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Give Away Winner and Hot Tip on How to Iron Oilcloth

6 Jun

I drew the winner by ….the winner is…Michelle – you are the lucky person:)  I will email you later.

I was always a bit nervous of ironing oilcloth but find that, if you are using 100% cotton backed oilcloth, it is quite possible to use a very hot iron on the cotton back ONLY.  I  tend to use the steam too and this helps to get the unwanted creases out easily.  As far as Mexican Oilcloth is concerned I have never put an iron near it and wouldn’t recommend it – the cloth itself is thinner and the backing has cross threads running through it rather than a complete cover of cotton.  Oilcloth Addict recommends finger pressing this type of oilcloth only.

I have just finished off the ‘sneaky peak’ bag and yes it is a messenger bag.  My first attempt – do you like it?  I’m still not sure I do.

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I better hurry…

31 Jul

I thought it would be a good idea to try and write everyday…hmmm that remains to be seen.  Any way it is still this side of midnight.  I thought I would try to explain the differences between the two types of oilcloth I am working with at the moment.  I began to do so on the swatches page of the blog.  Here is my second, more detailed attempt:

The 100% cotton coated PVC oilcloth is great as there is a heaviness to it, so when I make the bags they hold their shape well and the weight of the fabric, in my opinion, helps the bag to look strong yet pretty all in one, without all the contents poking out in all directions.   This is true for the unlined bags I am making at present.  The bags are also hard wearing.  A friend said that hers is used on a daily basis and has withstood heavy shopping on many occasion.  What I like about my bag is that I can hang it on the buggy to carry the shopping, to the park with a picnic or throw loads of kids stuff into it and also wear it in a more dressy situation.  A versatile and practical bag, perfect.  My next challenge is to make some new lined bags.  Keep on watching.

The Mexican Oilcloth is also good.  There seems not to be to much in the way of fabric backing in this oilcloth, it has threads running through it in different directions.  This thinness allows for sharper corners and it is easier to work with when making the more fiddly wallets.  Yes, believe it or not, the wallets are more fiddly than the bags and take me more time to do.  At the moment 3-4 hours work.  Where the bags are taking me close to 2 hours work.  Slowly, Slowly.  We will get there in the end.  I need to make a bag with the Mexican oilcloth to see how that goes and looks.  It will be quite striking, I am sure, because of the beautiful bold floral patterns on the cloth.  I need some slightly bigger pieces.  I have recently been asked to make a cosmetic bag in ‘patchwork’ style.  I look forward to the making of that.  Watch the creations page next week and it should be up towards Friday.

Both fabrics have absolutely no give what-so-ever, this makes it tricky when all you need is just a little stretch to make your project look gorgeous.  Ah well, one thing I have learned on this oilcloth sewing journey so far is that the saying ‘A stitch in time saves nine.’  is very true.  I have had to slow right down to get the finish I am constantly striving for and yes it certainly has made a huge difference.  Thanks mum!

bag of the blog

29 Jul

I made this one for my friend’s order today.  We both agree that it looks fantastic.  It is the matt finish oilcloth again and like the matt English Rose oilcloth it hangs beautifully.  In fact I have had to call it the ‘bag of this blog’ so far because it is fun and smart at the same time.  Great.

If you are at all inspired by the idea of making something with oilcloth, here are some hints that I have picked up from others on their blogs and also on some of the textile websites…take a look at Viva La Frida for Mexican Oilcloth.

HINTS:  DO use a teflon foot or if you don’t have one of these, which I don’t, put some masking tape on the bottom of your sewing machine’s presser foot, this stops the oilcloth sticking to it and potentially damaging your machine.  I speak from experience!

DO use a strong needle, I find the Denim needle is good.

Someone also suggested loosening the tension to between 1.5 and 3.  Check this out on your own machine.  I have and am not sure it makes a vast amount of difference on mine.  However all machines have their own quirks so DO practice on some bits to see if it helps you.

Another important tip is that your needle marks will leave permanent holes in the oilcloth so this makes mistakes a bit harder to unpick.  Some of the first wallets I made I unpicked so many times I have had to discard them completely.  A big learning curve.

Happy sewing.

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