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!

Remember this?

Do you remember my embroidered denim patch given to me by a sewing friend? I have been saving it for so long waiting for a special project.

Well I’ve decided what that special project is going to be – this change/card purse for myself. I think I will call it my Coffee© purse … because that’s basically what it is! A place for my Timmy’s card and my coffee change.

It was pretty easy figuring out my pieces – my embroidered denim patch, some cotton for the back, my lining, my interfacing and a bit of Peltex for shape.

Now to make the inner pocket.

This inner pocket will be sewn into my change/card purse now.

Can you see the misplaced Wonder Tape on the outside around the zipper? I know from past experience that this will dry up and I will be able to pick it off – it drives me nuts being there though! You’d think I would just learn my lesson!

Timmy’s card and coffee change tucked away in my Coffee© purse!
And it even fits in the back pocket of my Rosie© Bag!

A new pattern for my collection – my Coffee© purse! Now that it’s finished though I have been flooded with ideas on how to make it “easier”. I think I am going to try this one again … before I’m satisfied with the quality of this pattern.

What’s the next project? My friend has commissioned me to make her a bag. Status: I have my cork fabrics and interfacing cut out and have started on it – I think I’m about half way through actually. I’ve even picked out a name for this new bag pattern … The Gemma© Bag! I’ll have more about it the next post.

There were a few lessons learned with this project. Sometimes you sew close to the zipper and sometimes you don’t! Always place your Wonder Tape CAREFULLY! Oh, and finally, sometimes the second time you make something it turns out better than the first!

Do you have any advice you can pass on from your recent sewing experiences?

Happy Sewing!

STASH BUSTING WITH THIS PROJECT? Well, no change again. This project used scraps from my stash. Nothing significant. So still 131.2 meters left!