Hello! It’s Day 2 of the The Great Canadian Craftsy Bag Tour..
It’s a pretty fun tour featuring bloggers from Canada reviewing Craftsy classes.
Disclaimer: Craftsy provided me with the class free of charge for the purpose of this review. In addition, this post contains affiliate links which are marked with an *. If you were to purchase something after clicking on one of the affiliate links I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. All thoughts and opinions are of course my own.
Today for my stop on the Craftsy Bag tour I’m sharing my thoughts on the class Sewing with Oilcloth: Bags and Baskets* with Kathy McGee. If you’re unfamiliar with Craftsy maybe I should explain what they are first. Craftsy is an online platform where you can watch classes from 16 different categories such as sewing, baking or photography. Once you purchase the class, it stays in your account for life so you can come back to it at any time. One of the great features about the classes is participants are able to ask questions that the instructor answers and you are able to read all the questions that have been asked. They put together a video you can watch* which explains a little more about how Craftsy works. You can also find many free patterns on Craftsy as well as ones for sale, and it’s free to sign up for an account.
I’m going to go right out and say it. I’m completely miscalculated when my post was due and wasn’t able to complete the tote on time. So unfortunately I can’t share with you right now a completed tote, but I will come back and update the post with extra pictures once the tote is done in another day. But I did have a chance to watch the course and so I’m able to share with you my thoughts on that.
EDITED 06/04/2016: Forgot to add in some giveaway info, it’s been added at the end!
On to the review!
The class: Sewing with Oilcloth: Bags and Baskets with Kathy McGee
Kathy McGee of Hemma Design
I found her pleasant to listen to, her voice wasn’t annoying or anything, ha. In the first video for the course she seemed a little ‘stiff’ in front of the camera but towards the end she was much more natural and seemed more comfortable. I felt she explained things clearly, I like her teaching style. There are some examples of other bags she’s made with oilcloth in the background which is nice to see. She sells other patterns to use with oilcloth as well as a book for bike accessories on her website which she mentions briefly.
Along with the class there are downloadable instructions for making the Market Tote bag and the Sewing Basket.
The Market tote comes in both large and small, pictured I believe is the large size. The downloadable instructions give a full explanation on how to cut out the pieces and sew the bags but you really should watch the videos as well to get the tips and to see a visual of how she puts the bags together, especially if you’re new to sewing with oilcloth.
The most important thing to know about this class if you haven’t realized it by now is that you are making a bag using oilcloth. So you need to get your hands on some oilcloth if you don’t already happen to have some in your stash. I never really looked too hard to find it locally as I knew that Fabric.com had a huge selection as I had purchased some from there in the past so that is where I purchased my oilcloth from again this time. Since you shouldn’t really fold oilcloth as it will keep it’s creases and you can’t iron it, they ship it to you rolled up on these long rolls that are taller than me (I’m 5’8″)! The great thing about oilcloth is that it can be fairly inexpensive. (The bad obviously being shipping and duties make it not so inexpensive). I bought 4 yards of oilcloth in 4 different prints.
Oilcloth -what is it, cutting out appliques, best presser feet options, how to make the market bag, how to make the sewing basket, creating bias binding.
Tips I learned that really stood out for me:
- To get creases out of a piece of oilcloth place it in the sun so that it warms and then place the piece under a stack of books!
- Put masking tape on the bottom of your presser foot if you don’t have a Teflon foot to prevent the foot from sticking to the oilcloth.
These are both super helpful as I hadn’t heard these before when learning about using oilcloth in the past.
What I made:
For my review even though I really wanted this course so I could make the sewing basket, I decided to sew up the Market Tote bag instead. In addition to needing oilcloth (and a sewing machine obviously) you will also need Fabri-Tac (US/Canada*) fabric glue and clips such as Wonder clips. She uses large chip bag clips for the Market tote; I have neither chip bag clips nor Wonder clips so I used bobbi pins and alligator clips which worked alright.
The tote itself is a fairly easy sew. What I forgot to take into account was all the steps involving glue! If you don’t want to mess up your needles you need to make sure the glue dries between each step so to get to the stage I’m at now took me a few days as I was also working during that time. I would glue the first step, go to work, come home and do any sewing I could then glue the next step, leave it dry overnight. Get up the next morning, glue the next step, leave it to dry while at work.. and so on. So it’s not difficult at all to make, I’m sure sewing the bias on will be a little tricky as that is the next step I need to do after gluing the sides on, but if you are making one for a gift be sure to work in the extra waiting time for the glue to dry between steps. Definitely not a last minute project that you can just whip up for something. [Although in an answer to one of the questions a participant asked she says the glue takes 10-15 minutes to dry and more if you’re using larger amounts; perhaps since my glue was in the clumpy stage and I was unable to get a thin bead of glue that that is why it was taking more like 30-45 minutes to dry completely for each step.]
Also a note about the Fabri-Tac. I have been using this stuff for other projects for a few years now, it’s the best fabric glue I have found (in terms of keeping it’s hold). But for whatever reason, you really need to use up the bottle within a month or so. Whenever I go to use it and it’s been a few months since I last used the bottle, it’s impossible to squeeze through and I have to unscrew the top and use something to scoop the glue out. It still works it’s just less liquidy after awhile and can’t be squeezed out and will come out in a big glob. I’ve had this happen on at least 4 bottles by now so unless you go through a lot in one month I recommend you buy the smallest bottle you can find.
If you’re interested in working with oilcloth and making one of these cute bags, now is the time to purchase this course! Until April 12th you can save 50% off the price of the course by clicking through this link*.
Craftsy has also graciously sponsored a prize for a giveaway! Up for grabs is Rowan Three-Quarter Patch Tote Kit (includes PDF pattern and fabric)*, plus Pellon Fusible Fleece Interfacing*. Just click >>HERE*<< to enter!
Come back on Sunday, April 10 for your chance to win even more prizes!
Monday, April 4
Seam of my Pants — Bag-Making Basics: Reversible Tote & Zipper Pouch with Kristin Link
and Learn to Sew: Simple Bags* with Nicole Vasbinder
Tuesday, April 5
Sprouting JubeJube — Sew Sturdy: Home Organizers* with Annie Unrein
Lulu & Celeste — Sewing With Oilcloth: Bags & Baskets* with Kathy McGee
Wednesday, April 6
Happy Okapi — Sew Sturdy Travel Organizers* with Annie Unrein
Thursday, April 7
Michelle’s Creations — Mix & Match: Clutch Bag Techniques* with Janelle MacKay
Friday, April 8
Shelaine’s Designs — Sew Better Bags: The Weekend Duffel with Betz White
Tangled Blossom Designs — 20 Essential Techniques for Better Bags* with Lisa Lam
Saturday, April 9
Emmaline Bags — Recap/Roundup
Sunday, April 10
I forgot to mention, Craftsy is having a giveaway (completely unrelated to this tour but it’s Craftsy so I’m mentioning it) open to US and Canadian residents throughout the month of April to win $100 worth of Craftsy goodies. Click on the picture below to be entered to win! (Pic has affiliate link)