Home generalSewing with oilcloth - Instructions for a bag

Sewing with oilcloth - Instructions for a bag

  • Oilcloth fabric
  • preparation
  • Sew with oilcloth
    • Sewing a bag

As you know, you can never have enough bags at home. That's why I want to present you this time a very special copy. Today I'll show you how to sew a small shoulder bag made of oilcloth.

Not for nothing is the water-repellent wonder material currently very trendy: Available in numerous versions, it is incredibly resistant, easy to care for and from the sewing world indispensable.

However, there are some points to consider in the processing, because the material has its pitfalls. In the following instructions you will find all sorts of tips and tricks on how to optimally sew oilcloth.

Oilcloth fabric

The water-repellent oilcloth has been used in recent years mainly in the production of tablecloth, but now it can often be found in the field of furniture manufacture or in the production of bags, bags or rain jackets.

One of the two sides is coated and thus water-repellent. This saves us the need for a wash with oilcloth, whereby the material would probably not survive a tour of the washing machine anyway.

The storage of oilcloth should always be done in roll form, as any wrinkles in the fabric are very difficult to remove. Ironing is done only from the left side and with a protective intermediate (like thin cotton fabric) between oilcloth and iron.

You need this:

  • Oilcloth fabric
  • Cotton fabric, leather or SnapPap as complementary material
  • a matching zipper
  • possibly a matching cord
  • ruler
  • pen
  • scissors
  • sewing machine

Difficulty level 2/5
The processing of the oilcloth requires a lot of practice

Cost of materials 2/5
about 15 EUR, depending on the cost of the fabric

Time expenditure 1/5
about 1.5 hours


Step 1: First, we draw the size of the two pieces of fabric for the upper part on our oilcloth and on the second fabric (in our case, the SnapPap or vegan leather), the two lower fabric parts of the bag. For a bag measuring 25cm x 20cm, we will need 26cm x 13cm oilcloth and 26cm x 8cm SnapPap twice.

Step 2: Next, cut out all 4 pieces of fabric with scissors.

Step 3: The zipper can already be cut to the width of the bag. I try, however, to let the zipper about 1-2 cm longer and shorten it finally after completion of the two seams. This prevents the end of a few millimeters missing or the zipper after sewing into space.

Step 4: To hold a cord you can cut 2 small SnapPap or leather pieces in the size 2 x 4 cm. We will make these parts into a loop and sew them in between the fabric layers.

Sew with oilcloth

Due to its coating, oilcloth is relatively firm. Therefore, when sewing always a needle for denim or leather should be used as normal universal or jersey needles can break off very quickly.

In addition, a stitch length of 3-4 is recommended because too many puncture sites can perforate the material unnecessarily often and tear it at the suture. Unlike softer fabrics, these stitches remain as small holes in the oilcloth. Even pins are not recommended in this context. Whoever has Wonderclips at home should use them.

Before sewing, it is recommended to try the seam on a sample. Already sewn points can be very difficult to be separated again without permanently damaging the material.

Sewing a bag

Step 1: First, we put the two pieces of fabric right to right together for both the front and the back and stick the wider of the two sides. Then we quilt the whole thing with the straight stitch of the sewing machine.

Step 2: Next, place the zipper between the two parts. The zipper is now pinned right to right on one of the two oilcloth fabrics. If you have a zipper foot for your sewing machine, it is recommended to attach it for the following two seams. So you can sew tight-edged along the spikes and from the edge of the zipper is not much to see.

Step 3: Using the straight stitch, stitch both sides of the zipper together with the oilcloth fabric. The zipper can still be seen on both sides.

Step 4: The two small SnapPap or pieces of leather, which we have tailored in preparation, we now form loops. These loops we place now within the two pieces of fabric, which are superimposed right to right.

ATTENTION: The straps have to point inwards, that means they are no longer visible when sewing!

Step 5: Now we open the zipper so we can easily turn the bag after the next seam. The bag is now stitched on the open three sides with the straight stitch. When you arrive at the corners when sewing, use the handwheel to rotate the needle into the fabric, lift the presser foot, and rotate the pocket 90 degrees. After lowering the presser foot, you can now easily sew straight on.

Step 6: Then we turn the bag through the zipper to the outside.

Step 7: If you have a matching drawstring at home, you can now thread them through the two loops of the bag and make a thick knot at both ends.

That's it! Our bag of oilcloth is ready and can be executed. Of course, the bag can be sewn in different sizes and with different pitches. Who does not want to have loops or drawstring, can make the bag a little smaller, and also use it as a case or cosmetic bag.

I wish you lots of fun sewing!

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