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DESIGN WEEK: The Portsmith Waxed Canvas & Leather Tote


Melt away intimidation & learn to rule bag making! Handcraft a tote with “I made this!” bragging rights.

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Portsmith Tote

No prior sewing experience needed. 

Join us for an afternoon of creativity, where you’ll make a beginner-friendly tote bag with an amazing pay-off. In just 2.5 hours, you'll go home with a tote you made with your own two hands. You'll learn bag sewing tips for handling heavy-weight fabric, and how to attach leather handles, all with premium, durable materials — high quality waxed canvas sourced from Scotland, and durable high-end leather — in a beautiful design. Designers, crafters, and makers will leave with new skills, satisfaction, and an awesome tote.

All materials and instruction included.



Price: $125
$75 + $50 Materials

Level: Absolute Beginner/ Beginner
No prior sewing experience needed

Skills Learned

  • Sewing multiple layers of heavy duty fabric on a home sewing machine

  • Sewing an envelope base

  • Sewing through multiple layers of thick fabric

  • Attaching a base layer for reinforcement

  • Attaching hardware & straps

  • Various ways to set rivets properly

  • Conceptual elements of bag making


  • Capacity. Dimensions 11.5" H x 12.5" W (at bottom) x 5" D

  • Leather straps

  • D-Ring for keys

  • Quality Materials. Real leather straps attached with strong metal brads. 

  • Durable. Waxed canvas exterior fabric is a naturally water resistant material.

  • Rugged. Built to withstand being loaded down with a laptop & school books.

  • Flat square base ideal for carrying books and groceries. Extra reinforced base layer.

  • Beautifully Designed. Open top that’s easy to throw stuff in. Unique envelop base construction.

  • Weather-resistant high quality waxed canvas exterior

    • Please Note: One of the allures of waxed canvas is it's ability to show wear & use. With more use, more creases appear in the canvas, and all the marks start to blend, giving it a storied look.


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Hi! I’m Ellie Lum

I’m a maker and a teacher. I started Klum House because I love encouraging & inspiring people by teaching sewing tips & tricks through fun, hands-on workshops. With clear instructions & 20 years experience, I’ll 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 & 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—>


DWP Mission

Design Week Portland is a week-long, city-wide series of programs exploring the process, craft, and practice of design across all disciplines. Their mission is to increase appreciation and awareness about design and its far-reaching effects on matters of cultural and social relevance, including community development, education systems, and the economy.

Portland has always been a bit different. And within the last decade or so, the rest of the world has taken notice. Forever pushing forward, our compact city continues to emerge as a dynamic center of creativity, composed of a vital community of designers and makers at its core. We create. We collaborate. We try new things. We grow. And so, to best reflect the culture here, Design Week Portland stitches together the events and happenings that will connect, educate, and inspire.


Thank you so much Ellie! We really had an amazing time. All intimidation melted away within minutes of your instruction. You're an awesome & inspirational teacher.


What To Expect

Style Your Colors

All materials are included in the price of class. We cut & prep everything for your Portsmith Tote Maker Kit, ready to sew! When you click to sign up, you’ll be prompted to choose your fabric colors. Leather & hardware colors will be chosen in class.

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Make it again... With a discount! 

Lucky you! Students get a discount on Portsmith Maker Kits purchased in class!

Maker Kits: $50 (Regularly $90)
Finishing Kits: $20 (Regularly $26)

Continue building your skills by making another Fremont Tote for a friend— They'll love one made by you! Discount given on day of class only.


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!

What To Bring

We make it easy for you— No need to bring any supplies!

We provide all sewing machines, thread, supplies & materials for class. All kits are cut, prepped & ready to sew.

*Feel free to bring your sewing machine if you want to learn on it. We think it’s great to see what your machine can do. You can always switch to one of ours during class if your machine needs a break!

Food & Refreshments

There’s lots of local places to eat! We’re located in the same building as Ristretto Roasters, Kayo’s Ramen Bar & Tasty n Sons. New Seasons is a couple blocks away and Crisp Salad is across the street.

We suggest bringing a closed top water bottle & any diet-specific food if you think you’ll need it. We’ll have snacks, water, and tea!


Review our cancellation & rebook policy:

  • We require at least 7 days notice prior to the start of class to cancel for a full refund.

  • We require at least 48 hours notice prior to the start of class to rebook for a later class.

  • Full payment for class is due at time of sign up in order to secure your spot in class.

  • 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.