18 October, 2015

Faux Wonder Clips and Strap Sewing

 I succumbed to the cheapness of China and bought 50 faux wonder clips for $4.52 (free shipping).

I think wonder clips are the best sewing gift ever and I have given my fair share.

However, these are purple. And pink. And green. And blue.

They are the same exact size as wonder clips but are a little harder to squeeze open.

My sewing this weekend consisted of making two straps for the J-5 Cub (airplane). Hubby wanted to strap down the rear seat and keep the back of the seat from flying forward.
He first wanted me to toss my sewing room for my stash of leather.

After seeing me stumble home after another 12-hr split shift, he relented and found his stash of dark blue vinyl that the Stearman seats were made of.

 This is the seat - outside the airplane.

It was in the  plane when we were measuring to make a template. (Can you say awkward?)

To make straps out of leather or vinyl, you cut a larger piece than needed - on the fold-  from the template measurement. Vinyl and/or leather edges don't fray so you can leave the raw edges exposed.

You get out your old yucky glue stick that seemed to work and glue your vinyl together - wrong sides together. The first reason for the glue is to keep the layers from shifting while sewing. The second reason is that vinyl and leather stretch. Two layers glued and sewn together are stronger.

Then you chalk your template on. I use my Sewline Chalk pencil.
See if your machine will sew your vinyl fine or do you need to get out the teflon foot or other tricks. Generally, I rarely have any trouble sewing on faux leather/vinyl. The glue (inside) keeps the layers from shifting. I also am using my IDT feed (walking foot) on my pfaff.
Then I top-stitch just inside my chalk line and another top-stitch line parallel to that - 1/8 - 3/16" in. I'm not gonna sweat the evenness - these are hidden in the plane.

Clip your threads. Cut out close to your outer top-stitch line. Not on the chalk line. Invariably, your first top-stitch line isn't parallel to the chalk line on the curves - which is why you trim to the sewing line.
Color the edges with your black sharpie. (Why is vinyl always adhered to something white?)
Ta da!

Oh Wait!
 We have to figure out snaps. These are heavy duty snaps. One end has a screw end to go into wood and the other is flush with the fabric.
I found my leather working tools ( $8.00 score at a garage sale!) and punched a hole in the doubled up vinyl scrap to test my snap.
Then  went to work on the straps in the pictures above and below.

These were all done with hubby coming into the house, going out of the house, hollering for me to come out, test the template, go back inside, go back outside, are the snaps the right direction,  inside, outside, inside, outside.


Snaps are easy once you do the first one and figure out how much hammer strength you need to squish them together. My normal everyday snaps are put on with hand-held squeezy pliers.

 I'm not working overtime next week (hallelujah!).
I expect I will be sewing something.

With fabric only.


  1. I use my wonder clips all the time now! Including tonight on the Moneta collar. I am relieved to hear you have no overtime this week. I was wiped out by the extra hours this last week and became a hermit over the weekend just to recover!

    1. This last week my auto-immune was yelling at the overtime. A little hermit-ing happened Sunday for me, too.

  2. You're a handy wife to have for a vintage airplane pilot! It's nice that you can do all those things for your Stearman. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. Wow! I'm always in awe of you gals that are so good at your " hobby" - thanks for the hint on the clips- I think I need those.

  4. I got some of those copy clips too, cheap and free postage - win!


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