I have now made my very first Tote bag using Oilcloth! Having recently made a Cross Body Bag with Faux leather I felt sufficiently confident to have a go with this “new-to-me” fabric.
I purchased the boldly coloured Tropical print cloth from The Range at the bargain price of £3.50/metre so that if the bag did not work out then I would have wasted only my time and not expensive fabric! I cut approximate sizes for the panels and pockets and stitched using the Teflon coated foot on the machine and a 3.0 stitch length. As I was unable to use any heat on the cloth I did not apply any fusible interfacing and only “finger pressed” the seams, but top stitching helped to keep the seam allowances neat. Also being unable to use pins on the oilcloth instead I used the clover clips which I purchased some time ago. They were great and I very quickly had the outside of the bag constructed. I adjusted the sizing of the bag slightly and decided to make the base a generous size, also to use plastic mesh bag base and nickel bag feet which I had in my “bag-making stash”. This was the first time that I had used the mesh and bag feet which were simple to install so I will definitely be using those again.
For the lining I used a remnant of Strawberry printed stretch twill bought on sale from New Threads. As I had only a small amount of fusible fleece in stock, I tried out the new pack of Bosal one-side fusible foam fabric. Having done a test fuse I made sure that the Bosal was cut ½ inch smaller all around before fusing to the lining pieces and constructing the inner bag.
For the strap/handles I cut two lengths 4 inches wide x 29 inches long and double folded before top stitching both long edges. I made 4 sets of tabs with D rings which were basted to the top of the bag prior to adding the lining.
As I wanted to avoid scrunching the oilcloth when turning the bag right side out, to attach the lining I simply folded down ½ inch of the top of the oilcloth, ½ inch of the top of the lining and then top stitched the lining in place wrong sides together. Once the lining was stitched in place the finale was to attach the strap/handles to the D rings and it was done!
I am very pleased with the way the bag has turned out and will definitely be making more, especially now that I have refined the exact dimensions that I like for the bag and calculated the fabric requirements. This particular bag is relocated to West London as I have given it to a good friend as part of her Christmas gift instead of a stocking!
Base of bag showing the bag feet