I'm presently taking the Design your own Handbag class from Craftsy following my sad and tragic experiences with sewing the World's Ugliest Bag. This is the final post in the series. If you are interested, you can also read Part 1 of my review, and Part 2.
You can also get this class at a great discount at just $19.99
Class review – part 3
Lesson 7 – Handles and Straps
One sure way to tell your handmade bag apart from something bought is the handle. This lesson covers not only different types of handles and how to make them, but some really good tips on how to get a very nice finish on the handle and on the tabs used to attach them. The lesson covers:
- making basic straps
- fabric covered cord handles (I'll definitely be having a go at making these!)
- working with pre-made handles
- attaching handles with tabs
- attaching handles with grommets
Lesson 8 – Zippers
How to add zippers to your bag for both function and decorative effect. One thing I really wanted to learn was how to add a recessed zipper to the top of a bag, and the tutorial on how to do this was really excellent. I'll certainly be considering this as an option for my bag, and may make a pattern for you down the line using this idea. (Let's see how my bag comes out first!)
We also learned how to install a zipper right along the top of a tote bag. I'd never thought of this style before, but really liked it! It made a big useful bag, with the added security that someone isn't going to reach in and help themselves to your wallet.
Lesson 9 – Closures and hardware
This whole lesson was just bag making eye-candy! Ooh, I loved the examples she showed and it really shows how to take your handmade bag to the next level and give it a truly original and designer look. Covered in this class was how to select and install:
- magnetic snaps
- twist locks
- tab hardware such as studs and rivets
- rings, rectangle rings, d-rings and more
- clasps, hooks and other closures
- bag feet
Of course, while these accessories really do make all the difference to the bag, they also make a big difference to the cost of the bag! Buying these individually isn't cheap, and perhaps you wouldn't want to invest for every bag you make, but knowing what is available and how to use it gives lots of design options.
I put together a mini directory of some of the best places online I found to order bag and purse making supplies. You can find it at the bottom of this post.
Lesson 10 – Shape Variations and Wrap Up
The final lesson in the series and a look at the ways that the basic bag pattern can be adapted and varied to create different bag shapes and style.
Each bag is examined for how its shape and dimension varies from the others, and the construction order for the bags is run through. How to add pleats in to add volume and shaping, and using a ‘muslin' to test your ideas before finalizing your bag design ready for sewing.
Student projects and inspiration
And finally, a little look at just a few of the amazing student projects from this class. If I create a bag even half as nice as some of these I will be very happy. (You can click each one for more details.)
Get the class
If you are interested in learning more about how to design and sew your own bags, you can sign up for this course with the current sale that is running and save a huge 40%. Just use the code YOURCRAFT40 at checkout. We never know how long these sales will last anymore so you should probably hurry if you're interested.
MJ Trim – closures, straps, decorative elements, buckles, handles, spikes
Strapworks – for buckles, straps, metal fittings, rings, sliders and snaps
Pacific Trimming – chain, straps, and handles, closures, buckles, rivets, studs, snaps and hooks, eyelets and grommets, turn locks, bag feet and more
Ah Kwok Buckles – based in Hong Kong, ship worldwide. All types of hardware, buckets, sliders, rings etc
Hardware Elf – buckles, snaps, latches and locks, frames, straps and chains and more.
u-handbag – UK based. Large selection of bag hardware, straps, feet, purse frames and accessories.
3D Pattern Paper on Etsy – based in Hong Kong, ship worldwide. All sorts of handbag and purse hardwares. Lots of very nice and fashionable items.
Purse Supplies R Us on Etsy – another great Etsy supplier, US based. A wide range of purse supplies.
DIY Studs and Rivets – add a decorative element to your bags with these studs.
Disclosure – I bought the course myself and am not being compensated in any way from Craftsy for this course review. I really love the Craftsy classes and negotiated this special rate for your benefit. I am an affiliate so will receive a commission if you buy this course using my special discount link.