Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Oilcloth Tutorial #2: Summer Tote (aka: 1 hour Tote)
To continue with tutorials on simple oilcloth projects, today I'm making a summer tote. I have nicknamed this the "1 hour tote" to highlight the fact that this project is so fast and easy. Since most of my sewing time is crammed in the couple of hours between my son's bedtime and my own, I like it when I can start and finish something in one night! This is also a great beginner's sewing project and you could use canvas or homedec weight cotton instead of oilcloth.
This print from Echino has a wonderful, large scale and I wanted to be sure I could show it off in a big project. Since this is a linen/cotton blend, its also heavier than some of the other laminated cottons out there.
Materials: 1 yard of oilcloth (could use a generous half yard depending on direction of the print), rotary cutter, coordinating thread for topstitching, denim sewing needle (for sewing through up to 4 layers of oilcloth).
One caution here, check your thread tension on some scraps of oilcloth before you get started. I found that the feeddogs were not advancing the oilcloth easily when sewing on the right side because of the coating, so if you have a nylon foot that would help!
Step 1: Cut your pieces from the oilcloth, selecting the portion of the print you want to highlight on your bag. Cut 15 x 33 for the body of the bag and 2 straps 2.5 inches x 28 inches each.
Step 2: Sew the straps. Here, I use the fact that the coating on the cotton will prevent it from fraying to take a shortcut: I simply fold the fabric in half wrong sides together and sew with a 1/4 inch seam. Then I turn the strap around and sew along the fold. Repeat with other strap.
Step 3: Fold down your tote at the "top" by 1 inch and topstitch across the length of the tote.
Step 4: Mark the placement of your straps on the inside of your tote. Find the center line, this is going to be the side of the tote. From there find the center of each side, front and back, and then position the straps to your preference. Here I put mine each 3 inches from the center of the front and back.
Step 5: Attach your straps. I sewed a square to reinforce the strap.
Step 6: Sew the tote closed with a seam down the side and across the bottom. Reinforce at the ends with a backstitch.
Step 7: Turn your tote right side out and Enjoy!