Smiley stitcher on oil

SewingLol, isn’t that sewing smiley cute?! I clearly need to get out more!

Anyway, on with the serious business of sewing with oilcloth (is the blog title making more sense now?!)

As all my newsletter readers know, the reason I thought about making these toiletry bags is because one of my sisters unashamedly hinted how cute a bag was that I had reposted on Instagram – if you love Instagram too – click here if you’d like to follow me. Since that bag was a toiletry bag, I thought it was as good an excuse as any to try my hand at oilcloth. You don’t say no to my baby sis. N.B Jump to the end of this post if you want to learn about a very embarrassing thing I did regards this.

I asked a friend about any secrets she had about sewing with oilcloth and she said that a Teflon foot wasn’t necessary, despite that advice being blazoned all over any tutorials you find. She suggested using a leather needle for it and a walking foot. That was good news as I have those to hand. Even better news – that set up worked for me too! During the sewing of the bag though I used three different feet! That’s pretty good going for just a ‘small’ project!

Walking foot for use on oilcloth fabricOilcloth toiletries bag (4)zipper foot

I was very slow at first because I was wary that the foot would stick to the shiny side but I soon got quicker. It is quite nerve racking in a way though, as you know full well that any mistakes are final. There’s no unpicking with this fabric.

The middle foot shown in the photos above was used when I did the ‘normal’ sewing on the lining. I wasn’t very happy with the way I treated the first bag lining either, as I don’t have an overlocker and the zig zag stitch didn’t work well to stop it fraying. I either should’ve used pinking shears on it or folded over the edges. I’m not great with the whole ‘creating a tidy edge’, as I’m often too impatient to get to the end result. Tut tut @ me.

Wonder clips to use with oilcloth fabric

Something else I’ve seen done is use wonderclips instead of pins when using oilcloth. The reasons are fairly self explanatory i.e put a sharp pin/needle into oilcloth and it doesn’t disappear; it just leaves a visible hole. Visible holes aren’t great all over a project. I love them anyway, as me and pins don’t get on that well. They like to leave blood on my fabric, which doesn’t make for a happy Diane.

This photo was taken before I sewed the lining onto the bag outer. I made sure that I sewed very close to the edge, so that it didn’t show up once the bag was sewn together.


Scallop stitch on oilcloth

For those of you who’re thinking; ‘oh wow, hasn’t Diane done well with her first attempt at sewing on oilcloth’, I’m afraid I have to burst your bubble. As is my way, I took things too far and attempted to do a scallop stitch, as a pretty effect along the zip. I liked the idea as it mirrored the brown scallops in the design of the fabric. As the photo shows you, it didn’t turn out well. The stitches kept missing every now and again for some reason, so I had to go over it twice in places; which is a task in itself; lining up the needle to be in the correct place first and then sewing onto the fabric. Of course, as I’ve said already, unpicking on oilcloth just isn’t happening, so I had to leave it. Suffice to say, I didn’t do it again. I do learn from some mistakes!

Will I sew with oilcloth again? Oh yes indeed! I actually loved it. I’d like to make a large shopping bag next I think.

When exactly is anyone’s guess.

Oilcloth toiletry bags

Mummy bag and baby bag.

The end.

Oh no, I can’t end there can I? I have to tell you the embarrassing story about all of this.

Well. At the start I told you that I wrote a newsletter for the escapees and told them that this post would be published at the weekend and all about how my sister had ‘inspired’ me to try oilcloth and showed the completed bags photo. Her birthday is on Friday May 15th.

Half an hour later, said sister posted on my Facebook wall. – ‘Uuuummmm Di. . . .you do know I read your blogs don’t you???? Hahahahaha ‪#‎birthdayspoiler‬‘. Of course by blogs, she meant newsletter.

Yes, that’s right, she subscribes to my newsletter and I didn’t know.

Me? Mortified? uuummm, oh yes indeed!

One embarrassed Diane signing off.

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