Sunday, 26 May 2013

Working with Oilcloth

Just over a year ago I made a momentous decision to change my direction, I closed my business Funky Diva Designs and set off on the path of teaching and quilting.

I can't believe it is only a year! The journey has been so much fun and I have met so many interesting people.

Yesterday I taught my first session at the New Brewery Arts Centre in Cirencester. It is one of the biggest arts centres in the area and a lovely setting to teach in.

The workshop was all about sewing with and using oilcloth to make a bag. 

Oilcloth tends to scare people because it is so stiff and the once it is sewn it is marked permanently. But it is very useful for making bags. It's wipe clean and waterproof so perfect for making durable bags.

Yesterday was the first time I had taught how to sew with oilcloth and so it took more planning and thought than my other classes. If you visit my blog often you will know that I believe in planning teaching sessions so that I can give my learners the best possible experience. Planning also allows me to relax knowing I have thought every aspect of the class through - behind my relaxed teaching style is a plan!

It was a great workshop with 10 lovely ladies all keen and excited to learn how to sew. I provided all of the materials and machines so they only had to come along and have fun!

We started with the bag outer and I had 3 designs which started with the basic and went to curves - differentiating the options for learners helps them to be control of their learning! The morning was spent cutting out the design using templates and then sewing the pieces together along with interfacing.

By 12pm our brains had started shutting down so we took an early lunch before attacking a zippered internal pocket. They look amazing but are actually pretty easy!

The last hour of the afternoon looked very much like the Great British Sewing Bee with every frantically trying to get the bags put together - the atmosphere changed from relaxed to tension of the highest order! 

It was great fun and as you can see the bags turned out great!

They all came from the same template, but the choice of oilcloth and the personalisation of the handles and base width changed the bags completely!

These three gorgeous ladies added webbing to make longer straps and they looked perfect! It's something I need to take next time I teach the class...

All in all it was a wonderful day spent with some amazing people. Fingers crossed for more sunshine so they can use their bags all summer with joy!


  1. It sounds like a fun class. I've had some oilcloth sitting in my closet for a year now waiting to be tackled.

    1. It is great fun! Oilcloth is great to work with, just practice on a piece first!

  2. great stuff. glad it went so well