Part of re-doing my sewing room (yep, still working on that project) is that I’m discovering fabrics I forgot about. I purchased cute striped oilcloth last summer with the intention to make lunch sacks–with some sort of lining to make it safe for food. But then it never happened. And I thought, gotta do something with the oilcloth.
So I made a little tote. You know, your basic, standard, rectangle bag.
I cut a really long rectangle and folded it in half for the bag, then stitched up the sides and folded over/stitched the top for a nice finish.
For the straps, I cut long strips of oilcloth–with the stripes going in the other direction. I folded them in half, folded the raw edges in, and top stitched. Then I sewed them on to the bag.
Oh, and I added a little pocket inside because I hate losing my keys and phone in the big open space.
If you’ve never sewn with Oilcloth, it’s really quite fun! The fabric is stiff and can fight you at times but there are ways to work through it.
I wrote a more detailed post HERE about Oilcloth, what is it, where to find it, etc. I used it to cover our bar stools last year and we still love them. Cute, comfy, and easy to wipe up spills. They look just as fresh as they did on day one!
Because Oilcloth is a vinyl fabric (backed with cotton mesh), the fabric has a tendency to stick under your presser foot when sewing two layers together, which can be a pain.
Here are a few tricks to combat the stick:
* A non-stick Teflon or roller presser foot. I don’t have one but they work great with these types of fabric. It’s time I forked out the money since Oilcloth and vinyl are so fun!
* Sandwich the fabric with a piece of tissue paper on top and bottom. When you’re done sewing, carefully tear the tissue paper off.
* Use the strength of both hands to give the fabric a tug as you sew. This is what I do most often. Don’t pull it too hard through your machine. Just a small tug.
You’ll notice, however, that the top part of your stitching looks more even than the bottom, bobbin stitch:
So I make sure that any noticeable stitches on the outside of the bag are done with the top stitch, rather than the bobbin.
* Use a wide stitch length, such as a 3-4.
* Pins will leave holes in the fabric, so only pin in the seam allowance. For other placement (such as my pocket and straps), I just did my best to hold it in place and sewed.
Most of all, have fun! Think outside of the box and play around with a fabric you may never have used before.
I’m actually really happy with the little tote. And I love that it’s waterproof. Now I can’t decide what the best use is for it.
It’s perfect for holding library books….but it would also be great for holding wet swimsuits after we swim. Hmmm.
And this was totally unintentional but it fits my laptop like a glove. I kind of can’t believe it. A computer cozy!
Mostly, it’s a matter of who will use it more.
I might have to make another.