Blast from the Past: PVC clothing

During the school holidays, my daughter and I thought we’d make a pencil case from a pattern in a children’s activity book.  The pencil case is shaped like a shark with a clever zippered opening for the mouth.

We searched around for some suitable fabric, and I remembered I had some silver PVC fabric offcuts somewhere that would be perfect.  It was in one of my fabric storage containers in the shed.

I had bought the fabric circa mid 1990’s (from Spotlight?) to make a long line jacket.


Vogue 9910 front envelope view

Here’s the pattern; it was pretty trendy at the time.  I made view B (grey) in the silver PVC.  It was a good fit but I had to narrow the shoulders and I omitted shoulder pads.  The lapels and front edges needed topstitching to keep the PVC flat.


Vogue 9910 envelope back

Here’s the envelope back.


PVC clothing was never really popular in Australia, for obvious reasons, but was a bigger hit in colder countries especially in the nightclub scene.  My jacket was definitely  a “sew first, think later” project.  I wore it only once, to a 30th birthday party, with (and I cringe to write this) blue eye shadow and platform boots.

I no longer have the jacket (or photos of me wearing it, luckily) but it probably wouldn’t be wearable now anyway, even for the dress-ups box…..


ruined silver pvc

When we dug the fabric out of the shed, it was clear the years hadn’t been kind.


pvc clothing ruined fabric

The folded pvc had stuck to itself, thanks to all those long hot summers.


pvc clothing ruined fabric

When we tried to separate the layers, the fabric delaminated.


So what’s the moral of the story?  Don’t store PVC fabric in a hot shed?  Don’t wear PVC in the first place?

Farewell, PVC!


  1. Lilian on May 2, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Great story – wish you’d saved a picture.

    • lizhaywood on May 3, 2016 at 8:50 am

      Thanks Lilian. I still have the platform boots!

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