About the Course
This is one of our most popular courses; a great introduction to making a professional leather bag. On this two-day course you will be walked through basic construction techniques required to make a leather bag from scratch.
On the first day you get to choose from 6 different bag shapes: 2 variants of each style (2 types of Hobo, 2 sizes of satchel, a tote/shopper, or a backpack).
We have pre-prepared Rebecca-Jane patterns for you to use & keep, so you don’t have to worry about any complicated pattern cutting on this course. You are welcome to customise your chosen designs slightly if you feel confident.
This course is a chance to learn how to make a turned and fully lined soft leather bag with different types of pocket detail and handle options and leave with skills you can use for future bag making projects.
Day 1: Select pattern to use, customise pattern, discuss chosen materials, cut leather & lining, practice on the industrial machines, start to sew the lining.
Day 2: Bag construction and final assembly.
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 (Janome or Bernina) or industrial sewing machines. We have a Typical walking foot cylinder arm machine and 2 flat-bed industrial sewing machines, they are all fitted with slow speed motors so they are really easy for even a beginner. We now also have a skiving machine to help with reducing the thickness of the leather in the seam lines. You are welcome to use either depending on your choice of materials, although our aim is for everyone to produce professionally finished bags and so we’d recommend using one of our industrial machines to get the best results.
Our classes are very small (max. 5 students per class) so there is plenty of one-to-one tuition. All our courses are run in parallel, so you may be making something different to other students on the day. Course dates tend to fill-up fast so if your preferred dates are already fully booked we will be in touch to discuss alternative dates that suit you.
All classes will run with a minimum of only 1 person so you can have peace of mind that once you have booked your place you know nothing will change.
Wondering what other students have made? Visit the gallery on our website.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above or telephone us. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
What we provide:
• Rebecca-Jane patterns
• 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 our website.
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
There is a list on our website of places we recommend for purchasing leather and metal hardware.
We will have a half lunch break together and lunch will be provided for you. We will have a selection of bread cheese, ham, and salad. If you have any specific dietary requirements we recommend bringing some lunch. Coffee, tea(s) and snacks are provided to keep up our energy throughout the day. Please bring some drinking water.
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 we can arrange for you to be collected free of charge from Lancing, Hove or Portslade 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.
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. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Kathryn Nisbet - - #20361
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.
Caroline Everden - - #20262
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.
Jane Valerie - - #20226
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.
Caz Brown - - #18094
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
Chrissy Caine - - #17474
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.