Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Discovering Waterproof Oxford Fabric + Fabric Giveaway


One of my favorite things about sewing is discovering and trying fabrics that are new to me. It opens up additional project possibilities, broadens sewing skills and is just plain fun. Today I'm sharing details on a new fabric I've tested and giving you a chance to win some for yourself too!  Are you ready fabric lovers?
Diaper Sewing Supplies (the place where I buy all my awesome PUL prints & Eco-PUL and one of my lovely advertisers) asked if I'd do some test sewing with a new fabric they were going to offer called Waterproof Oxford.  I made a few things, shared my findings with them and discovered I have serious love for this fabric.  It. Is. Awesome.  And now you can find out why you'll love it too!



What is Waterproof Oxford?  It's a woven 100% polyester oxford fabric. It's finished with a durable water repellent and then laminated with a thin black polyurethane coating on the back. It means it's waterproof on both sides and has crazy strong durability. It comes nice & wide too - 58-60 inches - so a single yard can make loads of things.  


What can you make with it?  Just about any project where you want a fabric that's super durable and easy to clean.  Diaper bags, wet bags, tote bags, purses, and carry cases. You can even use it for things like luggage, seat covers, dog beds, picnic blankets - anything you want to keep dry.  It's also good for lunch bags when paired with food safe Eco-PUL.  And the prints it comes in are beyond cute (as you will see).  The fabric isn't really suited for fashion sewing, but there are loads of other ways to use it.  

I made this "wipe & work" pocketed garden tote:


A drawstring storage bag:



Some purse-sized zip pouches:


Heck, I even went all out and made a full size backpack:


Some great features about Waterproof Oxford:

- No pre-washing.  This is a wipe clean fabric so you can start sewing right away.  I love low maintenance material.
- Lining not required.  Since this fabric has a built-in solid color backing, it's dual sided.  A big time & materials saver.
- No stretch.  Although it's a woven, waterproof oxford doesn't have the usual weft give, so you don't really have to worry about cutting with the straight grain.  Loads more options for pattern placement and less wasted fabric.     
- Ideal weight.  The fabric is medium weight in feel, yet is fairly thin and easy to sew.  It's got a strength that performs like a heavy weight, but without all the thickness that makes sewing layers a challenge.
- Holds shape well.  The polyurethane backing gives the fabric some extra body, so it doesn't have the extreme floppiness you find with other wovens.   


How to sew with it: Sewing with waterproof oxford is pretty simple.  A heavy duty needle and polyester thread is all you need.  I tried sewing with both a standard foot and a walking foot.  The walking foot made layers less likely to slip around curves, but there was none of the sticking you tend to get with other laminated fabrics, so using a basic foot is totally fine too.   


Handling Tips: It's helpful to use clips rather than pins, since those will leave holes (unless you pin in the seam allowance where they won't show).  Also, like most laminated fabrics, to remove folds or creases, use a low heat setting when ironing.


Finishing tips: Thanks to the polyurethane backing, this fabric won't fray as much as standard wovens, so hemming or encasing seams isn't as critical.  I found cutting the raw edge with pinking shears worked great.  


Another option for exposed edges is to use binding elastic or FOE (fold over elastic).  


I tried both and had great results for a smooth and simple detail.


The fabric's inherent strength also means installing things like snaps and grommets doesn't really require extra stabilizer or the muscles of a bodybuilder to put in yourself.  My grommets went through 2 layers of fabric only and after weeks of kids pulling on them, they still look great.


As I was working with it on my first few projects, I realized waterproof oxford was ideal as a backpack material, so for my next project I designed my own backpack using just the waterproof oxford and some elastic binding: 



With the fabric's durable hand, and this cool galaxy print, it looks and feels just like a high end store-bought version.  Except I designed and made it myself for a fraction of the price! I'm working on offering my backpack as a PDF pattern, so stay tuned for that too.


Since I still have quite a bit of fabric left from my project testing, I've decided to share the fabric love!

 I'm giving away a fat quarter of each of these Waterproof Oxford fabrics to one Sew Can Do reader:

And I'll be sharing a few tutorials of some of the above projects (and hopefully create a PDF pattern for my backpack) 
in the coming weeks too:)

a Rafflecopter giveaway



I was not financially compensated for this post.  I received waterproof oxford fabric from Diaper Sewing Supplis to test sew and was not required to review or promote this fabric or their shop.  The opinions are completely my own, based on my experience. For my complete disclosure policy, click here. 

76 comments:

  1. Holy cow -- that backpack is adorable! Love that print, and it's even cooler that it's PUL fabric. I have been wanting to make some bowl covers for when we are camping and eating outside. I bet the PUL fabric would work great for that!

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    1. Thanks Niki and the coolest thing is it's not actually PUL. Waterproof Oxford is a totally unique fabric, but it pairs great with PUL for food items:)

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  2. Bag or dog raincoat. 24Tangent@gmail.com

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  3. Your projects look great. I would make place mats and totes. Thank you for the giveaway.

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  4. Love the elephants - I would make some placemats for dining out on the deck! Thanks for the chance!

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  5. Oh my goodness! My son would be over the moon for that galaxy fabric. He is an aspiring rocket scientist. I would make him some snack bags for his school lunches.

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  6. I'd make some snack bags!! Super cute fabric!!

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  7. I'd love to try this fabric too. Thanks for the giveaway. Tammy R.

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  8. I would make a lunch bag! I love the previous posters who said snack bags too! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  9. I would like to make a pouch for back to school!

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  10. A back pack for my little one is definitely in order. Awesome!

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  11. i need some bags that wants leak, big zipper pouches that is

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  12. If you make a backpack pdf pattern for us, I'd like to try making it! (Where's the rainbow zipper from?) And coin purses

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  13. This material would be great for bibs or a toddler placemat.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  14. Pencil cases, and a purse makeup bag. This looks like great fabric!

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  15. Pouches -- for makeup or to put small items in a beach bag.

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  16. Oh wow! This looks fabulous! I love that sweet elephant print too. :) I would love to make the super sized drawstring bag like you've pictured to help contain all the stuffed friends in our house! This fabric would be great for those behind the seat car organizers too!

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    1. Hot dang! That case organizer needs to happen in my project list. I was just thinking about making the shower summit fleece ones but they are not Toddler boy destruction proof. I think I'll wait until this come out.

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  17. I would make a drawstring bag and a few small zippered bags.
    kdavis1@centurytel.net

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  18. I would make the diaper clutch for my oldest daughter. This fabric is adorable. Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway.

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  19. I just got a swatch of the waterproof Oxford fabric, I love it! I want to use it to make a highchair cover to replace the nasty quilted one I have that ALWAYS needs washed

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  20. I would make a lovely diaper bag for myself and a matching little bag for my daughter to carry around. That' fabric looks wonerful!

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  21. We love to canoe, so a tote bag or zippered pouch would be very handy to carry with us. It would be nice to not have to dry every single thing!

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  22. I would make a camera bag! How fabulous!

    lenelson(at)mail(dot)com

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  23. I'd make something for my upcoming niece/nephew, probably a dinky little raincoat!

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  24. What a fun fabric!!! Great prints too!!! LOVE the Elephants! :) I would make some cute Totes for Library trips, and one for my take-a-long Projects....and Zippy bags for gifts & accessories! Thanks for chance to win some fat Quarters to try!

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  25. I love your gardening tote, and zippy travel bags would be awesome, or a nice computer mat on the coffee table for my computer.

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  26. I really like your garden tote so I would probably make some grocery bags too.

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  27. I would make some little zippered pouches.

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  28. Rain poncho is on my list right now. This looks like a good fabric for that project. Love that drawstring storage bag. I'm looking forward to a tutorial on that one.

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  29. I just tried to buy some of this fabric and got the following message from Firefox when I tried to finish the transaction, "Normally, when you try to connect securely, sites will present trusted identification to prove that you are going to the right place. However, this site's identity can't be verified." I'd love to complete my order but am feeling uncomfortable with all the cautions being listed.

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    1. I've never had any issues ordering from them and they are very nice people. It could just be that a certificate expired and that's the default message that pops up (I've seen that happen on small business sites before). If you're not comfortable, contact them - they'll take care of you so you can get some lovely fabric:)

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  30. I would make a backpack for my boy who doesn't pay attention where he lays his bag down when he's playing before & after school. It gets put in the mud , left in the rain, a mud puddle, etc. Thank you for the giveaway & the chance to win. God bless.

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  31. this fabric is such a good idea! I'd make small bags from those fat quarters!!

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  32. I think I'd make an outdoor / picnic blanket since soccer season is coming!

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  33. Oh....there was something recently that I really wanted fabric just like this for.....something for the boys. And now I can't remember what it was! Perhaps a bag for their swim things.

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  34. I would love to make some playful clutch handbags.

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  35. I think I would make a beach bag =D Thank you for the chance to win!

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  36. I love this fabric and would make a whole assortment of bags for lots of different uses.

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  37. I would make reuseable snack "baggies" for packing snacks for my kids to take to school -- I've been wanting to make these for awhile to save on all those plastic baggies we use. sarah@forrussia.org

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  38. I would make a tote with alot of outside pockets.

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  39. I'd make a diaper bag with LOTS of pockets. And a matching wet bag too.

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  40. a toy storage bucket and some zippies

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  41. I'd make a toy storage basket for the kiddos!

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  42. Love the fabric anxious to try sewing with it. I would like to try ans make a little bag for my grandson and maybe a pretty wrislet. Thank you for the great giveaway. Becky

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  43. I am making wet bags with Eco-PUL right now, but would love to try this stuff!

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  44. I would make a rain coat and hat for my toddler grandson. Gorgeous colours and patterns.
    Pauline
    perry94022@hotmail.com

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  45. I came here for the drawstring bag - would be a perfect clothes bin whilst traveling, but then I see all these other ideas, and IDK! A rain poncho has already been requested, and that would be great too. :) I saw a great tut about making a rainy hood, which wouldn't take up much material either. Thanks so much!!

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  46. I really like the drawstring storage bag but really love the garden tote! I had never heard of waterproof oxford-would love to try sewing-thanks for the giveaway!

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  47. I really like the drawstring storage bag but really love the garden tote! I had never heard of waterproof oxford-would love to try sewing-thanks for the giveaway!

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  48. I CAN SEE ALL THE THINGS I COULD MAKE AND LOVE THE VIBRANT COLORS

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  49. This looks like an interesting fabric. Thanks!

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  50. A rain poncho and zipper bags. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

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  51. This is great fabric. I think I'd make some small zipper bags for my daughters and granddaughters. :)
    mlhummy at yahoo dot com

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  52. I would make zipper pouches with the Waterproof Oxford Fabric Bundle.

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  53. I love the idea of this waterproof oxford fabric! Now I won't have to invest tons of money on a special Teflon foot for sewing laminated fabrics.......
    I would sew up some of those darling pouches with the rainbow zippers for gifts.
    Thanks! nettiecrain@live.com

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  54. These fabrics look great. I guess I could use this to make clutch for my phone. Your garden tote is awesome!

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  55. Zipper bags, diaper covers., back packs...thank you so much for the tips/tutorials....my son and D-I-L are soon to be foster parenting so we'll need many items for many age groups infant to elementary age.

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  56. This would be great to make some waterproof pillows for the homeless I try to help with my P.O.P.-U.P.-T.E.N.T.S. project for them! Thanks and God bless! ILuvTheEucharist @ aol.com

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  57. I am in love with that backpack fabric; that'd be perfect for making a wet bag for mamacloth

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  58. My daughter needs a case for her iPad so she can carry it back and forth to school. She also carries her water bottle and it scares me to death for fear of having to replace the school-owned iPad.

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  59. Love the cosmic fabric Pencil cases all around

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  60. what laundering recommendations come with this fabric? I am thinking of making a nappy bin liner. Can I wash this with the rest of my nappies or will it be damaged from frequent washing?

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    1. As mentioned in the post, this is a wipe-clean fabric, not meant to be regularly washed. PUL would be a better choice for a bin lining for diapers (nappies).

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  61. Do you think this would work well as raincoat fabric? I'm just imagining a rain coat in that cheery floral print!

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    1. Depending on the style, yes. This has a heavier feel than most waterproof fabric so a looser style would be better suited than a very fitted one. And it would always be a wipe dry item - this fabric doesn't need to be washed in a machine.

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  62. Hi, I am debating using the PUL and the Oxford waterproof. I'm not sure which would be better. I am making a sling cover with a lining. I wanted it to be semi-waterproof but also a little flexible and cozy feeling since it's going over baby. Do you think the Oxford would be too structured? Do you find that the PUL fabric print side would wick away moisture or not so much? Thanks! Your stuff is so cute and inspiring!!!

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    1. Thanks for the sweet compliment. Since a sling cover is a wearable, I'd recommend PUL. It has more give and is breathable. Waterproof Oxford is great for more structured applications like bags & mats, but not as suited for clothing. Both are great fabrics, but somewhat different uses.

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Getting your comments brightens my day. I'd love if you left one:)

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