I have been wanting to try working with laminated cottons for quite some time - in fact, I purchased some of this unique fabric several months ago - but was waiting for a good project pattern. Yesterday on my excursion with Merry I found the perfect pattern to try out these "all the rage" coated cottons. The pattern is by Sweetwater and is called Pack and Go from the Sunkissed Collection...it contains instructions for three sizes of bags: small (6' x 5"), medium (9" x 5"), and large (12" x 5")...although you could easily adapt the pattern to any size you like!
For those of you not familiar with cotton laminates - they are similar to oil cloth, but not quite as heavy. It is a quilting-weight cotton sandwiched with with a thin polyurethane coating making it substantially water-resistant. Great for making items such as raincoats, diaper bags, cosmetic bags, aprons, lunch bags, or picnic place mats/blankets. These coated fabrics are the new trend in quilt shops and are popping up in fabulous prints and colors. Laminate cottons do not really have any "give"...you can't straighten the grain...so you will want to pick patterns without a lot of piecing or detailed sewing. You will want to cut a single layer at a time with the right side up...and you won't want to use any pins, as pin holes will remain in the fabric. I used an all purpose cotton thread with a sharp 80/12 top stitch needle...and I had great results using the roller foot on my sewing machine (which I was thrilled to use again, as I bought it for repairing my husband's leather motorcycle suit) - a Teflon presser foot or non-stick glide foot would also work well. Another note - only use a warm iron on the wrong side of the fabric, if absolutely necessary - this coated fabric will melt.
I was a little nervous when I started out, but as you can see I loved working with laminated cotton - I actually made six bags this afternoon. Now that I know how much I enjoy it, I will be looking for some fun prints and colors to work with...and I will definitely be trying more projects!