Sunday, 25 November 2012

My first Oilcloth bag!

Helloo!!  It's me again! My posts are like buses - you wait ages for one, then two come along together!

I've just finished and photographed my latest commission, it was for an oilcloth messenger/saddle bag and the customer pretty much gave me free rein on it, I just hope that she is as pleased with it as I am. This was my first foray into the world of Oilcloth and it's quite a tricky material to work with. You really have to sew everything right first time, once your sewing machine bites into the fabric, the mark is there for good. If you have to unpick then the only option is to sew again in exactly the same place - I'm sure that there is some sewing machine wiz out there who can do it with ease but I'd rather not have to try! Oilcloth is also hard to manoeuvre through the machine as it is fairly rigid and doesn't squash up as easily as other fabrics and if you are sewing shiny side down, then it will just stick to your sewing machine. The only way round this is to place an off-cut of oilcloth face down on the machine bed in front of the needle - this will stick itself to the machine and enable the piece that you are sewing to move freely over it.
There are two things that I could not have managed without; the first being a Teflon sewing foot. A normal sewing foot will stick to the oilcloth and you will be unable to sew, so a Teflon foot is a must.

The second must have are these little plastic clips. Pins will leave a mark int the laminated cloth if you accidentally place them outside the seam allowance, the clips won't distort the fabric and are great with thick, multiple layers. I must confess that I bought them on a whim thinking that they might come in useful, and they certainly did!

The design is one I've been thinking about for a while but hadn't yet made, it has two pockets on the front, and two pockets inside, one of which is zipped. I will be making more, but probably in regular fabric, though I may be tempted to dabble in laminated fabric again at some point.

The finished bag!


  1. That's really pretty! I would have been cursing the oilcloth after 5 minutes, though - all that stickiness and clipping! Well done for finishing and not giving up in disgust like I would have done. And for making such a lovely bag.

    Ali x

  2. It was a bit of a challenge, took me much longer than a normal bag as I was so scared of making a mistake! I'm sure it must get easier the more you do... right?

  3. I did once make an oilcloth apron for my daughter's art sessions with some success, if you didn't look closely at the stitches :-) I do remember having trouble with it. You are very brave, I tend to avoid oilcloth, along with anything that stretches! Well done, it looks great.