Sewing using Mexican Oilcloth

About a month ago I was having a catch up with my good friend Ros from Like Giants. We were talking about our most recent projects and the subject of Mexican Oilcloth came up. I’d only recently heard of it and to my knowledge it was pretty inaccessible and price prohibitive. Ros piped up with some info about a company selling it in Annandale for around $12.50 / metre. Hellooo!

A little googling  and I found myself staring at the  website of The Home of Mexican Oilcloth in Australia, Me Too Please. I finally got over to their store this week. What fun. A curious little setup with an eco edge and a brave open workshop arrangement, it was quite impressive. Particularly the bit where they took my 2 year old (who had started screaming the second we walked in the door) over to the Chalk Cloth table to draw. Bless them. I even got time to look through the remnants box.

I left their shop with a mixed pack of 4 designs, some great ideas and a few hints and tips on how to sew and manage oilcloth. Of note, here’s the advice I was given:

  • Use 100% polyester thread
  • Use a sharp heavy weight (90/100) needle
  • Use a walking foot
  • Use scotch or masking tape or even hairclips instead of pins (they damage the fabric)
  • You don’t iron it. If there are a few wrinkles in you piece, a brief run under hot water and a little manual manipulation will get the wrinkles out. Dry before sewing.
  • Be creative and have fun.

Mexican Oilcloth Business Card Holder by

Because I’m such an amateur and because I just wanted to hit the ground running, I had a crack at the tea wallet concept, adjusting it slightly to be taller and suitable for holding business cards, tissues, panty lines (yep, went there), coffee cards, train tickets and other ‘stuff’ in the 6cm x 10cm range.

I’m wrapped at how they’ve turned out. I’m adding them to my market stall in a few weeks and I’m curious at to whether they will sell, and wonder who would buy them.

So, oilcloth. In my opinion, it rocks. A fabric you ‘iron’ with your fingers and ‘pin’ with sticky tape. Aweseome!

Tell me, have YOU ever sewn with or bought anything in oilcloth? I’m am a little bit addicted and on the lookout for new project ideas, I would love to hear some suggestions.

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  1. Liz Baldwin says:

    I want to make a fitted tablecloth for my boat using the Mexican oilcloth – do you think it would be too thick to sew? Thanks

  2. Liz Baldwin says:

    I meant a fitted tablecloth for a dining room table on my boat.

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