With over 10 years of working in the accessories industry, having worked in Paris and London for numerous fashion houses and successfully run her own handbag brand. Rebecca is open to sharing all her knowledge and expertise with you on this one day course.
This is one of our most popular courses. It is a great introduction to making a men's or women's bag. On this two-day course you will be walked through basic construction techniques required to make a leather bag from scratch. This course is a chance to learn how to make a chrome tanned turned and fully lined soft leather bag with different types of pocket detail and handle options and leave with the knowledge and confidence to continue your bag making projects at home.
Key skills learned in this course
A basic intro to different types of leather
Understanding how to use professional bag patterns
Selecting the correct materials, stabilisers, leather and hardware to create your bag
Introducing you to different tools for professional cutting techniques for leather and fabric cutting
Introducing different handle types and construction techniques
Learning the techniques of fully lining a bag
Learning how to sew a leather framed zip or patch pocket
Sewing different types of seams and learning how to finish them
Different closure techniques & applying finishing touches to a professional bag
Different methods for attaching handles using tools
**It is possible to make all of our patterns on both industrial and domestic sewing machines**
Outcomes: Select pattern to use, learn how to trace off the pattern from RJ Leather Studio pattern, select and discuss chosen materials, cut leather & lining, practice on the industrial machines, bonding all fusing
On the first day you will choose from 10 different bag patterns:
T based tote
Magnetic Clasp Hobo
Zipped Hobo with detachable strap
Cross body bucket bag
**The RJ Leather Studio pattern you choose is yours to take home with you at the end of the course**
You will have an introduction to different types of leather and will be given a list of all of our trusted suppliers and the tools you will need to make bags at home.
On day one we will talk you through different types of leathers and then show you how to trace off a pattern from an original handbag block introducing you to professional bag making techniques. Once you have traced the pattern we will then discuss and select which leather material and hardware you would like to use for your bag.
You will then be introduced to different tools you can use to cut leather, how to cut leather and what to look out for. You will cut the leather, lining and stabilisers and bond all of the stabilisers to the leather.
We will also do a small introduction to working on industrial sewing machines so you can have a practise in preparation for day two construction.
The first day is all about cutting and preparing and being completely ready for sewing on day two.
**If you would like to create a bespoke design, we recommend you attend the 1 Day Pattern Cutting Course first. You can then use this pattern during the 2 day handbag making course.**
Outcomes:. Prepare and sew pockets, construct lining, adding hardware, sew the lining, fully assemble bag using professional bag finishing techniques, adding finishing touches, attaching handles and straps
Day two is when the magic starts to happen.
You will start the day by preparing all of the pockets to sew. There is a lot of preparation in pockets and we try to stabilise everything as much as possible so that when it comes to sewing you are only concentrating on stitching beautifully.
We then move on to constructing the linings and preparing any tabs or hardware pieces that need to be attached to the main body of the bag. This enables you to see your bag panels all start to be completed and then you can start to sew the final seams in the main (leather) body of the bag. You’ll then attach the lining and the leather together.
Right at the end is the most exciting part and you turn the bag to the right way round revealing all of your hard work and your professionally finished bag!
Finally we add on any handles or straps and rivet them on.
Your course dates can be consecutive or separate, depending on what suits you best.
Skill level: Beginners – Intermediate
Key skills learned on this course:
• Adapting patterns
• Choosing materials and leather
• Professional leather and fabric cutting techniques
• Preparing pieces for zips, fusing and considering materials weight and combinations
• Fully lining a bag
• How to sew a zip & patch pocket
• Sewing different types of seams and how to finish them
• Different closure techniques & applying finishing touches to a professional bag
• Attaching handles with rivets
You have the option to work with domestic or industrial sewing machines. We are very lucky to be sponsored by Tysew Sewing Machines and we have a number of different machines all fitted with servo motors which are ’slow speed’ motors so they are really easy to use and beginner friendly.
It is totally possible to make this bag on a domestic sewing machine so if you are more comfortable using one of those it’s no problem at all!
We highly recommend using our industrial machines in this course to really give your bag that professional look.
In our studio we have:
One flatbed lockstitch
Two flatbed walking feet
Two walking foot needle feed cylinder arm
4 Janome domestic sewing machines
Rebecca Jane is a true artisan she has worked for many designers, including Givenchy, Stuart Vevers, Luella, Robert Cary Williams and Paul Seville. Her experience of working in these different design houses gave her the insight into how to run a fashion label.
In 2008 Rebecca combined this knowledge with her passion for eco design and Rebecca-Jane own handbag range was born. The label was sold world wide in boutiques, departments stores and markets. Clocking up a staggering 5000 bags being sold and creating them all in-house at the RJ headquarters. Rebecca comes from a creatives family she has a broad knowledge of making and designing and specialises in handbag design.
Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.
What we provide:
• Rebecca-Jane patterns - which you get to take home with you
• Pattern card
• Pencils & rubber
• Pattern master (ruler for pattern cutting)
• Leatherboard if required
• Thread & Machines
We suggest bringing a notepad & pen and a camera for taking videos and photos to document your project.
We know that buying leather and components can be a little overwhelming so you have the option to buy the materials from us for £50, you can purchase the 'materials package' from us in advance or on the first day of the course.
Alternatively, if you would prefer to bring your own materials please make sure your leather is not too thick, no more than 1mm-1.5mm if possible. See the list below of materials to consider for your design:
• Leather - 6sq ft of leather for the outside of the bag
• Lining – 1m of fabric preferably of a medium weight
• Metal hardware – zips, d-rings, oblongs, fastenings, magnets, feet
We can provide you with a list of places we recommend for purchasing leather and metal hardware in advance, on request.
On the day:
We will have a half an hour lunch break together so please bring lunch and snacks. Before Covid 19 I used to provide lunch and snacks but for now I have been advised for people to bring their own, which I am sad about as I loved providing this. Coffee / tea will also be provided but if you would rather bring your own then, of course, are more than welcome.
Once we receive your booking and preferred course date(s), we’ll send you an email with driving directions and public transport info. If you arrive by train it is a 10 min walk from the station. There is limited free parking on site.
The Rebecca-Jane Sewing School is run by a designer and our courses allow you to explore your ideas and leave with the confidence to continue your design & making journey for a hobby or creative career. We aim to teach you the skills and principles of innovative design and professional making techniques to create long-lasting innovative designs.
2 days (10:30am to 5:00pm)
This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.
The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.
They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.
2 days (10:30am to 5:00pm)
My husband and I attended the one day bag making course. He made the messenger bag and I made the tote. We had a really amazing day. It was such a fun thing to do. Bex is so patient and helpful. We were both new to sewing but with Bex’s expertise we both came home with a beautiful bag. I can’t wait to sign up to another course. I’ve had so many compliments about my bag.
I love my leather messenger bag that I made on the one-day course - it was so interesting to see what goes into making the bag and I was able to customise it to look the way that I wanted!
Just done our second course with Bex to make a Hobo Bag - yet again Brilliant!
Another immensely enjoyable day, Bex is so patient with us and her knowledge and tips make the bag look professional. Added to all that she kept us supplied with drinks and nibbles - she worked so hard.
Would highly recommend her courses to anyone even if you have never sewed before. Bex manages to instill confidence, even when you make mistakes and mess up her machines!
We're planning our next bag session as I type.
I signed up for the 1 day Back Pack making course and thoroughly enjoyed it. The tuition and knowledge Rebecca provides is first class. I have since signed up for 2 more courses and I am sure there will be more. The studio is nice and easy to find, all the materials you need are to hand and plenty of parking available. I can highly recommend Rebecca's courses, if you are thinking about signing up and are a little unsure I would definitely say, Go For It!
Oh my goodness what a fantastic course, my husband and I loved it. Bex is a great teacher who instantly put us at ease. The result at the end of the day was 2 very professional looking bags - how amazing. We are already planning our next course.
Excellent class with an excellent bag to take home thanks to Help and patience from Rebecca.
I am definitely not a natural sewing bee, so was pleasantly amazed and delighted by the quality of the finished result, due mainly to the expertise shared by Rebecca and the fantastic facilities and materials on offer. Coming back with a friend for another course shortly!
Signed up for the two day course as I was in the area and to try something new.. .. not sure I had expectations of making something so professional looking
With Bec’s support and guidance I created an amazingly professional bag that is certainly eye catching and doesn’t look hand crafted but yet is fully unique
I would certainly recommend the course and finding time to attend a workshop.. .. but leave room for me to attend another couple yet!!!
Have just completed a weekend course with RJ Leather.
Can absolutely recommend to anyone who already works with leather or just wants a fun weekend learning a new skill.
Rebecca is lovely, very talented and very patient!
Can't wait to do another one
What a lovely way to spend a weekend. The studio is well equipped with good light ,the material choices were very plentiful & a very relaxed atmosphere. My handbag is almost professional! Generally it was very inspiring.
Myself and friend decided not to waste time and money on christmas and birthday presents but would instead have experiences together. We are booked on the two day course with Rebecca in November but prior to that attended the shopping and leather trip to London. We had a fantastic day, we went round parts of London you would not normally see and gained fantastic experience in leather and trimmings. We would really recommend this and are looking forward to our making course.
I attended the Tote bag course and had a fantastic day, Rebecca is so welcoming and the studio is perfect, everything you need is to hand. Rebecca explained all about the different types of leather and various tools, then provided support & advice thro the whole experience. I would highly recommend this course as an introduction to bag making, everyone loves the bag I made, including me :)
I loved this course, I learnt so much and was very pleased to take home my finished product. Rebecca the teacher was fabulous she gave me the exactly the right amount of help and encouraged me to do things I had never done before. This course would suit a beginner or a more experienced leather worker as Rebecca always seemed to have something new to teach me.
I highly recommend it Thankyou
So enjoyed our Tote bag making day. So relaxed and well organised.
I’m so pleased with my bag, its not left my side.
Had a brilliant day making a tote bag with Bex who was the most patient teacher. So well organised especially as it was only her second class since lockdown. We learnt so much that we are going to go back for another bag! Excellent value - Bex even stayed late so that we left with our bags totally completed thanks for an amazing day see you soon!
I did the tote bag course and can highly recommend. Bex is an amazing teacher and I learnt so much. She’s so patient and interesting. My bag has been very admired and looking forward to doing another course.
This is a great course and I'd highly recommend this to anyone who fancies having a go with leather sewing. As I've only used a sewing machine a handful of times, Rebecca was very supportive, providing instructions and boosting your confidence along the way! Having attended in August 2020 where people have been very cautious of their activities and whereabouts but I felt very safe in the workshop with Rebecca. It's a great feeling at the end of the day, walking out of the workshop with a bag you have made! 100% recommend :)
A great day! This was my first course and I will definitely sign up for more. The day just flew by and it was good to know that help and advice was always on hand. I love my new bag .... Bex is a superb teacher.
I have made both the hobo and the shopping bag. The course and teaching was so good on the first course that I came back for another one. I can thoroughly recommend these courses. It is a lovely day crafting with a beautiful bag at the end of it.
We have taken a few courses with the lovely Bex and, as always had a fantastic day making the Hobo bag. Bex's studio has great lighting and is well equipped with plenty of work space and sewing machines.
Bex has been sponsored by Tysew and has several of their industrial sewing machines for student use. As it was our first time using industrial machines with walking feet, she spent time explaining how to use them and allowing us time to practice. We soon had the hang of it, and made the bags with no problem. Bex always uses top quality leather and hardware so the bags are stunning, I have had lots of comments about my lovely bag, my mum has bag envy!! .
Lunch was provided and it was really enjoyable to sit with the other students and have a natter. We travelled from north Kent (around 80 miles) but soon found another student had travelled further and was also a repeat student. Obviously shows what a great teacher Bex is! I'm a confident sewer but learnt a huge amount from Bex. I've booked again to make the backpack in March.
Great class. My friends were amazed at the quality of the tote bag. Fab teaching.
Loved making my clutch bag and it turned out fabulous thanks to Rebecca and her great teaching and advice. It was all very interesting and has given me another craft to research. I will certainly be coming back for more.x
The one day leather tote making day with Rebecca was one of the best crafting days I have attended. I learnt to sew with leather using an industrial machine which was a first for me. Rebecca is a wonderful lady providing plenty of encouragement, supervision and precise instructions on the making of the tote. There was a friendly atmosphere with plenty of encouragement. End result - a beautiful navy tote bag. Thanks Rebecca for such a wonderful day.
I’ll be back.
My friend and I thoroughly enjoyed the course. We had expert tutition and we were very pleased with the end product. Thank you.
This is a really enjoyable course and I had a great day! Rebecca is very knowlegable and patient, and I came away with a lovely tote bag plus plenty of information regarding buying leathers and equipment. I highly recommend this course if you are a complete beginner like myself, and I'll definitely book on to another course. Thanks Rebecca! :)
I have just finished my two day leather handbag making course with Rebecca, which I have thoroughly enjoyed.
I have always wanted to make a handbag and after some research on the internet found Rebecca’s course.
Rebecca is a true professional of her craft and an excellent teacher, she is very patient with her students taking the time to explain leather processes, leather production, pattern making, cutting, and using industrial sewing machines. I made a brown leather hobo bag which I lined with Chinese silk, I love it 💕
I will be recommending Rebecca and her courses to all my work colleagues, friends and family. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Rebecca is a lovely, passionate, creative professional lady. Her teaching and sewing skills are impeccable. I intend to attend future classes. Thank you
I had a lovely time making my first leather bag. I was able to make a bag that was exactly what I wanted with support from Rebecca-Jane. Her expertise was obvious and really helped when I made small changes to one of her designs. It was a really friendly and relaxed environment to work in, with all the equipment we could need.
I absolutely loved this day - and I came away with a gorgeous bag. Still can’t believe I was able to make a leather bag that looked so professional!
Rebecca is lovely, and has lots of experience and knowledge that she is happy to pass on. Her studio has everything you need and is lovely, as is lunch.
Would highly recommend this course, really inspirational. I’m going to go back to make another bag soon.
Absolutely loved my Hobo leather bag making course on Saturday. Rebecca was wonderful, one of the best courses that I have ever done over the years. I will be back very soon to do the clutch bag. The end result was so professional for everyone on the course, I think we all left very proud and thats all down to Rebecca. Highly recommend.
I had a fabulous time making my clutch bag and have now booked to go back and make a tote bag - very addictive!
I have just done Rebecca's two day leather handbag course, and am now the proud owner of a fantastic bag. The course was interesting, informative, educational and great fun. All the students got on well and shared their pleasure in their completed bags. Rebecca is a very patient teacher, explaining the processes of leather production, pattern making, cutting, and using industrial sewing machines. I would be very happy to recommend Rebecca and her courses to anyone.
I can’t thank you enough for yesterday, it was fabulous. You are such a kind, patient and generous teacher. I am absolutely thrilled with my bag and am making notes today, so I don’t forget any of it.
I can’t wait to do another one and what I am learning will improve my fabric bag making too.
Thank you again
I attended the 1 day leather hobo bag making course. It was a fantastic day, with brilliant tuition tailored to my needs. The quality of the leather supplied was excellent and i would definately attend a course with Rebecca-Jane again.
Excellent day, I learnt a lot about leather and enjoyed making a tool bag to go on a belt.
Rebecca’s teaching was really helpful and well delivered.
Really really enjoyed it and have a fabulous bag at the end x would love to do another course x
Fantastic experience. Great tuition and well planned course, everyone left with a fantastic bag that they had made. Even better was the opportunity to purchase the bag pattern to take home and make more.
Would recommend to anyone.
I have been making leather bags and accessories for some time, although with no formal training. I wanted to learn how to tackle pattern making and design. I did my first workshop with Rebecca last year, I spent three days there and with Rebecca's guidance was able to design, make the pattern and return home with a replica of an old family heirloom bag that was long past its prime. I wouldn't have known where to start on my own.
I returned earlier this year for a two day one to one with Rebecca where we once again we recreated two new bags, one of which was a very complex design, but Rebecca knew just where to start and how to go about the task at hand. Rebeccas knowledge and skill in making and design is second to none and I am now able to tackle things I would never have attempted previously. I cant wait until time allows me to return once again. Whether you are a beginner or have made bags before, you won't find anybody better to take you forward with your ideas and aspirations.
I had a super time at the two day workshop recently, and Becca couldn't have been more accommodating. She helps you every step of the way, so even though I was anxious I was able to produce a superbly professional looking handbag. I had never used an industrial machine either, but again with guidance got the hang of it fairly quickly. There were just a few of us and all doing different projects, but Becca gave each and every one of us plenty of individual attention.
Overall an excellent few days and I can't speak highly of this workshop. I am hoping to return in the future as I really enjoyed it. Thanks to Becca I have a terrific keepsake to show friends and family who couldn't believe the professional finish