Thanks to Lisa Perea from Cork and Cloth for sponsoring this post.
Cork is one of my favorite materials for bag making. It is soft yet durable and it looks amazing. Everyone want to touch my cork bags when they see them.
I made this convertible bag using the amazing Silver Caiman Cork and Silver Glitter Vinyl for the accents. To compliment this combination, I used my favorite metallic silver zipper for both zippers (pocket zipper and top zipper).
Pattern: Heidi Foldover Clutch from Swoon Patterns (FREE Pattern)
Main Fabric: Silver Caiman Cork
Accent Fabric: Silver Glitter Vinyl
Lining Fabric: Alison Glass Sun Print in Orange
Zipper: Silver Nylon Metallic Zipper
This cork is made in Portugal and there are many different colors and designs to choose from. Real caiman skin is stunning but very expensive. Cork with a caiman design is a great eco-friendly alternative and looks amazing.
There are many different cork colors, prints, and textures that are great for bags. I also love these two crocodile skin designs:
I made my cork bag using Heidi Foldover Clutch Pattern from Swoon Patterns (FREE Pattern), but I made the following changes:
- To show the silver zipper, I sew the pocket zipper exposed.
- I added zipper tabs to both zippers.
- Inspired by the Waverly Bag from Stella and Dot, I made the bag convertible by adding three extra D-rings. Two of them on the top zipper tabs, and the other on the opposite side of the D-ring that the bag already has. The bag now converts from full length crossbody to fold over crossbody to a fold over clutch.
- Since the bag converts to a full length crossbody bag, I did not attach a snap. (It doesn’t need it)
- To use it as a cross-body bag, I added a removable strap
- I also made a tassel. I love tassels, they are very easy to make and give a beautiful touch to any bag. Cork fabric is also great for tassels. For instructions in how to make a tassel, check out the tutorial How to Make a Tassel
For the lining, I used a piece of this beautiful Alison Glass Sun Print in Orange. It gives a pop of color to the interior of the bag.
Sewing with Cork
Cork fabric is thin, very easy to work with, and a little goes a long way. I used a 18″ x 27″ piece for three different projects!
Below are some tips to sew with cork!
- Do not use interfacing (unless you need to stabilize the body of the bag)
- Use a 90/14 needle (denim/microtex needle can also be used)
- Use a Teflon foot or walking foot
- Use Jean thread, it comes in many different colors.
- Cut it raw for bag accents.
- For handles or straps fold it over…otherwise it will ravel. I learned the hard way 🙂
- It heals, which means that you can unstich if you make a mistake.
Cork fabric is becoming the go to material for bag-makers, and it’s easy to see why!
Benefits of using cork fabric:
- It is very easy to work with, the cork is backed with thin cotton/poly fabric.
- Cork is eco-friendly and vegan
- As opposed to leather or faux leather, you can un-stitch – cork heals
- The cork is UV protected and treated with Scotch Guard at the factory
- It’s also water-resistant and can easily be wiped down
- Cork do not need any interfacing, making your sewing faster and less expensive.
I encourage you to give cork fabric a try.