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!

Amber is put to work …

Perhaps you remember my Singer 421G, a convertible free arm sewing machine made in Germany in 1954.  “Amber” for short!  Since purchasing Amber, she has received a good cleaning and oiling, and I took apart her tension assembly and put her back together again.  She runs smoothly now with a nice stitch.

I love the sound she makes – like a train clicking quickly on the tracks, heavy on my table with no shake – unlike my Janome 3160QDC who whirrs loudly and shakes the table as she sews.  Now it’s time to put Amber to work.   Continue reading

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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The Good News … and the Bad News.

The Good News … I’m feeling better, even though my nose doesn’t.  I felt good enough to spend most of this weekend sewing.  Yippee!  You might remember, I left off with the slash pockets being completed on my third pair of pants (out of the four I want to make for myself).  Gotta love that RTW Challenge and make ’em myself!

I have been using a couple of Craftsy courses:  “Pant Fitting Techniques” by Sandra Betzina and “One pattern, Many Looks:  Pants” by Kathy Ruddy; and Vogue pattern V2948.  So far, I have made a muslin, a brown pair and a black pair.  Now this blue pair, well, I just love the fabric.  It’s called Blue Horizon Suiting, 100% polyester, with no stretch.  It feels so much like an expensive suit pant fabric!  And the colour is the perfect blue!image

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In a panic for pants (trousers)!

Hello again!  Here I am!  The real thing!

My RTW Fast year is close to ending and I am still filling in the gaps in my handmade wardrobe.  There is still time left to sew up some pants for myself though – I would love to have a pair of black, blue and brown pants suitable for work.

So to recap… You’ve seen my pattern, Vogue V2948.  It has princess seams front and back and a curved waistband.  It is fantastic for alterations…

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