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DESIGN & SEW: Bag Making Intensive With Ellie - WAIT LIST


Learn the ins & outs of bag making from Ellie Lum, a professional bag maker of over 20 years. Design & build a custom bag & zipper pouch from scratch in this 3-day intensive. 

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Bag Making Intensive with Ellie

During this three-day intensive workshop, advanced beginner/intermediate stitchers will receive a thorough initiation into bag design & construction led by professional bag maker of over 20 years, Ellie Lum. She'll be sharing her expertise as she walks you through the step-by-step process of articulating your design from concept to realization.

One of her goals is to give you a framework on how to approach making bags whether through the lens of personal project or designing for market production. Leave with a custom-designed bag AND a custom pouch to go with it!



Price: $400
$375 + $25 Studio Fee
Additional class materials required - Prices vary

Date & Time: 3 days long
Sat, Jan 19th, 10am - 6pm
Sun, Jan 20th, 10am - 6pm
Mon, Jan 21st, 10am - 6pm

Level: Advanced Beginner/Intermediate
You’ve taken the Sew Like A Boss series, Crash Course Sew or have equivalent knowledge. You’re familiar with threading your machine. You’ve made a couple sewing projects on your own.

Rather than working totally from scratch, we will learn the basics of bag design & construction through customizing the elements of Klum House bag designs; by the end, you’ll l have all the skills you need to apply to any bag you want to make in the future!

This is the class you’ve been waiting for if any of the things below apply to you!

  • You have taken other sewing classes and want to explore design

  • You are interested in developing products for your own bag business

  • You’ve ever wished you could combine the Fremont straps with the Oberlin body

  • You haven’t been able to find the bag of your dreams and decided you are going to make it yourself.

  • You've taken a few other Klum House bag sewing classes & now you're ready to get deeper with your bag making knowledge.

  • You're willing to travel to Portland, OR to learn specialty bag making skills.

Skills Learned

  • Understand elements of bag design & construction

  • Sewing multiple layers of heavy duty fabric & leather

  • Overview of tools & materials

  • Overview of sample making process

  • Inserting a zipper

  • Inserting a liner

  • Boxing corners

  • Various ways to set rivets properly

  • Hands-on bag design process

  • Conceptual elements of bag making

  • Bag business basics



Part 1 -  Design lab discussion, where you will get a thorough overview of developing a bag design for the market or personal use.
Part 1.5 -  Lunch Break and materials buying time!
Part 2 - Get to sewing! Make a custom zipper pouch, choosing size, liner, corner-style, etc.


Part 3 -  Design demo: how to draft the pattern, cut the bag, prepare leather for straps.
Part 3.5 - Lunch break!
Part 4 -  Design & prep your custom elements.


Part 5 - Everything is cut and prepped, it’s time to sew your bag!
Part 5.5 - Lunch break!
Part 6 - Put the finishing touches on your badass bag with custom hardware then voila! You have a chic, totally custom-designed, one-of-kind, do-it-all tote with "I made this!" bragging rights.


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Hi! I’m Ellie Lum

I’m a maker and a teacher. I started Klum House because I love encouraging and inspiring people by teaching sewing tips & tricks through fun, hands-on workshops. With clear instructions and 20 years experience, I will teach you how to make wares that look like they came off the shelves of your favorite handcrafted goods shop!

Ellie’s Story

In 1998, Ellie co-founded  R.E. Load Bags, a custom messenger bag company, which set the standard for many other companies that make custom bags. Over the years, she fell in love with teaching industrial sewing through training folks to make bags for R.E. Load. Ellie saw how those skills opened up a trainee’s creative potential and formed a foundation that could be continually built on.

Ellie went onto start Klum House in 2015, born out of the desire to share professional bag making skills with everyone. Klum House now boasts an in-house bag pattern & kit line, as well as a collaborative making studio and creative education space where local artists & maker share their skills.

Read More—>


Class was easy & stress free and totally creatively energizing. The shop is equipped with scissors & rotary cutters that are sharp and there are plenty for everyone. The machines from the basic Singers to the lovely industrials are clean & work smoothly. Ellie's instructions are brief & totally geared to the individual student. She is the true ‘guide by your side’. The experience at Klum House is the ultimate fun, successful, & productive experience.


What To Expect

Class Project Guidelines

We will be mix and matching elements of the Fremont, Oberlin, Portsmith, Maywood, Woodland, Slabtown, and McKenna bags to create our own fully custom, totally unique designs. You will be able to choose strap style, closure style, interior and/or exterior pockets, materials, and more.


  • Shape & size

  • Pockets

  • Straps

  • Closures

  • Fabrics

  • Hardware

  • Leather elements

  • Thinking about a customization not listed? Ask Ellie!

Due to this being a custom-build class, students will get a chance to either purchase discounted bag making materials from Klum House or at a local fabric or leather store. There’ll be time to shop off-site in the afternoon on the first day of class.


  • Waxed Canvas Fat Quarter (18” x 30”): $12

  • Waxed Canvas Fat Eight (18” x 15”): $6

  • 12oz Canvas Fat Quarter (18” x 30”): $6.50

  • Brass Zipper (8"- 16"): $4 - $5

  • Metal Rivets: $0.20/ea

  • Leather Handles (16" x 3/4"): $12/pair

  • Leather Cross-Body Strap: $14

  • Leather Shoulder Straps (28" x 3/4"): $14/pair

  • Various other bag making & sewing supplies available


Klum House Workshop

The Hub Building
3808 N Williams Ave. #132
Portland, Oregon 97203

We are located inside the Hub Building hallway corridor (we do not have a sidewalk storefront). Enter through the Hub building door on N Williams with the Klum House sign above it. Walk down the hall & take a left. You'll see the Klum House sign hanging above our door.

*Please note: We have street parking, so please arrive a few minutes early to allow ample time to park.

Questions? Send us a note!



Headed to Portland for a workshop?

To help with your trip planning, we’ve put together this guide with recommendations about where to stay, how to get around, where to eat, where to get your coffee fix, and more. We’ve also included a list of our favorite local, maker-friendly shops and businesses, if you have extra time to do some exploring.


Class Cancellation/Refund Policy for Intensives

  • We require 4 weeks notice for a full refund, if you paid in full when registering.

  • If you paid a 1/2 deposit & cancel, your deposit is non-refundable. 

  • No shows forfeit any refund or rebook.

  • If Klum House cancels a class that you registered for, you are entitled to either a cash refund or a rebook to a later class.

  • If you transfer your registration to another class with a higher price, you are subject to pay the difference.


Earlier Event: January 18
Later Event: January 26
Intro to Shibori Indigo Dyeing