Hi there! I'm Elizabeth, owner and maker at Sew Eliza Handmade. I'm a self-taught sewist and I make bags and accessories, mostly from cork. I love picking fabrics and creating something that's not only useful but also unique! In my shop you’ll find a variety of items including crossbody bags, backpacks, sling bags, totes, wallets, zipper pouches and more, all made by me! While I do make bags in a variety of materials, my preferred textile is cork because it is an eco-friendly alternative to leather and comes from a sustainable source, not to mention it also comes in many beautiful colours! You can read more about cork below. I source all my materials from local fabric shops and other Canadian small businesses. Most of my products are one of a kind, and all of my products are handmade in a smoke-free, dog-friendly home.
Protecting the environment is something that's very important to me both in my personal life and in my business. This is one of the reasons why I like to use cork in my products. You can read more about cork in the "Materials" section below or on the home page. To reduce waste, I make smaller items like coin pouches and zipper pouches using the scraps from larger projects. I also reuse shipping materials from other packages. For example, the packing material used to stuff your bag to help keep its shape during shipping is reused from other packages. You can reuse this material yourself or recycle it. Lastly, I clean my workspace using eco-friendly, biodegradable cleaning products.
I use a variety of materials, but my primary textile is cork. Cork is an eco-friendly alternative to leather that is natural, sustainable and vegan. The bark of the cork oak tree is harvested by skilled labourers, without harming the tree and can be harvested every 9 years. When the bark is harvested, the tree absorbs even more CO2! Cork is durable, water-resistant and has natural anti-bacterial and anti-mildew properties. It also comes in many beautiful colours! As you can see, there are many reasons to love cork, which is why you will find cork in the majority of my products.
While cork is my preferred textile, I sometimes will use canvas or faux leather in my bags. The faux leather I use is a polyurethane faux leather, rather than PVC vinyl. Even when I use faux leather, I still try to incorporate some cork elements as well.
Most of my bags are lined with cotton on the interior, but some have waterproof canvas instead.
My product descriptions always mention the materials used so you know exactly what your bag or wallet is made of!
Spot clean only. Do not put your bag or wallet in the washing machine.
If your bag or wallet has cork:
Cork is a durable textile, but just like other textiles that are regularly used, it can show some wear over time, typically on edges and folds. You can spot clean cork using mild soap and water, rubbing gently with a cloth. When storing your bag, it is best not to fold it, as that will create creases in the cork.
I use high quality materials and thread in my products, but please be mindful of the size of your bag. Overstuffing can put added stress on places like zippers.