Sewing with Cork

Posted by The Tall Mama
I am fairly confident sewing garments.  Sure, there are always new techniques to learn but I always end up with a wearable garment.  However, when it came to making bags I was a hot mess!  For some reason (well, many not using the right stabilizers, materials, pattern or hardware) I just could not construct a good bag.
When I was kindly gifted a pattern, some hardware and cork fabric from Kylie of Little Moo Designs (who had way more faith in my ability to make a good bag than I did!), I had to give it another go.  
For the first time ever, I made a bag which is functional, beautiful and I am happy with it!  Of course, using the Designer Jade 35 was also a game changer!  
I made the Harlow Bag, pattern by Little Moo Designs.  It is a great sized (38cm wide x 30cm high) everyday bag with shoulder or cross body strap options.  The instructions were really clear and comprehensive which a newbie bag maker like myself needs.  I made my bag using cork fabric and faux leather.  The cork was a dream to sew!  I didn’t need a special foot, I simply used the leather setting on the machine with a leather needle and the Designer Jade 35 didn’t skip a stitch.  To sew the faux leather it is recommended to use a teflon foot, I used baking paper sandwiched between the regular foot and the vinyl which worked beautifully.
To make my Harlow Bag even more “one of a kind” I added a monogram to the cork.  How amazing is that?!  You can embroider cork!!  I used Superior thread for the embroidery as it gives beautiful results and good thread makes such a difference.

corkbag.jpg   corkbaglining-300px.jpg   corkbag4-300px.jpg

I also took advantage of the pretty decorative stitches and gave the interior pockets of my bag some pretty edges.  Sure, only I see them but they make me happy each time I dig for my keys!  I also made a tassel from the cork (Little Moo Designs has a YouTube tutorial on how to do this) which I really love.  The hardware for the tassel is from Who Says Sew and you simply glue it into place.
Sewing with cork was amazing, and I will definitely do it again.  Cork fabric is environmentally friendly (sustainable), water & stain resistant, and doesn’t fray.  
Here are some sewing with cork tips from Little Moo Designs:
~ Use a leather or microtex needle (size 80)
~ Lengthen your stitch length
~ Do not pin, it will leave marks
~ Use a pressing cloth when ironing/fusing interfacing

And a tip of my own: you can embroider it, yay!
I am so thrilled with the results!  Having the right pattern, materials and machine make all the difference!  
Happy Sewing!

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