When I was a Girl Guide in the ’80s, these might be familiar to you! Before we cushy little self-inflating therm-a-rest butt pads to provide comfort for our bums, we made Sit-upons. I had completely forgotten about them until I came across a post over at Little Blue Boo about how to make them. Sit-Upons are little round mats that protect your bum from the damp ground when sitting. Every girl had to make her own, and we brought them proudly to all the picnics, hikes, jamborees, and camping trips.
I still remember how long it took me to make mine, I had to sew it by hand, and if I’m not mistaken, we used newspaper for the inside lining, not batting! I think I was in Brownies at the time, and couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8 years old. It was probably one of my first big sewing projects! I thought about that a lot as I easily made five in about an hour tonight. I guess you get better at things after 30-something years of practice!
At any rate, these little mats are terrific for picnics, gardening, camping, the park, kid’s sports events, hiking or anywhere you might want to sit, but don’t want to risk your delicate tush on the cold, wet ground.
They also make a wonderful upcycle project as they can be made from old flannel-backed table cloths, raincoats, IKEA bags or the like. You can also utilize old blankets as the lining in the middle.
How to Make a Sit-Upon
- Enough vinyl to cut two 24″ circles
- Quilting batting, or and old fleece blanket or a thin towel (or newspaper, apparently!)
- Sissors or rotary blade and self-healing mat
- Adhesive spray (helpful)
- Matching or contrasting thread
- Ribbon/bias tape (optional)
First, make a template. It should be a 24″ circle cut out of cardboard or something sturdy. If you’re lucky enough to have a platter or something this big, even better! I had to tape two large sheets of Bristol board together to get it big enough!
Next, get your favourite cutting tools together and cut out two 24″ pieces of vinyl.
It’s actually faster to work assembly-line style if you plan to make more than one sit-upon. Just keep cutting out circles, remember you need two for every one sit-upon.
Next, you’re going to attach the batten/blanket to the wrong side of one of your vinyl circles. I recommend using an adhesive stray to help it stay put, because it can be tricky sewing three layers together. Don’t use too much, just a little light spray, just to make it tacky.
After gently adhering the batten to the wrong side of the vinyl, put the other piece of vinyl into your work. The two vinyl pieces should be situated with right sides facing.
Basically you should have a three-layered sandwich. It should be one vinyl circle with the wrong side down, followed by the second vinyl circle right side down (which means, right sides are facing), and third, the batten on top.
Now that you’re certain you have your sit-upon sandwich in order, take it over to your sewing machine and sew a 1″ seam all the way around the side, making sure you catch all three layers and leave a hole big enough to turn your project right side out. If you are using batten, do not sew batten-side-up. It will grind your machine to a halt! Keep the batten on the bottom.
Next, pull your Sit-Upon right-side out and run the seam to make sure you caught all three layers. If you missed somewhere, just put it back inside-out and stick over it to make sure you catch it. It’s hardly going to matter if your circle isn’t absolutely precise.
Afterwards, I sewed a top stitch all the way around, catching and closing the opening used to pull the fabric right-side out.
Sit-Upons are super-lightweight and easy to roll up and carry. Here is my 3 year old carrying about five of them.
It doesn’t take much room to store even a number of them. They are so easy to store or take along with you somewhere.
Thanks to Ashley Hawkshaw over at Little Blue Boo for this wonderful stroll down Memory Lake! I can’t wait to make some more! Her tutorial can be found here: Simple Round Situpons From Vinyl Table Cloth. My method is a little different than hers. She used ribbon as a bias tape to sew down the raw edges round. I did make one following her tutorial, but where her’s look like shabby chic adorable little Sit-Upons, mine looked a little more just shabby. I don’t think my sewing bias-on-the-round skills are quite up to par with hers! If you’re good at working with bias tape and raw edges, go check her tutorial out! Adding that extra layer of colour and pattern could really make these POP!
If you’re looking for something to do with the leftover vinyl fabric, check back soon for a new tutorial!
Or check out these awesome vinyl tablecloth tutorials: