Sewing with Superglue
Do you remember this little raincoat I made out of a vinyl tablecloth a few weeks ago? I was talking to my cousin Jess not too long after I posted these pics and we got to talking a little.
She owns a hair salon and is constantly wearing an apron to protect her clothes from all the color she uses on her clients hair. Only problem is she is tall, so all of her color aprons are too short and she ends up with color all over her pants. And the other problem is they are mostly black, which is boring. All in all, her options were less than awesome. Well after discussing the merits of vinyl tablecloths and doing a little test run on a scrap (to make sure that hair color would come off vinyl) she asked me to make her an apron out of the rest of this floral vinyl. And you know how I am about making things reversible (skirts, other aprons), so we found another vinyl tablecloth, red to go with the flowers, and after drafting a pattern on sheets of freezer paper, here’s what I made.
I took it over to Jess at her salon yesterday. I hope it works out as we both planned! Because I don’t think I’ll be making any more projects with vinyl for a while. It’s a little frustrating. But working through that frustration I learned a lot about vinyl tablecloths. Here are my top three tips:
- Number 1- When sewing at top speed down a long straight seam the heat generated from the friction of the needle going up and down will melt the vinyl, which leaves some nice melty residue on your needle. So you need new needles.
- Number 2- Making long skinny apron ties from cotton backed vinyl is NOT a good idea. Because of the cotton which catches on itself, and the thickness of the vinyl it is impossible to turn them. Seriously, impossible. And I didn’t want any raw cotton edges to show because she works in a hair salon. And not only is it tacky, but little hair trimmings will stick to any cotton edge and that is just gross.
- Number 3- Due to the plasticy nature of vinyl, it’s also not an option to iron/press those edges under and then topstitch. Also due to the non-healing nature of vinyl, if you use pins then you end up with little permanent pinholes everywhere.
You can see where I’m going with this, right? After some serious frustration I sat down to think. And it took a while for the frustration to subside and for inspiration to strike, which is why this apron spent two weeks in pieces on the dining room table. How was I going to get this slippery vinyl to stay where I put it long enough to sew it down without melting plastic or making permanent pin holes. Answer? Super Glue.
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It was a brilliant idea. One of my best ideas yet. I used little/medium sized dots of superglue to hold everything I would have used pins for. The superglue is strong enough to hold that thick vinyl tight and dries fast enough for me to not go crazy with waiting. Also, when it’s dry it isn’t sticky so my needle didn’t get gummed up with adhesive. (Just with the melted vinyl I mentioned in #1.) On one side of the apron is a pocket and the other side has three loops where she can stash her scissors, combs, etc. I superglued the pocket down before I stitched it in place. And then I superglued those fabric loops before stitching them down as well. On the loops I stitched a box with an X inside it on each side of each loop to give it a little more strength. And I superglued some extra fabric interfacing behind it to try and keep the stitches from ripping through the vinyl.
I am not sure how well the vinyl will hold up with daily use. I guess we’ll have to see. But Jess, I hope you enjoy your new color apron! I’m adding this to Sew&Tell at Amy’s.