02 June, 2008

Oilcloth Lunch Bag

I can't believe I've been blogging for 2 years and haven't mentioned my love for oilcloth. In the old days, oilcloth was most often seen as pretty yet functional tablecloths in big patterns and bright colors. Perhaps you remember your grandmother having one? It was basically cotton or linen fabric covered by linseed oil to make it semi-waterproof. They no longer make it with linseed oil, but instead a dull vinyl cloth that is super durable. Great stuff, especially with kids around.

In recent years, however, oilcloth has made a BIG comeback with all things retro. Because of it's unique durable (and wipe able) surface and prints, it's being used for everything from art smocks for kids, to tablecloths and diaper bags. One of the reasons I love it too, is because is so easy to sew with (no fraying!).

Now, on one occasion I made a cute little lunch sack (many many years ago when I was a working gal before kids) and recently came across instructions for making one that I knew you guys would love. Once you buy oilcloth, a million things will come to mind as to what you can create with it. For instance, it's the PERFECT material for shipping together some place mats and coasters for your outdoor summer entertaining!

You Will Need
-about 1/2 yard oilcloth fabric
-sewing machine (although this is such a small and simple project you could probably stitch it by hand if you don't have a machine)

1) First, cut your main piece 29 1/2 by 8 inches and two side panels, each 12 1/4 by 5 inches. You can either use the same pattern/fabric for the entire bag, or mix it up a little a do the sides a different oilcloth pattern than the front and back. See? We really know how to live on the edge here at Monogram Momma's.

2) Next, fold the long panel, inside out, into U shape with 5-inch bottom.

3) Like the diagram shows, make a 1/4-inch cut at the bottom corners of the side and middle pieces so the bag will fold smoothly.

4) Sew-in the side panels, leaving 1/4-inch seam allowance.

5) To finish, turn your bag right side out and top-stitch all around, 1/8 inch from edge.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that you have no idea where to purchase oilcloth fabric because you've likely never seen it in your local fabric store. Well, don't worry, I'll tell you exactly where to go!

In the past, I have bought my oilcloth from Reprodepot. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this site and have bough lots of vintage fabric from them over the years. Just make sure the fabric specifically says "OILCLOTH" to make sure you are purchasing the right material. Also make sure you check out the Fashion Fabric Club and Mendel's Far Out Fabrics. Know that there are a lot of places online you can purchase oilcloth, but you don't have a terribly wide selection of pattern choices. For the most part (give or take a few fabric patterns), they all have the same oilcloth choices.

Courtesy of Martha


The Charmed Life Online said...

Oil cloth is sooo useful! Like you said, especially when it comes to kiddos!

You can use it for splat mats (the mats placed underneath the high chair to catch the mess), bibs, picnic blankets, etc.

Thanks for this great demo, I had not thought of a lunch bag. Love it!

Muffy said...

TOO CUTE!!!! I am totally doing this project! HOW FUN!!!! :)

Pink Flamingo said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this project!! Thank you for posting and bring on the oil cloth. I can't wait to make a couple for my darling diva of a daughter...she is super excited to bring her lunch to school next year when she will officially be a first grader...sniff, sniff!!

TCP said...

How funny! I was *just* looking up oilcloth because I desperately need something to protect out dining room from the rampaging toddler! I found this project at Martha (natch) but I think it's beyond my sewing skills....


Ashley said...

That is really cute!!

I'm not capable of making one, but they are adorable.

Cindy said...

I'm just learning to sew and have also always loved oilcloth (the absolute best for a camping tablecloth!). I'll give that a try if I can cook up the nerve!

Dana said...

I have a couple of kitchen towels made out this. I love them.

AR said...

what a cool project! thanks for sharing.