I have a new obsession…
It’s called oilcloth. And it’s delightful.
It’s shiny, waterproof, and comes in all sorts of fun colors and patterns. The best part? It doesn’t fray, so finishing your seams is a breeze!
A few months ago I ordered a couple of yards just to see what I could do with it, and this is the first time I’ve really used it. I decided to make some boxy little makeup bags following this tutorial from Three Bears. I love the fabric she used, and I think this shape of bag is just right for so many things-makeup, first aid kit, tampons… the list goes on and on! So check out the ones I made using my shiny, happy oilcloth!
Oilcloth Makeup Bag
- 8 in zipper
- 2 pieces of oilcloth measuring 9″ x 6″
- 2 pieces of oilcloth measuring 3″ x 3″ (optional)
- Sewing machine
- Rotary cutter and mat (recommended)
First, cut out your rectangles of oilcloth. (As we continue, please disregard how sloppily mine are cut. I really need to get a right angle measure to make sure all my pieces are square!) The long edge will be the top/bottom of the bag, so keep that in mind when using a directional print!
For the smaller pieces, fold two opposite edges in 1/4 inch, then fold in half and topstitch down the long edges to form a strap. Repeat with the other piece. These will become pull tabs on either side of your makeup bag. Put them aside for now.
Next, it’s time to attach the large rectangles to the zipper. Apparently, zippers are really scary, intimidating things. I’m always seeing blogs or comments like “Oh, how cute, but I’m too scared to try a zipper!” However, nobody told me this before I got started sewing, so I just found a zipper tutorial online and went to town. It wasn’t until later I realized I was in the minority for tackling the dreaded zipper. Hopefully my instructions will be clear. If not, check out this great tute from twelve22, which is what I used when I learned.
Anyway, grab your first piece of oilcloth and put it so the right side is facing down. Now fold one long edge over about 1/4 of an inch and press with your fingers, a credit card, or any other hard thing you having lying around to form a crease. DO NOT iron your oilcloth, or both your project and your iron will be ruined!
(Please excuse the photos for this step-they aren’t that great, and the fabric is different. That’s because I figured out after making a couple that the way I was doing it was not optimal for an unlined bag. The way I’m showing you is DEFINITELY the easiest and best way to do it!)
Now, lay your zipper down right side up, and place your oilcloth, right side up, on top of it, aligning the edge of the fold with the teeth of the zipper. It’s not recommended to pin oilcloth, because the holes will show after, so I used some paperclips to hold everything together, and used my zipper foot to topstitch along the fold, securing everything.
A note on sewing with oilcloth-you may find that your presser foot sticks to the shiny side of the oilcloth. Luckily I did not have this problem, but if you do, just stick a bit of masking or painter’s tape along the bottom of your presser foot, and it will glide flawlessly!
Now repeat the last few steps with your other piece of oilcloth, attaching it to the opposite side of your zipper.
This is what your project should look like at this point:
Now, fold your pieces of oilcloth along the zipper so that the right sides are together, pin or paperclip into place, and sew along the bottom, long edge.
This next step is very important: MAKE SURE YOUR ZIPPER IS PARTIALLY UNZIPPED. If you do not do this, you will be very sad and have to undo all your stitches later.
Place your project so that the zipper is facing down, and line up the bottom seam that you just sewed with the zipper. Line up all the edges and pin or paperclip in place.
Grab those little tab pieces that you put aside earlier. Fold each one in half, and insert between your oilcloth layers, right above the zipper, lining up the raw edges with the raw edges of your bag. Now sew along the two open edges, getting as close to the ends of the zipper as possible to avoid gaps.
This is what you’ll end up with:
Now it’s time to box it up. Reach inside and pouch out a corner, and press the seam into the opposite side, creating a triangle, like so:
I like to measure my corners to make sure that they are all even. On this size bag, I did a one inch corner, marked it with plain old pencil, and paper clipped it. Repeat for all four corners.
Sew along the lines you just drew, and cut off the excess fabric at the corners.
Now, simply turn your bag inside out, making sure to gently push out all the corners, and…
This is the “bad” one-I forgot to put the tabs in, so I’ll keep this one for myself!
Gorgeous! All done. A water-resistant, wipeable makeup bag that is just so darn cute!
What do you think?