{Tutorial}: Oilcloth Market Tote

Inspired by the oilcloth lunch bag that I posted, I decided to whip up a quick tutorial for a large oilcloth tote in the likeness of the lunch sack. It comes together fairly quick, especially if you have the proper tools to sew on oilcloth.

Let's begin!


-Use a Walking (Even-feed) foot, Roller Foot, or Teflon Foot if you have one available.
-If none of these feet are available, attach a piece of Scotch tape to the bottom of your regular presser foot so that the vinyl won't stick. Or place a piece of tissue paper on top of the vinyl and tear away once the stitching is complete.
-Never pin vinyl. It will leave holes. Instead hold pieces together with masking/painters tape, binder clips, or paper clips.
-Use a denim or leather needle, a longer stitch, and a looser tension. I usually set my stitch length to 4.5mm or longer and my tension at 3 or 4.
-Go slow and take your time. The slower you go the more control you will have over this tricky fabric.

You will need:
-at least 5/8 yard of 2 different oilcloth prints
-Teflon foot, roller foot, or Even-feed (Walking) foot--If none of these are available then making tape on the bottom of your regular foot will suffice.

Cut 2 pieces 16" by 18" from each oilcloth print.Designate one pattern for the outside of the bag and the other pattern for the lining. Place one outside and one lining piece right sides together, making sure you match up all of the sides. Since you cannot pin oilcloth without poking holes into the fabric, use paperclips or bobby pins to hold the pieces in place. I used a temporary adhesive and some hem clips.

Now mark a dot 2.5" down from the shorter edge and another dot 4". At the 2.5" mark a dot a 6" and 10" and connect these 2 points. Repeat at the 4" mark. Now connect the lines to form the rectangular handle.

Stitch on the shape that you just drew.

Cut inside of the rectangle like this. Then push the lining through that hole. It looks tricky, but I promise you it will work.

Your panel should look like this now. Repeat with the other 2 pieces of fabric.

Topstitch around the handle.

Place the 2 completed panels right sides together and stitch around the three sides not closest to the handle.

Box the corners of the bag 2" from the edge. Trim close to stitching.

Sorry this photo is sideways...
This is what your bag is supposed to look like by now. If the top is uneven, now  is the time to even it out. You will need to cut a "binding" strip from a scrap piece of oilcloth that is 2" wide by however long your your oilcloth is.

Fold your strip in half and crease it. Fold it over the edge of your bag's opening like so. I used some vintage hem clips to keep it in place while I sewed and took them off when I started stitching close to them. Bobby pins, paper clips, quilt binding clips, and bulldog clips all work well too. Edgstitch close to the cut edge of the binding.

When you get close to the finishing point, overlap the edges about an inch and finish edgestitching. And you're all done!!



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