Want to learn how to make bags? This choose your own adventure tote bag project walks you through every step of the way from machine basics to finished custom bag. Guided by professional bagmaker Ellie Lum.
Free Oberlin Tote Pattern included in class!
Dimensions: 11.5"W (at bottom) x 13"H x 5"D
Can be made on a home sewing machine with fabric of your choosing
Magnetic snap closure
Interior zipper pocket
Hanging key clip
Version 1: Fabric Straps & Version 2: Leather Straps
Four external pockets
Machine basics - Understanding threading
Winding a bobbin correctly
Sewing multiple layers of heavy duty fabric
Attaching hardware & straps
Drafting a pattern
Sewing a zipper pocket
How to attach binding to edges of a pocket
Using an edge-stitch presser foot
Sewing a French Seam
How to set rivets properly
Conceptual elements of bag making
LESSON 1: OVERVIEW OF BAG
Meet Ellie as she shows you the features of The Oberlin Tote.
LESSON 2: TOOLS & MATERIALS
Learn about the waxed canvas, leather, tools and notions you'll need to make the bag.
LESSON 3: MACHINE BASICS - OVERVIEW
Get an introduction to the sewing machine & learn what all the knobs & levers do!
LESSON 4: MACHINE BASICS - THREADING
Find out how to thread a sewing machine properly, wind a bobbin, and get your machine set up to make your bag.
LESSON 5: MACHINE BASICS - TECHNIQUES
Learn how to handle heavy-duty fabric & the basics of creating good stitches!
LESSON 6: DESIGN LAB
Get an intro to bag design considerations & choose which custom features you want to include in your tote bag project.
LESSON 7: DRAFTING & CUTTING
Follow along as Ellie shows you how to draft your pattern pieces accurately onto your fabric & cut them out.
LESSON 8: PREPPING & PRESSING
Prep your fabric by pressing all the hems & get ready to sew!
LESSON 6: SEWING THE EXTERIOR POCKETS
Create hems & divider stitches on the exterior pockets. Give your bag some cargo capacity with four external pockets!
LESSON 7: SEWING THE REINFORCED BASE
Attach the base layer to the bag. Learn the wonders of using an edge-stitch presser foot.
LESSON 8: CONSTRUCTING THE ZIPPER POCKET
Construct a hanging zippered internal pocket with binding.
LESSON 9: STYLE 1 - FABRIC HANDLES
Learn how to construct fabric handles with leather details.
LESSON 10: ATTACHING THE MAGNETIC SNAP
Learn how to set a magnetic snap closure into the top hem of your tote.
LESSON 11: ATTACHING ZIPPER POCKET
Discover how easy it is to set a pocket & key clip into your bag. Create the top hem to your bag while also learning correct pinning techniques for heavy weight fabric.
LESSON 12: SEWING THE SIDE SEAMS
Learn how to sew your bag together with French Seams.
LESSON 13: ATTACHING LEATHER HANDLES
Learn how to attach leather handles with rivets.
LESSON 14: CONCLUSION
The big reveal! Turn your bag right-side out and admire your hard work. Time to celebrate your bag & all it’s features by putting stuff in it!
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!
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.