Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oilcloth Tote

This is my first oilcloth tote made possible by participating in a tote bag quilt along hosted by Hana.    I've had these oilcloth for ages.  Though they are not Cath Kidton's design, the color and print are timeless classics.

I encountered a few technical difficulties while making this tote. First, it was difficult to run the oilcloth under the foot because the foot grips the oilcloth. Usually you can just buy a "leather foot" designed for sewing specialty fabrics like leather and oilcloth. I didn't want to spend the extra money on this accessory. So, I remembered that there was one fellow blogger who had suggested placing a piece of paper on top of the oilcloth to help the foot "glide" through the fabric. I tried it but didn't work that well; plus I would had to tear off the paper afterwards. Then I remembered seeing one seamstress placing a drip of sewing machine oil on top of the oilcloth. It worked. But got to remember to use a larger size needle and adjust the stitch length to about 3 (on my Bernina)

The second problem I had was that the seams wouldn't stay tucked under because I didn't want to pin the seams fearing that the pins would have left holes on the oilcloth.  Hence the solution of using   double-sided tape (designed for fabric use) to tape down the seams. 

After thought:  We had rain on and off during the end of May and beginning of June.  This oilcloth tote sure came in handy on those rainy days.  I love it!

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