Over the past few years that I've been traveling to Oaxaca, Mexico, I've grown even fonder of oilcloth than I already was. Oilcloth in Mexico is very inexpensive and I'm always tempted to get tons, but I've learned it's quite heavy, so I restrain myself.
Oilcloth in the Benito Juarez market in Oaxaca
Oilcloth in action at the Etla market
I've used oilcloth to make zippered pouches, to line a cosmetic bag, and to make tons of totes.
They are perfect for farmer's market and swimming pool season—easy to wash and dry. I taught a class at Home Ec Workshop on Saturday, where my students made a simple oilcloth tote.
Photo from an earlier class, not this past Saturday
It's reversible and they can add a pocket on the inside, outside, or both. I love it when I spy one of them being used around town—that happened just last week at the Saturday Farmer's Market.
Oilcloth in the Abastos market in Oaxaca-Oilcloth was harder to find this year.
I agreed to make reversible table runners for my traveling companions
I've learned a few tricks since sewing with oilcloth (and from Kelly McCants, author of the 2010
Sewing with Oilcloth
, who I interviewed for a 2012
story). Use a slightly longer stitch length, try a denim needle, and most important, slip tissue paper between the bed of the sewing machine and the fabric–it can be very sticky. I shared those tricks with my students, and they each left with a completed bag—I love when students walk away with a finished project!
Also an earlier class and not last Saturday--I cant' find that photo!
More oilcloth in a Oaxacan market