About the Course
Bags and handbags have been the big fashion statement for some time and this looks set to continue. This course will give you the skills to make your own bags and accessories from a wide range of materials, including soft leather and suede, to a high degree of professional skill and finish. You will be able to use purchased patterns, which you can adapt if you wish, or to develop your own designs and patterns to produce unique pieces. If you are a returning student, you will be able to continue with your projects. No previous experience of the subject is necessary but you must be competent on the sewing machine to benefit from this course.
By the end of the course you will be able to
to use and adapt purchased patterns for bags OR:
to develop your own designs and draft simple patterns
to understand different construction techniques for bag making, using a two thread sewing machine
to select and use suitable materials for linings, interlinings, etc
to select and use suitable fastenings and fittings
to follow instructional hand-outs correctly
to select and use appropriate materials including soft leather
Class format and activities
The tutor will use samples and examples to discuss and demonstrate how you can develop your ideas. If you are working with a purchased pattern, you will be able to adapt the style if you require, or you can develop your own designs and learn simple pattern cutting skills. Techniques used for constructing bags on a domestic sewing machine will be demonstrated. This includes leather and suede. There will be an emphasis on sharing knowledge and experience, through discussion, show and tell and group crit. The tutor will work with students one-to-one and in groups.
In order to ensure that you make the best possible progress on your course, you will have regular feedback from your tutor, in a constructive and supportive environment.
This is an Intermediate level course.
Before you enrol, you should have achieved the following:
• Follow beginners pattern instructions
• Adjust patterns using basic methods
• Use pattern lays, grainline and selvedge
• Use sewing machinery accurately
• Have constructed at least 3 garments to a good standard, including 1 top
• Students must be able to read, write and understand fluent English
• Mathematics and numeracy skills are desirable but not essential
What you need to know before you enrol
• Working on patterns and cutting fabrics can involve standing at high tables. Please let your tutor know if this is difficult for you.
• You will be using tools under the supervision of the tutor.
• Sewing machines have a foot operated speed control.
• You will occasionally use glue and knives in the class. Health & Safety information will be given to you at the start of the course and subsequent lessons where necessary. You may be asked to sign a form declaring that you agree to follow college procedures as advised.
• Some chemicals used may be harmful to certain health conditions or in pregnancy. Please make sure to let your tutor know if this is the case and they will advise you as to necessary precautions.
• The fashion studios are on the first floor of the Nancy Seear Building and there is wheelchair access via a stair-lift.
• Please also note: there is no eating or drinking allowed in the fashion studios – no liquids at all are allowed.
What you will need for your class
• a basic sewing kit: fabric scissors, tape measure, dressmaker’s pins, unpicker
• paper scissors, heavy scissors (for leather)
• dressmaker’s tracing wheel
• masking tape, Pritt stick
• notepad and 2/3 colour pens, 2H pencils, sharpener and eraser
• A4 ring binder
** Ideas for your project will be discussed during the first lesson, although you may wish to bring:
• a pattern that you like or images of styles that appeal to you & a selection of fabric or leather cuttings you are inspired by
• you must provide your own fabrics, leather skins, haberdashery, threads, etc. for your projects
• paper and card are available for use in the classroom
• calico for toiling is available at cost price from your tutor
• you will need to purchase a machine bobbin from your tutor for £1, refundable at the end of the term
What you can do next
We run a variety of accessories and specialist courses as well as other courses which might be of interest, including clothes making, costumes, millinery and pattern cutting. You make also wish to consider our weekend leather courses focusing on soft and heavy skins in either contemporary or traditional techniques.
You might want to try one of the following:
Sewing Suede and Soft Leather
Pattern Cutting: Beginner's
Costume Design and Making: Tudor to Restoration
Hat Making for Stage and Screen
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.