So let's get started, you will need the following:
1/2 mtr of oil cloth
Denim needles for your 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 :)