April 15, 2011

Strawberry Tote Variation: The Berry Picker

The Original Tutorial for the Strawberry Tote is HERE. You will use it to make the Berry Picker Variation. You can also refer to The Easy Handle Variation for the handle.

To make this variation, you will want to use Laminated Cotton, or Oilcloth for all your fabrics. You will not need interfacing, but may prefer to add fusible fleece to the handle. It's all up to you. Don't you think this would be so cute for a little kid to take berry picking? My son can't wait to take his and go pick strawberries.

Strawberry Picking Tote

This version was made with cheap tablecloth fabric with a fuzzy backing. DON'T USE IT! I had never sewn with it before, but it rips easily at the seam and has ripped in other spots too. I hate it. I'd sooner make this from a shower curtain then this fabric. But at least, from this, you get the idea. It's something you can let them get dirty, juicy berries can fill it and it will still wipe down easily!

I went to my local JoAnns store to pick up some oil cloth and when I asked where they kept it, the attendant look at me funy then asked what it was! I was surprised. She was one of those older, white haired, crafty looking women. Thus I was completely startled that she didn't know what oilcloth was. It's not that uncommon is it?

Anyhow, I realized that perhaps some of the newer readers here haven't seen Laminated Cotton or Oilcloth. (Others of you will remember it from the Chalk Mat Tutorial.)

GOOD WATER-RESISTANT FABRIC

Laminated Cotton is a quilting weight cotton laminated in a polyurethane coating. It resists water extremely well and has a lightweight feel to it. Several large fabric manufacturers make laminated cotton now.


Depending on the manufacturer it may or may not be machine washable. Some say they aren't, but it still looks great after washing. In one instance I have had the fabric separate from the coating. If you are planning to wash the fabric you might want to test a small piece first.

Oilcloth is originally a duck cloth or canvas weight fabric coated with linseed oil. It too is semi-waterproof. It has been commonly used for tablecloths. A lot of companies market a PVC coated woven fabric as oilcloth now.

SEWING TIPS FOR LAMINATED COTTON, OILCLOTH AND VINYL FABRICS

To sew on the outer (coated) side of these fabrics can be difficult because your machine's foot will most likely stick to it. I've shown you how to use tissue paper (which works fabulously) in the Chalk Mat Tutorial. You can also try a walking foot, if you have one, or painters tape. My favorite though, is a Teflon Foot. (Make sure to get the one that fits your machine). It glides across the fabric easily, but doesn't let it slide too much!

If you have any questions about these fabrics, please post in the comments, and I will try to answer quickly. I'll post my replies in the comments for all to read.

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