Skip to Content

Sewing with Oilcloth by Kelly McCants

After sewing State Fair entries and Halloween costumes, my sewing machine is in slumber. It will be coming out this weekend as we will be sewing for charity.  Perhaps after the weekend, we can focus on bright colors and bold designs and attempt oilcloth. I’m fascinated by the stuff. Mostly it’s the colors and patterns that lure me. The stiff, thick fabric sorta intimidates me.

Kelly McCants has sparked my interest more with her book Sewing with Oilcloth. Page after page, there are some lovely creations, and I think the versatility of it is a fabric that’s stunning inside as well as outside really revs my need to try at least one creation. The book has amazing projects and some tips and instructions that seem to boost my confidence with each read.

I don’t have a great sewing machine. After all, I bought it three years ago at Walmart. Still, McCants makes me feel I can succeed. While my sewing machine is lower-end, I hear her sharing tips to make my machine advance the oilcloth like a pro. There are tips on what tools work best on oilcloth and how to attach oilcloth bias trim–that’s some mad skills right there.

Where would I begin in this wonderland of oilcloth fun? I’m on page 49, taking in the Party Banners. I love the simplicity, and McCant’s incorporation of chalk cloth to customize the banner is brilliant! We entertain a lot, and my kiddos are banner junkies. Several made of oilcloth with the chalk cloth accent would be a bright and festive look. Even the biggest party pooper would have to pause to give notice.

The Sandwich Wrapper on page 87 looks like something I could produce even on the most chaotic days. The oilcloth is water-resistant and cleans well, plus it’s BPA and PVC-free. We use sandwich wrappers, but none are as festive as these can be.  Pair this up with the Insulated Lunch bag on page 96, and you will make a beautiful lunch!

Oilcloth used to be fabric treated with layers and layers of linseed oil; now, it’s more or less fabric sewn onto vinyl. While its production has changed, the list of things oilcloth can be used to make is endless. It’s a great medium for Baby Bibs, aprons, splat mats, placemats, book covers, crayon cases, shelf liners, outdoor furniture covers, table covers, sewing machine covers, and more.
I remember when oilcloth was popular in fabric stores. I miss those days. I’ve found some, but the selection of prints isn’t great. If you’re looking for some bold, whimsical or elegant oilcloth prints, check out the author’s Etsy shop,  Kelly’s Oilcloth Addict shop. It’s a great window shopping experience, at the very least!

I’m hoping my deadline projects will be soon completed, and I can pull myself up to my sewing machine and sew for the tranquility, the beauty, and the oilcloth. I’ll be starting with the 20 patterns found in Kelly McCants, Sewing with Oilcloth, pioneering the medium at my home, and thinking of my grandma, who seemed to love this fabric.

*I received sewing with an oilcloth to facilitate an honest review. The opinions expressed were my own and were in no way influenced by the sponsor. Other experiences may vary.
About Julee: Julee Morrison is an experienced author with 35 years of expertise in parenting and recipes. She is the author of four cookbooks: The Instant Pot College Cookbook, The How-To Cookbook for Teens, The Complete Cookbook for Teens, and The Complete College Cookbook. Julee is passionate about baking, crystals, reading, and family. Her writing has appeared in The LA Times (Bon Jovi Obsession Goes Global), Disney's Family Fun Magazine (August 2010, July 2009, September 2008), and My Family Gave Up Television (page 92, Disney Family Fun August 2010). Her great ideas have been featured in Disney's Family Fun (Page 80, September 2008) and the Write for Charity book From the Heart (May 2010). Julee's work has also been published in Weight Watchers Magazine, All You Magazine (Jan. 2011, February 2011, June 2013), Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine (Oct. 2011), Red River Family Magazine (Jan. 2011),, and more. Notably, her article "My Toddler Stood on Elvis' Grave and Scaled Over Boulders to Get to a Dinosaur" made AP News, and "The Sly Way I Cured My Child's Lying Habit" was featured on PopSugar. When she's not writing, Julee enjoys spending time with her family and exploring new baking recipes.
error: Content is protected !!