Sewing with Cork Fabric!

I’ve been busy making another bag for my friend. I call it The Gemma© Bag! My friend told me what style of bag she liked and very nicely let me go with the flow! She had her choice of Cork Fabrics and chose these two beauties.


When it comes to choosing Cork Fabric, I learned that there are two kinds: Touch and Touch Pro. See the Sallie Tomato article link at the end of this post. I purchased both and you can really see the difference. The Touch was stiffer, not as flexible, and it might not have been suitable for the folds of my Gemma© Bag. I think I am going to see what Touch is like when I make my next Coffee© Purse with it instead. The Touch Pro on the other hand was thick and strong, and yet soft and bendable. It was lovely for this project!

The lining was my usual cotton reinforced with Pellon SF101 Shape-flex©, a light cotton woven fusible interfacing. As usual, I did a zipper pocket on one interior side of the bag with my zipper foot and a pocket on the other.

I seriously could sew row after row of topstitching on the strap with my 1/4″ seam foot. So fun! It was also fun to design what kind of stitching I would sew on to my zipper tabs too!

Finished Gemma© Bag! Insides – zipper pocket, pocket and lots of room!

The Front – a pocket with a magnetic snap closure.

The Back – I just love this … more topstitching!

The Sides and the Front – magnetic snap pocket, zipper top closure, and an adjustable strap.

I have found a few informative websites for anyone thinking of sewing with Cork Fabric. Sallie Tomato has a great article (that is downloadable too) here. U-Handbag has a great article too explaining how to sew with Cork Fabric and how to make straps and install rivets here.

Just to sum up all the things I have learned about sewing with Cork Fabric:

  1. Don’t iron it. Seam allowances can be held down with glue or topstitching;
  2. Don’t use pins that will leave irreparable holes. Use clips, Wondertape, glue;
  3. Don’t use fusible interfacing. You might not even want an interfacing or stiffener with Cork Fabric, which has lots of body and is thick on its own;
  4. Stitch length 3mm, 3.5 to 4mm for topstitching. Microtex 80 – 90 sewing machine needles. Thread is 40 wt.;
  5. If your strap ends are too thick for your sewing machine try Chicago screws. See the U-Handbag article link above;
  6. A Teflon Foot or a Walking Foot will help with the thick layers. The articles attached here say 3 or 4 layers can be done on a home sewing machine;
  7. Don’t backstitch to lock your seam ends. Pull the threads through instead and tie them off.

Cork Fabric is a wonderful replacement for leather or vinyl. It’s easy to sew and so ecofriendly! I plan on making more bags out of this unique product.

Have you ever tried Cork Fabric? Do you have any extra tips for us? Have I peaked your interest in Cork Fabric?

Happy Sewing! and if I don’t talk to you before the Easter long weekend, Happy Easter to those who celebrate!

STASH BUSTING WITH THIS PROJECT? Well, no change again! I had to buy the Cork Fabric to make this bag for my friend, and the lining was from my remanents bag. So still 131.2 meters left! But there are a couple of Sewing Challenges coming up for me next that should take a good bite out of my fabric stash – after I finish adding the photos to my Coffee© Purse pattern!

How to make a simple sewing machine cover …

And keep your cats out of your stuff!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

As you can probably guess, not having a proper sewing room, Simon and Sophie love getting into my stuff!  (I use a small sewing cabinet on wheels, which I love.  It lets me sew in any room or corner of the house!)  Before today, I covered my sewing cabinet with a towel and my sewing machine with an old tee shirt – classy, huh?  

I decided it was time to protect my sewing cabinet with a washable mat and protect whichever sewing machine I was using with a proper cover.

The sewing mat was quite easy.  I measured the cabinet top.  The bottom black layer of the mat was cut from a pre-quilted cotton remanent.  The top layer was cut from a remanent of the fabric I used to make this swimsuit cover up.  I just sewed the two layers together and added black bias tape around the edges.  Easy to wash and handy for poking the odd pin into too!

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!!

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More on my denim skirt…

Hello all, me again.  I’ve had a couple of “distractions” over the last week therefore I haven’t quite finished my denim skirt, but I thought I would show you what I have accomplished so far – and perhaps this week you might even get a laugh out of it!

I started my denim skirt by cutting out a Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt pattern here and making my back pockets, and doing my topstitching and flat felled seams here.

Now it is time to sew my jeans fly front.  My one side is interfaced, double fold bias tape is sewn on the rough edge and the piece is sewn on to my left side front (if I am looking at the skirt).  The interfacing will never show as this piece is folded over to the inside.

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I’ve decided to make a denim skirt…

from my Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt pattern.  I cut this pattern out last week from some 100% pre-washed cotton I found in my stash.  I still have a good metre or so left so I’ll have to think of another project for it.  Do any of you have a favourite tank top pattern that could use the remainder of my 100% cotton denim?

Since this is the fourth time I have cut out a Sewaholic Hollyburn, I think it is definitely one of my TNT patterns.

My skirt is coming together well.  The thought of topstitching and revits and Jeans buttons makes me SMILE!  

I started this skirt by making my interfaced back pockets.  I just cut a large rectangle shape, as the Hollyburn didn’t have a pattern piece for this.  I precisely measured for my angled corners.  I marked the centre point of the bottom with my Chaco liner and I measured two inches up on each side and made marks there too.

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What do you get when you cross a …

needle with a tiger – A pinstripe!

What do you get when you cross a bodice pattern block, a Sewaholic Hollyburn skirt and a vintage Butterick pattern?  Let me show you!

In the ’80s I remember having a red polyester knit dress – similar to the one here without a collar.  I loved it!

I decided to make another one for myself using this Butterick pattern and this knit fabric.  I’m not sure what its content is – I just found it in my stash.  I love the print.  Is this paisley or floral – or paisley floral?  or floral paisley? Continue reading

It’s Done! Well almost…

My sister will be happy, another garment has been (almost) finished in what I’m calling my Sister’s Sewing Projects.

This one is a vintage pattern from 1978, Simplicity 8510. It must be a favourite of my sister’s for her to keep it safe all this time. The fabric is a similar beige as in the pattern photo, linen-like, 70% polyester, 30% rayon.

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DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER! Speechless

Just Speechless…  Tonight for DESIGNIN’ DECEMBER I have the pleasure of introducing the one and only Mads of Life in A “Mads” House.  Mads might have come to her design in a roundabout way but she has made a lovely copy of this designer dress by Elie Saab.

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It really is BLACK!

Honestly, why is BLACK so difficult to photograph?  It must just suck in all the light around it!  Anyway…

I have finished my 4th pair of pants, black ones, after spending extensive time with the muslin and making three pairs after that.  I thought my blue pair was my favourite – best fitting and lovely fabric.  Those were made with Horizon Suiting, 100% polyester.  (I actually managed to find and buy more Horizon Suiting in a Navy Blue colour.  Whoopie!)  I think these black pants have taken their place though.  Although in trying to photograph the black, that might not come across!

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ALL DONE!

Seriously!  MY. JEANS. ARE. ALL. DONE!

I haven’t had too much trouble finishing them off and I love the look and fit of the cotton lycra fabric.  I pieced them together with these patterns:  Vogue V2948 and  Vogue V8774, along with watching these Craftsy courses:  Angela Wolf’s Sewing Designer Jeans and Sandra Betzina’s Pant Fitting Techniques.  If you wish to see my previous steps for assembling my black denim Capris jeans and these blue denim jeans, check them out here, here, here, and here.

While making my jeans, I loved distressing the jeans fabric and applying jeans buttons and rivets.  So much so that I am now going to keep an eye out for jet black cotton lycra denim for my third pair of jeans!   Continue reading