It was REALLY hard getting good photos! There was so much contrast with the dark fabric, and the fabric itself was... well... you'll see.
The strap is adjustable for shoulder or cross-body, and it's also detachable if you want to use the bag just as a clutch. (Look closely at that fabric!)
The lining of the bag IS one of Jess's fabrics... barkcloth from her In Theory line. The center of the bag is a zipper pouch that divides the bag and draws the sides into a nice little pleat.
Now, here's the most exciting part of the whole project! The outer fabric is actually cork! Yes, real cork! It came directly from Portugal. I ordered it from an Etsy shop called Orkideas. The seller was great - she shipped it immediately, and it only took 10 days to get here. I love that she also included tiny samples of her other colors of cork!
Yes, it's expensive. Very expensive, as far as fabric goes. But I've seen so many gorgeous bags and great reviews about it in the few months since I first heard about it, that I just had to give it a try. (And this was, after all, a very special birthday.) The fabrics are soooo pretty - photos don't begin to do them justice. Will I be buying more cork? I think so. Definitely not a lot, but I might just have to have a bag out of it for myself. Now, which color??? :)
The cork is a thin layer, and it's backed with fabric, a lot like pleather. It also handles much like pleather. Consequently, I once again appreciated my Wonder Clips!
Doing it that way, so there were only 2 layers to the strap, I was able to get it through the slider to make the strap adjustable. Those two little tabs next to the strap below were what gave me the most trouble of the whole bag. They were sewn into the top seam to hold the D-rings for the strap attachment, and they made for some VERY thick layers to sew through. But my good ol' faithful 46-year-old Kenmore came through for me again (even if I did bend one needle and have to hand-crank very slowly through those thick spots). I don't even know how many layers that was... something like 10 or so... and then folded over again for the final topstitching. Yikes!
The cork is navy, but so dark it mostly looks black. Below is a photo I took out in the sun, just to see what the color did there. It's probably the most accurate of all the pics - at least it looks blue.
This was a great project, albeit with some challenges. Would I do it again? Yep! And I just might, because I really like the bag and might eventually make one for myself.
Jess received the bag yesterday. She knew it was coming, but she thought it was going to be made out of pleather. She was surprised and excited about the cork fabric, and I do believe she loved the bag. ;) She took some more photos for me, to try and capture the fabric color and texture, also for a little size reference. Here are her pics.
I hope by now you get a little idea of what cork fabric is like, even though the photos still don't do it justice. Below is a photo taken by photographer Alex, for a little more size idea for you.