Sew Your Own Shoulder Bag | Karen Emelia | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. Project Materials

    • 4. Exterior Zipper Part 1

    • 5. Exterior Zipper Part 2

    • 6. Finish the Exterior

    • 7. The Inside of the Bag

    • 8. Zipper Placket

    • 9. Zipper Tab

    • 10. Assembling the Bag

    • 11. The Strap

    • 12. You are finished!

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About This Class


Watch designer Karen Emelia sew an entire handbag in about 40 minutes! In this class, you’ll learn the step-by-step process of the construction of a handbag/shoulderbagas well as learn a range of useful sewing techniques. This class is perfect for the advanced beginner to intermediate sewer, and everyone who loves to sew. Prior knowledge or experience with a sewing machine is required! By the end, you’ll have everything you need to plan, sew, and create your own bag.

Meet Your Teacher

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Karen Emelia

Learning something new everyday...


For the last 15 years Karen Emelia has been sewing, quilting and knitting into the wee hours of the morning. After a while the natural progression was to teach others how to be obsessed with these things as well.

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1. Trailer: Hi. My name's Karen. I'm a bag designer. Originally, I started sewing banks for each season. Which brings me to where I am today. I made every one of these bags, many of which have been sold on Etsy. And now I'm here to show you how to sew your own shoulder. So your own Children bag class is an intermediate level of sewing project. So you need to have good foundational selling skills. You know how to use your sewing machines. And if you need a new bag, that would be good to. So I hope you'll join me as you so long. 2. Class Project: for the class project. We're gonna be making this bag with the class downloadable instructions. You'll find all the template pieces needed to make it. And as we go along, you can up start a project and upload photos of each step of the bag. I should go along. This bag is gonna have a zipper in front. No, the inside there will be zippered pocket and to patch pockets. And the whole thing will close with a zipper at the top. Help you have fun, So I'm along with me. 3. Project Materials: for the class materials. You will need 1.5 yards of cotton duck fabric for the exterior of the bag. Half a yard of full leather in either brown or black, one yard of coordinating lining fabric. 100% cotton works best two yards of usable woven interfacing, 1 14 inch zipper and 29 inch sippers, 100% cotton thread that matches your fabric and bobbin thread that matches as well. For the purse hardware, you will need to D rings to swivel Hook lobster clasp fasteners in either silver or antique bronze. Whichever matches your fabric choices for the strap, you will need a buckle slide one or two inch size. We will be making the strap out of cotton webbing, heavy duty or regular, depending on how hard you are on your bag. A sewing machine with a walking foot in a size 90 sewing machine needle rotary cutters, scissors and sewing pins marking tools such as markers, chalk or tailor's chalk work well rulers in various sizes. An iron and ironing board. Last but not least, a cutting mat and table toe work on a written list of all the supplies in places you can purchase. These items are included in the Class Project page 4. Exterior Zipper Part 1: All right, Welcome to class. Now that you've printed out your template instructions and pieces and cut them all out, let's talk about a few of the pieces that need to be constructed. So we put together B and C, B and C, and then we put together BC NBC, and that creates our large interior template piece. E and D will go together, F N g will go together, and K and L will go together. Tape those pieces together. And then it's time to start cutting out your pattern pieces. Let's start with A and K l cut out peace A placing the template on the fold of the fabric. Then we're going to cut out K l. And that's our full leather fabric. Remember, with full leather, you never want to use pins. I recommend using clover clips. That way, you're not actually puncturing the fabric. Now let's build the exterior piece. We're gonna take the leather base, and we're gonna place it right side together with the exterior fabric. Now we're gonna go, so we're gonna so 1/4 of an inch along this edge on the bottom. All right, Now you have that sewn together we're gonna press the seam towards the top, press it up and take it to the selling machine so that we can top stitch along this edge. All right. As you can see here, I've top stitched across the edge. I used a brown thread. You could use something that disappears a little bit more or has contrast. I like using brown because you can see it well, now that we have that done, it's time to put together a zippered pocket that goes right here. Now let's grab the pocket pieces labeled I Once you have that cut and you've lined it with the interfacing, we're ready to put it on the outside of the bag so we can create our hidden pocket zipper. That will be really fun. And after you watch the way I would do it here. Then you'll be able to do it on the inside. All right, so you put your piece on and you're going to measure two inches from the top and two inches from the side. Two inches this way, two inches this way, and that's the placement. So go ahead and pin that on there, and now we need to mark our hidden zipper. I'm gonna use Taylor stock. Move your ruler down one inch. I've picked this brown zipper. It's nine inches long and we have to figure out where we're gonna put the zipper. So the way I do that is I take the ruler wanted from the top from the peace labeled I. Then I grabbed the zipper and I lined it up in the center looking at this part and this part, and I can see that about 1.5 inches from each side will work. So if you wanted to use a different sizes for different size pocket, that's how you figure it out. You just measure the zipper that you've chosen and move in about an inch to an inch and 1/2 . So I'm gonna mark that. Then I'm gonna move the ruler down about 1/2 an inch, and I'm gonna market again. Now I'm going to go in about an inch and 1/2 because that's how I know my measurement is I'm gonna mark that side line and do the same on the other side. Grab your pins and start pinning all the way around. I like to put it in the direction that I know I'm gonna so so I can pull the pins out and they don't get stuck. All right, now, let's go to the sewing machine. 5. Exterior Zipper Part 2: all right, now that we're back from the sewing machine, we have to cut a hole right down the center. And to do that, you need your ruler and your rotary cutter. So place your ruler about 1/4 of an inch in and cut. All right, you can see I've cut through, but I'm not quite done. I actually have to cut a little bit into the corner here with my shark scissors and a little here. You can see it looks a little bit like a why or happy. Okay, let's take the pins out. And now I'm gonna fold this piece through to the inside, Okay? Now we have to take it to the iron and press it open. Okay? You know, this is my favorite part. I actually can't wait to get to this part. So now that we have it pressed, it's time to put the zipper in. And some people like to use pins, but I like to use tape, so I'm gonna fit my zipper in and see how it works. How does it look? Looks like it's gonna fit in there. Just fine. Here's the double sided tape that I like to use. So I'm gonna measure out, see how long it needs to be. And that seems pretty good. As you can see, this is pretty wide. So I'm going to cut it in half. I've cut it in half. It's time to put it on the edge of the zipper right along the edge, not too close to the actual zipper. Otherwise, it shows. Go ahead and press it on both sides. Like so. All right. Now I have to take the paper off so you can see the tape a little bit. Lay it down. I'm going to put this opening right over the zipper and smooth it on just like that. Press down. Now I'm going to go to the sewing machine and I'm gonna so all the way around and I'm gonna use my zipper foot. Okay, Now that it's sewn on, we're going to snip are threads and turn it over. Now you get to see the inside. This is what the inside of all the persons look like. You would never know that it would look so good. So I'm gonna take the other piece for this pocket. I believe it's letter I and in a place that right sides together pin in place all the way around like so and so 1/4 of an inch along all four sides. Now we have this pocket sewn on, and when you turn it over and open it up, it looks so good. And now the exterior is finished. 6. Finish the Exterior: So I have the back of the bag and I have the front of the bag. Now I need to sew them together using the clover clips on the bottom because it remember we don't wanna put pins in our faux leather line those up. And now we have to mark our gusset on the bottom. The gusset is this part on the bottom of the bag, and then we have to create more space in the bag then. And if we just had a flat bag, we have to create more space. So this base is about four inches wide. So I'm going to divide that in half, and I'm gonna cut a two inch square out of each corner. And to do that I put a ruler on the corner and I market two inch square like that. And then I cut both pieces at the same time. That way I know they match up. Let's do that on this side as well. Two inches this way and two inches that way. Go ahead and cut that out and then take. You're two pieces to the sewing machine and we're going to so 1/4 of an inch from the top all the way to this section. Right here. Let's go. All right, now I have that sewn. I'm gonna open it up, and I want to press this edge with the iron once it's pressed. Now I'm going to So the other side match, let's match this up. Now we're going to do the same thing, and we're gonna so from here to there, All right, now that both sides were sewn together, Now we have to do the bottom. So we're just gonna so 1/4 of an inch seem on this edge. All right, Now we're ready to complete the gussets. Open up this section and line up. Your two seems folding. One seem in this direction in the other. Seem in the other direction and clip it. Or pennant, whatever you have. And once you have that done, you're gonna so 1/4 of an inch from here to there on both corners. Let's go. All right, now the bottom is done. We have our Gus. It's done. Everything sewn together. Let's turn it right side out. Okay, Now the outside of her bag is done. Yea, for us. We did it 7. The Inside of the Bag: all right now we have to do the inside of the bag. I bet you didn't think we were ever going to get here, But we're here, so take pieces. B C B C, which is the interior, front and back. I'm using this really pretty blue for the inside of my bag, said that, And then I need my other pocket piece that's been lined and again, just referring back to the other videos. You'll be able to put this pocket in just like the other one. It's exactly the same you're going to sowed in. You're going to cut it open and you'll have another zippered pocket. This time it looks exactly the same as the interior. The other side of the bag has a pouch pocket. We're going to take the interior pouch pocket labeled J. Take the two pieces, one lined and one unlined pin all the way around, and so 1/4 of an inch on all three sides leaving the bottom open. Once you have that sewn, it's time to clip the corners. That's so that when we turn it right side out, it can be nice and crisp. Go ahead and fold it right side out. Take it to the iron and press once you have that pressed, and then we have to sew a top stitch on the top edge. Then we're ready to put our pouch pocket on the other panel for the interior. Let's put the ruler about three inches from the bottom, and then take the bottom raw edge of the pocket and lay it right on the edge of the ruler. Three inches, about three inches in on both sides. And that's where we're going to baste our pocket. Go ahead and pin it in place, put it in place, and then just based a light stitch right along this edge. And then we will fold it up and it will make a nice pocket. So let's go. So it All right, I have that sewn on. Now I'm gonna fold it up, press it lightly with my fingers in the place. Then I'm going to pin along this edge and this edge, and then I'm gonna so all the way around thes three sides right along the corner to create a nice tossed top stitch. All right. Our pocket is sewn in place. Now we want to create a divider. So taking the ruler measuring about four inches, draw line and so straight from the top to the bottom or the bottom to the top, making sure that you do a back stitch at the top to give it some real strength. Now we have to pouch pockets. Both the front and the back of the inside are done. Now we need to put that together, but before we can, we have to make the zipper placket. 8. Zipper Placket: All right, let's take peace. F N g. If you're supposed to cut out four of those and line them all with woven interfacing, and we are gonna get ready to do our zipper. I have this 14 inch zipper. It's metal. You can use plastic, and in this one also has a metal pole. It just gives it a really nice look. Just give it a good test, see if it works. You'd hate to actually finish zipper and find that it doesn't work anymore. Take your first piece and press 1/4 inch in on both ends with an iron and lay the peace along the front about 1/4 of an inch from the top where the zipper is and pin in place. We're going to go to the sewing machine, and we're going to make sure that when we start, we start about right at the edge of this folded inseam. That way, when we're done, we can still cut out this little extra piece that we don't need. So let's go to the sewing machine and using a zipper foot, we're gonna so feeling along with the tape and the zipper. Now that you have that side sewn on. We have to. So another piece on the other side. Go ahead and clip another. Another piece on both sides so that they're facing each other like this. Make sure this one is also pressed. Clip it on, flip it back over to the side that you already sowed and follow along that guide. And so together. Okay, press that open clip together your edges like that. Now we need a top stitch along this from this corner to the tape, all the way along the teeth and all the way back to here. Repeat those steps again on the other side. First you're gonna do the front than the back and you're going to top stitch. And then it's time to test our zipper. Looks like it works. Let's do the zipper town 9. Zipper Tab: all right. The last step for the zipper is called the Zipper tab. And then we're gonna take letter H and we're going to create ours. Ever Tap looks like a square, and it's pretty simple. We're going to fold 1/4 of an inch in on the long side, like so take it to the iron and press. Once you have it pressed, we have to fold in the short sides into the center, pull it in and press both sides. Once that's pressed, then we fold it again. It's like folding a note. All right, so now we're ready to put our zipper tabs on her actual zipper. Let's take the super town and wrapping around the end of the zipper. Let's clip it in a place. Make sure it's holding on to the zipper tape, and now we're going to go to the sewing machine, and we're gonna sell all the way around the edge and then make an X through the center. All right, the zipper tabs on. Now we get to put our zipper placket inside of the interior. Let's go 10. Assembling the Bag: Okay, Now we're gonna put together zipper placket with the interior of the bag, and this time we it good to include the exterior e and D template. So let's take that. Lay it up here at the top. We're gonna take our zipper placket, and we have to make sure that the opening is in the right position. So make sure the top is placed up and it seems a little awkward because we always think we want to put right sides together. But in this case, we're gonna put the top up, line it up with the top, make sure it's even on both sides and Lee the exterior top piece over that. Let's clip it into place using clover clips at the top. It's a lot easier than pins. There's a lot of layers here, so the clips are a lot easier to use. Now. I'm gonna go so 1/4 of an inch from this corner to this corner along the edge, let's go. Once you've sown that in a place, now we're going to press it open and start the other side, making sure the pouch openings are at the top. We're going to put the other side on. Mind that up. It's a good idea to make sure if it's directional, that they're both in the same direction. Now we're going to do the same thing, placing the zipper placket right side up rather than facing so that we know this is the opening right here. This is gonna open her bag. It's not upside down. You can use the edge of the other side to help you with placement. You want it to be the same and then place this on top, clip it along the edge. And so 1/4 of an inch on this edge. Both of our sides are attached to the top. But now we have to touch them on the sides. So we're going to line up our edges pinning into place matching up. These seems that way. They line up really nice, and I'm going to stop about halfway because I have to. Again, I need to make a gusset. So I'm gonna cut a two inch square right there, putting your ruler on the corner. You're gonna Treece a two inch square and cut out this square with scissors. Let's take this to the sewing machine and so quarter manage from this corner to this corner . All right, that's sewn on If you want to. You can ticket impressive at the ironing board from the inside just to give it a nice, crisp edge. Do the same thing with the other side pinning lining up the seams and cutting out your square. All right, now both sides are sewn. Let's pin the bottom together. Just this part, not including the squares. It's this very same process as the exterior. And I'm gonna so 1/4 of an inch from here to there. Let's go. All right. The bottom is done. Now we have two. So the gussets at that point, once we do that, we're done with the inside of the bag. We're gonna line up our seems from this corner to this corner, pin it into place. So 1/4 of an inch from here to there and do the same on the other side. All right, now you can see that both gusts its air. Done. The outside doesn't look that pretty. Let's see what it looks like on the inside. What's open up? The zipper looks pretty good. Looks pretty in there. Doesn't it. We're gonna take this edge right here, and we're going to press 1/4 of an inch down all the way around the bag with the iron. This is the outside of the bag. We have to do the same thing, Only the opposite. We're going to press 1/4 of an inch in onto the inside of the bag with the iron. Okay, We have our lining pressed, 1/4 of an inch folded down towards the outside and unfinished side. And this is the interior of the bag. The exterior of the bag is also pressed 1/4 inch, all the way around towards the inside, unfinished part of the bag. Now we're going to put the inside inside the outside. So the trick to this is just to figure out which way which pocket you want. I prefer to have not to zippers on the same side. So if I know this side is the front, I'm going to make sure that the zipper is facing the other side. And the pouch pocket is facing the zipper side. Place it inside the bay and the gusset corners should meet together. It takes a little time once you have the bag inside, you're going toe line up the seams from the outside and the inside together and pin or clip in place and then work your way around pinning or clipping all edges all the way around. Once you have it all pinned and or clipped all the way around, it's time to start thinking about our strap. Where's our strap gonna go? We have to put something here in here, so let's start talking about the strap. 11. The Strap: for the strap material. I chose to use cotton webbing. It's easy to use. It's easy to so, and it looks great with almost any bag. I chose a cream color, and I cut these pieces four inches long and the strap I cut at a yard and 1/2 in length. You can cut it longer or shorter, depending on how much strap you want. If you want a long strap, you would want more. It's going to be adjustable because we have a buckle. The hardware I chose is an antique color because it will match the colors I have, but you could also use silver. Silver looks really nice with black or white or paying any color. It's all up to you. So first of all, I like to put the four inch pieces of webbing inside the D ring. It's a one inch dearing, and I'm just pin it and set it aside and do the same with the other. Now these pieces are ready for the bag, but first we're gonna finish our strap. You also need a one inch belt buckle, so let's figure this out. It's a little tricky. Start out with your claw hook, putting the oclock hook through the strap. Then you take the belt buckle and it goes through the bottom over this bar and back through to the other side, fold it over and clip into place. If this is the orientation you want, then you take the other end and you put it through from the bottom up into the other side and pull that through. Now you have this side on and you have this side ready as well. Quipped that in the place Now we're going to go to the sewing machine and we're gonna so a square and an ex along this to kick t two. So this together and then on this part, you're gonna so a square and an ex as well. So now we have a strap that has our claw clips. Arbuckle strap. They've both been sewn on, and they're nice and strong. I used brown thread so you could see the sewing. You probably would like to use something that won't be seen. Let's finish up the outside of the bag by putting the D rings into place. All right, I'm gonna take the pins out. I'm gonna slide this strap right in the middle of where the seams are, and you can decide if you want a lot or a little, but right about there about an inch is a good, good measurement. Go ahead and clip that in like that and do the same thing on the other side with the other Dearing. Once you have it clipped all the way around the Deering's and their little straps are in place. It's time to go to the sewing machine, and we're gonna so with a coordinating thread because it's gonna show on the outside and on the inside. I'm gonna use brown again and is close to the edge as you can. You're gonna so all the way around when you get to this part, it's a little tricky. You have to take it slow, and you have to make sure you're using a walking foot to get through these layers. Other than that, but this is the easy part. And when we're done sewing this all the way around, our bag is done. All right. Our bag is done. You can see we have our Deering's in place. There is an actual opening with a zipper that works. Pull out your tab. Give your zipper try. You can see it works. The last thing we need to see is does our strap work? Let's take the strap. Close it on and it works. And there you have it. Your very own bag. I hope you had a great time. I know I did. And if you have any questions, you can ask me any questions in the discussion area. And I will be happy to answer all your questions. Thanks for joining me. And thanks for joining us on skill share. 12. You are finished!: you now have finished bag. You learned how to do strap. You learned how to put on Deering's Learn how to do a zipper pocket and a pouch pocket and you even put in a zipper placket. You should be really proud of yourself. This was a hard project and I'm super proud of you can't wait to see what you sowed. Please share it and we can all who went over our bags. Thanks for joining us on skill share. It's a room.