Oil Cloth Bag DIY Tutorial (update)

I thought it would be fun to update and re~blog some of my older posts.  This is one of my favorite tutorials I have done here on DramaqueenSeams.

I hope you enjoy it too…

This is the Oil Cloth Bag I made as a GiveAway on the blog.

 Isn’t it cute.

 I’m telling you if you had one of these bags you would use it all the time.  It is great for picnics, swimming, groceries, and more.  I still have and use mine for the past  5 yrs.  

It works great and lasts a long time. 

I start out by cutting  (2)  18×18 squares for the main part of the bag and (2 ) 18×3 in. strips for the contrasting top portion of the bag.  I sew the strips right sides together onto the  main bag piece. Flip it up and top stitch across so it lays nice and flat. All seams are at 1/2 in. and I use a size 14 ball point needle on my machine.  It works the best.
The pocket is added before you sew the two main pieces together.  The pocket piece is 10×18 in. because you will fold it in half right sides together and sew all the way around leaving a large opening at the bottom for turning.  I mean large opening, only sew partially past the corners so turning is easy.  Not the easiest stuff to turn.  I also added a smaller pocket on top of the large one.  You want to cut it 8×10 in. and fold in half like before.  You will also want to top stitch across the top of you pockets before putting them together.  Fold your bag in half and mark center point. It creases nicely.  Also fold your pockets in half and match centers.  Sew pocket to bag leaving top of pocket open.
Put right sides together making sure to match up seams at the top of bag where contrasting pieces  meet.  I use tape to hold it in place because pins will put holes in the oil cloth and paperclips tend to slide off.  Sew up the sides and the bottom of the bag. You want to cut a 3×3 in. square off the two bottom corners.

You will need to match up the side and bottom together.  I try to match up the seams.   And sew across making a nice flat bottom for your bag.

Do the same process to make the outside of your bag.  Put the bags wrong sides together.   Set that aside for now.  To make your straps you will need to cut 2 strips that are 3x 24 in. long.  Fold the strap in half to get a reference line then fold each side to the reference line and then in half.  Use paper clips to hold strap together.

I really hope that make sense?

Attach the straps to outside of bag 5in. down from the top of bag making sure your straps are even on the front and back of the bag.  I usually line my straps up to the outside pocket and space them the width of the pocket.  To attach the strap to the back of the bay I lay the bag flat and line them up to the front straps.  Stitch in place making sure lining fabric is out-of-the-way.

Fold down the lining and the outside bag about 1 in. so I have a nice folded finished edge.   Place paper clips to hold in place.  Make sure straps are held in place also so you can stitch them down as you top stitch all the way around the bag.

 Your bag is finished.

Good luck with your bag….

Any questions on how to make this bag leave me a comment below and I will be glad to help.



  1. What a fantastic tutorial – TFS! I love oilcloth and the prints look fabulous! Wonderful job! Hope you are enjoying your weekend! ~ Stephanie Lynn


  2. I pinned . . . love it!!!


  3. Reblogged this on Drama Queen Seams.


  4. I see a lot of interesting articles on your page.
    You have to spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save
    you a lot of time, there is a tool that creates unique, SEO friendly posts in couple of minutes, just search
    in google – k2 unlimited content


  5. José Groenheide says:

    Love your tutorial!
    Question. I see that you put the straps under the frontpocket, but I don’t understand how you do that without seeing stitches on the inside of the bag… or do you stitch them on before you put the outer bag to the inner bag. I hope you understand what I mean.


  6. Making this at the moment. Did you only add a contrast band at the top of the inner bag? In which case should the sizes cut be 16×18 to allow for that strip not showing on the outside?


  7. Making this at the moment. Do you only cut contrasting strips for the top of the inner bag? If so should the inner bag pieces measure 16×18″ to allow it to turn down without showing on the outside? Thanks


    • Yes. I’m sorry the tutorial didn’t specifically say that… I added contrasting pieces to the inside of the bag because I didn’t have enough oilcloth to work with😢you could eliminate altogether if you want. Hope that helps clarify for you


  8. Could you adjust the sizing of this for a yoga bag? Any suggestions?


  9. quirkyoutwest says:

    Hello! Beautiful bag! Just got back from Mx and came back with yards of oil cloth. Was reading your instructions carefully and you started off telling us to cut squares… the pattern looks like the large piece it is more of a dramatized T shape than a square. What are the proportions for the large piece that is both the sides and bottom of bag? Looking forward to making it!


    • I like to cut squares for my bag, but you can cut a T shape if you like. I don’t remember the exact measurements of this bag. You could make it any size you’d like. Hope that helps you out with your sewing.


  10. My straps do not look as long as yours. Are you sure they are 24″? Thank you. Love this tutorial!!


  11. nicole harding says:

    hello. love your bag. what stitch setting did you use?



  1. […] sewn with oil cloth before and like to work with it but laminated fabric is a little different.  It’s a lot more […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: