professional BUT I think it will serve its purpose well and doesn't look too terrible!  Ha!  Alright, here it is:

Here is a side view:

 I totally used Beacons 3-in-1glue to adhere the corners together.  Yes, yes I did.  :)

Isn't that upholstery just beautiful?  I added the ribbon ties to cinch the "waist" of the chair if need.  I made them long to add the option of tieing them around the front and to the back giving an extra fun look to it if wanted.

A pic of the hardest section I encountered--the place where all my ends met, the back, front and side panels--uugghh.  Will have to get my mom's thoughts on how I could have made that easier to do.  It is pretty rough looking--dont' look at it too long, ok?  ;)

Well, there you have it.  Now to do the second chair!  I will consult my mom the sewing guru and hopefully land a bit more of clean look on those intersecting corners.

Thanks "sew" much for stopping by!  (sorry, I couldn't help myself!  ha!)



Jennie said…
Awesome Janice!!! You are so creative and love your "figure it out" attitude. You are "sew" creative, lol!
Making a slip cover for that shape of chair would not be easy for those of us who don't sew all the time. You did great. My mother was also a professional seamstress most of her adult life... she made doing things like this look so easy! LOL!! I used to make all of my own clothing, but I never really enjoyed sewing like my mother did so I drifted away from it and now only do what I absolutely have to do with a sewing machine or needle and thread.
JaniceAileen said…
@Colorado Crafter
Wow, you used to make your own clothing?! I made a shirt a long time ago that turned out alright and I started a dress a year ago that I haven't finished yet! ha! I hope to finish it someday and one day, when my life is more settled, I will totally try out making more clothes. Well, we'll see. :) lol!
MaxineD said…
One could call that an great hands on learning experience - with remarkable results too, I must say. Well done!
Easter Blessings
Grace said…
Wow Janice! I think it came out great! I used to sew a lot and had your same way of going at it... just figure it out!!! LOL! I know you can breath easier now too that the chair is safely protected from little spills and big ones! Happy Easter my friend!
Great job Janice! What a useful thing to make.
Melisa Waldorf said…
Oh my, those chairs are gorgeous and how sweet of you to create those chair covers. That vinyl looks really difficult to work with so kuddos to you!
Jenni R. said…
Janice: Great job and amazing for you to tackle such a project! When we have some time I'll have to share about my attempts at slip covers :). I bet Genny will forever be blessed!
Virginia Wingo said…
Janice, you amaze me. Sewing on vinyl already. Where do you find the time to tackle all the craft things you do while raising small children? Great job!!!

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