The Coma of the Zodiac Clutch

When last we spoke, dear readers, I was engaged in an apparently ambitious plan to sew a clutch out of wonderful Zodiac glitter vinyl. I was having a bit of trouble with the printed directions, but my mom deciphered at least the first hurdle. Okay, good to go. Or so I thought?

Have you ever sewn this kind of fabric before?
No. But it’s okay, I switched to a heavy-duty needle.
That’s good, but you should know that the vinyl may stick to your needle plate. If that happens, you put a scrap of pattern tissue in between, and sew through it. You can tear it out when you’re finished.
Oh, thanks! That’s good to know. Woo, go Mom, with the handy hints!

And, as I begin sewing, I keep that tidbit in mind. As long as I’m sewing right-sides-together, everything is fine. Then it’s time to turn out the flap, and stitch down the edges… stick. Stick stick stick. Not only to the needle plate, but also to the presser foot. I don’t have “spare” pattern tissue, but I do have plain ol’ white gift-wrapping tissue. And voila, no more sticking.

Except, now I can’t see what I’m doing. I try my best to stitch down the flap edges by feel. Um, yeah no. Not straight. And, when I pull away the tissue, a Large Quantity remains caught under the thread. White tissue on a red clutch. Yeah, that’s kinda conspicuous. Okay, well, at least it’s vinyl. When I’m done with all of the sewing, I’ll run it under some water if I have to. The crooked stitch isn’t good, but I’ll do better on the next one. And this bad one will eventually have a big, industrial snap going over it, so noone will even notice. Moving along…

Here is where I have to do the first of the “Huh?” maneuvers. I need to take the two raw edges of this flap, move one edge 1/4″ down in the center, and do a zigzag stitch to keep in in place. Then trim away the excess. The stiffness of the vinyl makes this difficult. I squinch it down, I pin as best I can, I zigzag, I trim. The tissue tears away from the zigzag with great lack of success. As bad as the crooked stitch looked, I have now made it Much Worse. I am losing my will to see this through, but also very much want to have this fabulous new clutch for the weekend. I begin to read ahead in the directions but can no longer make heads or tails out of anything.

It is now two weeks later, and my equipment is still spread all over the sewing dining room table. Every time I look over at it, I am disenheartened. I’m still using my fabulous pinstriped purse every day, but it’s like driving a car that badly needs an oil change. The pinstriped purse really needs to visit a leather shop to have the handle restitched, and the bottom reinforced. If I wait too long, the wear will be too great to repair.

Suddenly, Revamp purses are looking… well, still too expensive. But yeah, I now understand how difficult this damn fabric is to work with. Le sigh.

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3 Replies to “The Coma of the Zodiac Clutch”

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