Oilcloth. Not many fabrics can conjure up nostalgic feelings like this fabric can. A lot of people recall their parents using it around the house, making aprons out of it and designer such as Cath Kidson using it to make high-end make-up bags.
When sewing oilcloth it is important to remember that the coating can ‘stick’ to other items (this is not to say that the fabric is sticky to the touch) if you are going to be sewing a lot of oil cloth, or similar fabrics it may be worth investing in a Teflon foot. Just like Teflon coated pans, this foot won’t stick – so the fabric will glide through a lot easier. If you are only experimenting with oilcloth and do not want to buy a special foot, sprinkling baby powder over the fabric, putting down a layer of tissue paper (as you may do with chiffons or other slippery fabrics.)
It is also worth bearing in mind the type of needle you are going to use. A regular needle may not have the power needed to get through a coated fabric; using a wedge shaped needle can be easier to get it through the fabric; and also take the strain off the machine.
If this hasn’t scared you off, oilcloth can be used for a variety of projects that are both easy to sew and practical to use. After asking around Croft Mill we’ve gathered together our favourite tutorials; another idea would be to use a run of oilcloth to use as a tablecloth for outside dining tables. It is spill proof and wouldn’t need hemming, so could be quickly used to protect your table as well as give it a new lease of life.
You can find the tutorials by clicking on the links or images below.