Sunday, 18 March 2012

Bag and Baggage - The Oil Cloth Tutorial

This week we are going to make a boot bag or shopping tote from oil cloth, it uses many of the techniques we used last week in the garden tote.  This bag will be great for all those April showers next month, for carrying your boot in a chic bag to Festivals, for holding the kids' sopping wet swimming costumes and for feeling as though you are saving the planet at the supermarket.  So let's get this on the table (no pun intended) oil cloth hates you, it is personal and it will fight you every step of the way but we are going to tame it and win!
So let's get started, you will need the following:


1/2 mtr of oil cloth
Cotton
Scissors
Clothes pegs
Denim needles for your machine
Sewing machine
And NO ironing board and iron!
Unfold your oil cloth, if it is creased lie it in the sun or pop it over a chair and leave it in front of a radiator to warm through... finally if you are feeling brave, almost foolhardy, you can iron it lightly on a cool setting on the reverse side but I would try the other methods first.  *WEG*


Cut out two pieces 18" (length) x 13.5" (wide) (front and back), 15.5" (length) x 6" (wide) (side panels) and finally four pieces 28" (length) x 3" (straps) - I was lucky my oil cloth had squares printed on the back which made cutting very easy for me :)


Now, remove your everyday sewing needle and put in a denim needle as we are going to need the big guns to pierce through the heavy duty fabric.  Next you will need to extend the length of your stitches... practice on a spare scrap of oil cloth until you get the tension right, keep your sewing at a steady rate.
Sew the first two pieces of fabric together (18" x 13.5).... now you will be thinking how do I pin it together, well you don't, this is where we are going to use the clothes pegs, put the right sides together and pin them with the clothes pegs, this will not mark your cloth unlike pins.
Open up the seam and fold it back, we are now going to sew along the seam lines to strengthen the seam as this will form the base of the bag.  If you find that your foot is slipping then replace it with a teflon foot or if you do not have one, use masking tape to cover the foot which will give you purchase on the shiny side of the fabric.
With the right sides together, peg the sewn piece to one of the side pieces, ease it round ensuring that the top edges match and that the middle of the side piece matches with bottom seam.  Carefully sew it around using a 1/4" seam allowance and like we did last week, when you get to the bottom of the front seam, keeping the needle in down and through the fabric, lift the foot and manoeuvre the fabric around until you are able to sew along the base seam, repeat this and then sew up to the top of the bag.


Repeat this for the other side panel and turn the bag right sides out.
Turn over a 2" seam around the top of the bag, peg it down then. sew it 1 3/4" from the top.
Next, are are going to strengthen the side seams, roll the seams between your fingers then peg it again, sew a seam 1/2" from the edge, when you get to the corner again, leave the needle down and it is back to lifting the foot and manouevring the fabric around until you are able to sew along the base and continue along the bottom, stop with the needle down... you know the drill and continue up the back.  And then repeat for the other side.


At the top, press the seams with your fingers towards the side panels and top stitch about 1/4" from the top all the way round.
Now we are going to use the pegs again with a vengeance to make the straps, take one piece of strapping fabric, on each side fold over 1/2" on each side to meet in the middle, peg it down and don't touch the ends, repeat this on the next strap.  Lie one strap on top of the other and peg them together... now I bet you are wondering why we don't just stitch the straps from the inside and turn it inside out, well I tried and I couldn't manage it as the fabric is just not malleable enough... I know I tried!
At the end of each  strap we are going to make a paper aeroplane fold, turn over a triangle to the centre with the right side and again on the left side so you have a point like the nose of a paper aeroplane, then fold this triangle back to the centre to give you a straight edge, repeat on the other side of the strap and sew a 1/4" from the edge all round.
Measure 3" from the side seam and hold in place again with one of your pegs. Sew a square then sew diagonally from corner to corner.  Now go and change the needle back on your machine as I don't want to be blamed when you make huge holes in the fine silk lingerie you might be sewing and take the masking tape from the bottom of your foot, if it is sticky use nail varnish remover to clean it.
And there you have it, a boot bag for festivals or to carry your boots about during those April showers that appear to have arrived a little early in my neck of the woods :)
And now over to Wendy's Homemade Monday to see what gems the team reveal from their makes during the past week :)

34 comments:

Caroline Nash said...

I love the apple print and thank you for the tutorial. The video is one of my favourites,. showers and not even April yet!

butterflyblossom said...

Another brilliant tutorial Ros, love the fabric! I mentioned your blog on twitter the other day as I had a follower who wanted some really good sewing tutorials and she loved it. She tweeted your website link to the rest of her followers and you received nothing but praise for your brilliant website! X

CHRISTMAS PIE CRAFTS said...

Very snazzy Ros - you always have such lovely material. Many thanks for the tutorial - hope you have a good week

Sprinkles Crafting said...

A great tutorial, I need to work on my sewing skills but sure I will progress to this project soon as it's such a beautiful bag with so many uses. I love the fabric too!!

Samantha x

Wendy said...

Excellent project (love the idea of a boot bag) and excellent tutorial. Love the addition of tips for sewing oilcloth!

mcrafts said...

Great idea Ros - and a very hand bag. As usual you make it look easy! Mich:)

Highland Monkey's said...

The bag is gorgeous and thank you so much for taking the time to do a tutorial.

tillymintboutique said...

I definitely need to make one of these! Yet another fab tutorial :-) xx

Truly Myrtle said...

Great tutorial! Looking forward to having a go!

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fatmonica said...

I love your tutorials-they always make me think that I can actually make something!Love the bag!

Lyn said...

Wonderful tutorial - especially handy if you've never stitched oil cloth before.

However, I had to read it twice because the first read through was for entertainment rather than education - I just love the way you write!

Jam Dalory said...

Great tutorial and great bag, with a different fabric print it would make a great beach bag or swimming bag too. x

Eve said...

Very Nice!

Helen said...

Brillint tutorial again Ros, thanks for that!

Jenna Odie said...

Thanks for the tips on working with oil cloth. I was thinking of getting some but now I think I'll get to know my new sewing machine a bit better before I do!

Pickle Lily said...

Wow - another great tutorial! Love the apple fabric. Quick gormless question - what does *WEG* mean?
Jo x

CarolC1 said...

Lovely bag with your usual clear, precise instructions. Thankyou for sharing, I will be 'having a go' later.

Trayne1837 said...

Saw this on Craftgossip.. I have been saving the cat and dog food bags that are like plastic fabric and I really think that I have found a great pattern, since it is alot like oil cloth. I love the tutorial and plan on trying it on these bags.. At least this will make them more useful and save most of them from the landfill.

Ros Made Me said...

For those who asked what *WEG* stands for, it is Wicked Evil Grin... the look that I normally wear :)

sue said...

Great project with fab instructions. I just wish I could sew, I so want to make these bags.
Hugs Sue x

Stephen @ Soy of the North said...

Love that apple fabric. Another excellent tutorial :-)

Fiddly Fingers said...

Love the fabric and a really clear tutorial. Had to laugh when you explained what WEG meant!

Michelle said...

This is a great project! I can think of 1001 uses for a bag like this!

Blackwillow said...

Fantastic tutorial, as someone else said your tutorials always leave me feeling as though I COULD actually make one of those....

Charters said...

Lovely tote, great tutorial. I'd love to be able to make something like ths.

Picto said...

Love the *WEG* and the bag is great too.
A great idea to use the pegs.

Jan x

Handbags by Helen said...

Great tips thanks Ros. I've had some oilcloth for ages but haven't got around to using it. Was only thinking this morning I should give it a go soon so you've inspired me to take the plunge!

Alexa said...

What a great bag! I have some bright polka dotted oilcloth that never got made into reusable snack bags for lunch boxes, so this may be its' fate. I'm saving the link for use on my Bag of the Week Blog.

Sheila said...

Great tutorial. It's true oilcloths not the easiest thing to sew but it's worth the effort. I also find that you can iron it on the wrong side through a press cloth with a steam iron to remove creases - just do it lightly.

margaret said...

I cannot download the pattern even in Foxfire. I honestly do not know what to do. If anyone can help please let me know.

Thank you,
Margaret

Ros Made Me said...

Margaret - there is no pattern to download, all of the information is contained in the blog post itself. Hope that clarifies the situation.

Pip said...

Been looking for the perfect shaped oil cloth bag for ages, so pleased to have found this one today. Am making it now, but am stuck! Can you explain:

"Open up the seam and fold it back, we are now going to sew along the seam lines to strengthen the seam as this will form the base of the bag."

It looks as though you just sewed each of the seam allowances down, but I can't see how that adds strength. I'd hate to get it all made for it to fall apart because I did some fundamentally wrong right at the start!

bella vita said...

So possible for me. Im not good on these, but this one i can make it easily.