Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Oilcloth Tote Detail

Here's the promised detail shot from my oilcloth tote bag (and, as promised, without any shots of the horrible top-stitching!):

This was fun and simple to do; I particularly liked following the leaf motif around the edge of the large applique.

You see, oilcloth is evil to topstitch on, but free machine embroidery avoids all those problems ... and it's not so bad to sew normal seams on (though the fabric does stick to itself when right sides together, so it can be a pain to align your fabric pieces).

Oilcloth is fun and cute, just beware that you'll want to curse it if you have to topstitch the stuff!  I didn't get round to trying stitching with tissue paper, which is another tip for sewing with the stuff.

Have you tried out oilcloth before?  Any tips on sewing with it?  Any fabrics you love, but are a pain in the arse to sew with?

Monday, 27 August 2012

Busy with Oilcloth

Hello, hello!  Yes, I have been quite neglectful of my blog recently - the truth is, I've been busy doing, rather than blogging about it.  I don't want to apologise, because I consider that to be A Good Thing!

Plenty of photos to come soon, but for now, here's a quick phone photo of a tote bag I made during a 10 week class at the Textile Workshop - Vintage Inspired Summer Sewing with the lovely Natalie Smith.  It was all about sewing with oil cloth.

You can get some fabulous oil cloth fabrics around, but one of the main things I learnt was that with oil cloth, you do get what you pay for.  Very cheap oilcloths tend to be a flimsy plastic with a non-woven backing, whereas the slightly more expensive ones (around £12/m) will be cotton fabric with a PVC or similar coating.    I got mine at Norfolk Textiles and particularly loved the matt finish oilcloths.

The other main thing I learnt was that oil cloth is a *£&%$&^ to top stitch.  Really.  Even with a teflon foot, it sticks to your machine and itself in an attempt to stop you ever getting any sort of stitch regularity.  So, no close up shots of the straps or top of the bag, hahaha!  I am, however, quite pleased with my free-machined applique, so there will be close-up shots of that, soon, as well as the other bits and pieces I made.

Oh, and the shingle beach ... The other thing I've been doing is spending a week away in Portsmouth with Mr Magpie!  It was such a lovely, chilled out week - I didn't want to come home!