Oilcloth is such a fun fabric to use in sewing and embroidery projects. As a waterproof fabric it is quite durable and perfect for outdoor projects. Learn how to successfully sew and embroider oilcloth using the following tips.
Problematic Pins - Avoid pinning oilcloth. Pins will create permanent holes in the oilcloth which cuts down on the water-resistant nature of the fabric. Instead of pins, use transparent tape and pattern weights to keep fabric layers together.
Needle Know-How - When sewing light- to mediumweight oilcloth use a 90/14 sharp needle, upgrade to a 100/16 sharp needle for heavyweight varieties. Always install a new needle before sewing oilcloth and check regularly if the needle has dulled.
Savvy Stitches - Increase the stitch length when sewing oilcloth. This will prevent excess needle penetrations.
Fancy Feet - Use a PTFE (or Teflon coated) presser foot when sewing oilcloth. If you don’t own a PTFE foot cover the underside of a standard presser foot with transparent tape.
Mark It Up - Always mark oilcloth with chalk or an air-soluble fabric marker, other methods may create permanent marks.
Seam Finishes - Oilcloth won’t fray, so seam finishes are not required.
Pressing Matters - Do not iron oilcloth as it will melt. Finger-press seams as needed.
Wipe it Down - Instead of washing oilcloth in a washing machine, wipe oilcloth with a damp cloth to clean. Should a stain be especially persistent, soapy water and a sponge can be used.
Storage Solutions - Roll oilcloth and tie the rolls with a scrap of ribbon. Avoid folding oilcloth as this will create creases. Should the oilcloth become creased lay it out on the floor and allow it to relax for 24 or more hours. If the creases are severe, use a blow dryer on low heat to warm the fabric and hopefully remove the crease. Be careful not to melt the fabric!
Use these tips to create a fun oilcloth project today! Here are a few to get you started:
Download a free oilcloth tote project featured in the March/April 2012 issue of CME.
Create a friendly wind chime using oilcloth scraps.
Stitch up a fun oilcloth lunch sack from Sew It All vol. 2.