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Oilcloth/Coated Fabric Sewing Tips

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Here are some sewing tips that will make working with oilcloth or coated fabric much more enjoyable.

  1. Needle - denim or size 16 needle, but we've also used the whatever needle is in the machine #12 without issue
  1. Thread- poly-cotton is fine.
  1. Set Stitch Length a bit longer 3.5, seems to help to have the feed dogs push the fabric a bit farther along and reduces the likelihood of creating a rip from perforating oilcloth.
  1. Masking/Painter's Tape is your friend for keeping pieces aligned - pins will leave holes that won't 'heal', so choose to use pins in the seam allowance or not at all.
  1. Take it slow - no need to rush since sewing errors are hard to undo - holes remain - remember and slow helps it go through the machine better.
  1. Presser Foot is also key -The only time you need to use a special presser foot is when the oilcloth or coated surface is in contact with the presser foot - such as top-stitching.  Here are your presser foot options----
  • Teflon - cost $3 not most effective foot, it did work better then the standard presser foot, but a little bit of pulling and keeping fabric taunt has it went through the machine was necessary to keep things moving especially when the first starting.
  • Roller- cost $3 - experience is the same as teflon but less pulling, but it still needed a bit of a jump start in the beginning.
  • Standard Presser with Masking or Painter's tape on the bottom - it worked fine, might need a little jump start at the beginning and a little fussing to get the tape to cover the bottom
  • Walking Foot - keeps everything moving, take it slow and steady.
  • Tissue paper - no need to change the foot, just put a strip of tissue paper over the area you want sew, make sure it is aligned properly since the downside is you can't see what you want to sew. Then, when you are done just tear away.

Bottom line - do a little tweaking with the presser foot and extend the stitch length and you will have success!

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