Wales is a lovely place, particularly the seaside town of Swansea where I live. But it does rain a fair bit. And so I’ve come to appreciate not just waterproof clothes but waterproof bags, too. I’ve always wondered whether my machine would cope with sewing waterproof materials like oilcloth. Ina from Pattydoo demonstrates in her tutorial that it is quite feasible to make a small bag for children using oilcloth and canvas with one’s home sewing machine. Next, I found myself online, looking for oilcloth and found this utterly adorable fabric.
Have I mentioned that I think sheep are cute? Pity that my otherwise utterly perfect Labmaraner Penny likes them, too. In entirely the wrong way…
So, when the oilcloth arrived, I set myself two tasks. I wanted to make a shopper (well, a teaching-material-carry-arounder) and a small pouch for my ipad. Here’s how this adventure went.
The Baaa Bag
Once you’ve found a pattern that works, why change? Once again, I used the wonderfully easy-peasy Wendy pattern from Pattydoo, a free pattern with (German-language) video tutorial. I used it before, for example for my Patchwork Shopping Bags. Here are the ingredients for my bag:
Two pieces of oilcloth, two pieces of lining fabric (in my case made from an old curtain & thus fairly sturdy stuff), cotton webbing – and some velcro that I ended up using for the other bag, not this one.
The Wendy bag is very quick to sew. Have a look at the video tutorial if you don’t believe me. You’ll get it even if you don’t speak German. Basically you sew around three sides of your fabric – twice, once for the outer bag, once for the inner bag (lining). If you want a boxy bag, you can follow the following tutorial to see how it’s done.
Then you fix the webbing to the inner pocket. The handles are dangled inside the bag – be careful you don’t sew them on the wrong side around (ahem, hello seamripper!), twist them or sew over them in the following step.
Next step: you now turn the inner bag inside out and stuff it into the outer bag, so that the two right sides face each other. Then you sew once around the top (2cm seam allowance), taking care to leave a gap through which the bag is turned inside out. After doing that, you sew twice along the top: the first time a few milimetres next to the seam and the first with a seam allowance of 1.5cm. The little hole through which you turned your bag inside out (or, right side out) is closed automatically.
And there we are: my Baaa bag.
The iPad Baaa Pouch
Next up, the same thing again, just smaller.
This time I needed some interfacing, though, to give the pouch a bit more stability. I used cheap dishcloths – they do the job perfectly well. The curtain material I used for the lining frays quite a bit & so I hemmed the edges with my new & very wonderful overlocker. The stuff probably didn’t need hemming, but I got to use my new toy. Wonderful.
Putting the pouch together is a lot like making the bag, with the difference that the opening is on the right-hand side, not at the top. I did sew two sides together first, then put the iPad in to see if it fitted, before continuing. I ended up shortening the lining quite a bit, but the outer fabric not so much, which made it really awkward to sew – something to remember not to do whenever it is I make another one!
Here’s the finished article, with awkward, wonky seam mercifully hidden…
Despite the wonky seam, I’m as pleased with my little Baaa iPad pouch as I am with my Baaa Shopper. It was an interesting new experience to work with oilcloth. I was glad that I had a Teflon foot, because the sewing went very smoothly, indeed. However, I believe that using a little bit of thin paper around the seam works just as well.