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April Showers

Happy April!

With the oncoming of spring means rain in the forecast! I always prefer to wear a raincoat when I'm commuting in the rainy weather. So when I came across this Daisy Vinyl fabric from SR Harris Fabric in Brooklyn Park, MN I knew I had to have it.

However, I have never sewn with vinyl (PVC) before, and it proved to be a challenge, but not as hard as I had thought.

For this challenge I used Simplicity pattern #S8843 view B.

I made sure to do some research before I started cutting or sewing. First, I googled all the "tips" I could find. I came across this YouTube video posted by the American Sewing Guild in 2015. This is a great starter to get a gauge on what it may be like to work with this material.

With that being said, I made sure to purchase a Teflon sewing foot, which I found at City Sewing on West 38th Street in NYC. I also purchased a roll of washi tape from Staples to use in place of pins. And I purchased a roll of bonded nylon thread, 3 packs of bias binding, and a pack of larger, 16 gauge, sewing needles from Sil Thread on 38th Street also in the Garment District.

To begin I taped down my pattern pieces directly to the vinyl to prevent the pattern from moving around while cutting.

When cutting the pattern pieces, I chose not to cut out the center front facing or the pocket facing.

Instead, I used the bias binding along the raw edges to finish the edges and create a visually appealing line along the edges and seams. Each seam was sewn sticking out, meaning that the seams were sewn at 5/8" with wrong sides together. I then trimmed the seams and sewed the bias binding on, then pressed the binding down and sewed it flat to the body. This also ensures that the water will not pass through the seams.

Then, when sewing I switched to a teflon (plastic) pressure foot, and used the thicker and more durable bonded nylon sewing thread. I also made sure to practice sewing with a scrap piece first to get the tension right. I switched to the longest length of stitching, and turned up my tension to 5 and 6 while sewing.

When sewing, I did not have too many issues with the vinyl sticking together. The pieces only started sticking if the light in my sewing machine had been on for too long. Then the sewing plate would get warm and make it hard for the vinyl to pass underneath the pressure foot.

This jacket took 3 weeks to complete. I took several breaks from sewing in order to keep my peace of mind. In the meantime I sewed two complete dresses, boosting my confidence and keeping my productivity level high.

I chose to attached the cording to the jacket at the waist as the pattern states, if only for show. However, since I did not cut out the center front facing, I opted to finish the edges with the bias binding and add snaps instead. This was my first time working with snaps, and it could not have been easier!

I found this cheap $20 kit on Amazon that includes the snap hand tool and 100 size 20 snaps in a rainbow of colors! I found a very thorough YouTube video on how to use the machine, and one - two- three, the jacket was finished!

In the end, I am quite pleased with how the jacket turned out. If I had to do it again, I would work on slowing down and stitching in straighter lines. But I am sew happy to have sewn something outside of my comfort zone!


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