Beginner Sewing: Making a Tote Bag

A complete instructional guide for creating a sewn, lined, tote bag.
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126 students enrolled
Instructed by Kimberly Irwin Design / Fashion
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  • Lectures 22
  • Length 3.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 5/2016 English

Course Description

Beginner Sewing: Making a Tote Bag is an introductory course to sewing meant to show you everything you need to know to safely operate a sewing machine.  I will show you everything from machine to set up to the construction of a lined tote bag complete with two pockets.

Some lectures in this course are the same as in Beginner Sewing for Tweens and Teens, but the project is brand new and directed toward an adult.

Learn Basic Sewing Practices And Challenge Yourself to Create Your First Sewn Item

·      Learn how to safely operate a sewing machine

·      Practice basic stitching skills like creating corners and curving lines

·      Recognize problems and learn how to fix them

·      Learn how to read a sewing pattern

·      Properly cut fabric in preparation of sewing

·      Use industry standard construction and finishing sewing techniques

A Lifelong Skill With Unlimited Possibilities

Learning basics sewing skills is not only a rewarding skill but it is also something that you can develop over your lifetime.  Start with something small and eventually work up to creating your own clothing. 

If you have ever considered going into the fashion field this is a great place to start.  Unlike most home sewing courses I focus on industry standards and teach you how the professionals sew.

Course Overview

I designed this course for the absolute beginner. If your machine has never been out of the box, no worries, I will show you how to set it up, teach you about the parts of the machine and how to safely operate it to effectively sew together your very first project.

You’ll learn all of these things in 22 lectures with over 3 hours of video content.  Each lecture is broken down into easy to understand topics as to no overwhelm a beginner and created in real time so you can follow along or pause the lecture and pick it back up at any time.

By the time you finish this course you will be a confident seamstress well on your way to enjoying a skill that you can grow and develop over your lifetime.  The machine will no longer be a scary machine but a place you visit for a creative outlet and a tool to help you construct some really cool stuff. 

What are the requirements?

  • Student will need a sewing machine, iron, fabric and a willingness to learn a new skill.
  • Student will need to collect some basic supplies before beginning the class.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Safely operate a sewing machine
  • Learn to customize a sewing pattern to make any size tote bag.
  • Sew a tote bag with pockets and lining
  • Understand and practice the fundamentals of sewing

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is meant for adults who have a desire to learn new sewing skills.
  • No prior sewing experience is necessary
  • This course is meant for the absolute beginner but people with prior sewing knowledge can take this course to learn how to construct a tote bag.
  • Some of the material covered in this class is the same as Beginner Sewing for Tweens and Teens but the project is more advanced.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

Student will be introduced to the course and its content.

Section 2: Supplies

A complete list with pictures of the materials needed to successfully complete this course.


Student will learn which fabric and materials are best for this project and which are not.

Section 3: Safety

A guide to safely operating a sewing machine and iron.

Section 4: Sewing Machine Basics

Student will learn about the major parts of the machine and how they function.


Lecture shows the student how to properly wind a bobbin.


Learn how to thread the sewing machine properly.

Section 5: Stitching Basics

Using the sewing machine to practice stitching straight and curving lines as well as clean, crisp corners onto a downloadable, paper template.


After practicing on these template student will be able to confidently stitch using the sewing machine.


Student will be able to address common problems associated with sewing and the machine.

Section 6: Preparing the Fabric for Sewing

Student will piece together the downloadable pattern pieces to create a workable pattern.  Student will understand what the symbols on the pattern mean and why they are there.


Learn how to adjust the pattern to become, virtually, any size.


Student will learn how to pin and cut the fabric, lining and interfacing.


Student will learn why it is important to properly mark fabric before sewing and the best practices for doing it.


Student will lean how to apply interfacing to appropriate pattern pieces.

Section 7: Construction of the Tote

Student will learn how to assemble the patch pocket for the exterior and how to add velcro to the lining pocket before assembly.


Attach the patch pocket to the front of the tote bag exterior.


Student will learn how to construct the outside of the tote bag.


Student will learn how to attach the interior pocket to the lining and how to construct lining in preparation for assembly.


Student will learn how to combine the outside of the tote, the lining and the straps.


Student will learn industry standard finishing techniques to give the tote bag a high end look.

Section 8: Course Conclusion

Go over what was learned in the course and how to keep in touch with the instructor.

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Instructor Biography

Kimberly Irwin, Professor of Fashion Design

I'm a fashion design educator with 7+ years teaching college aged students at a renowned art and design college.

The highlight of my career thus far is the publication of a textbook authored and illustrated by me called, Surface Design for Fabric and published by Bloomsbury Publications. It has been well received and has even become a part of the required curriculum in some of the top fashion design programs throughout the United States and England.

I began sewing as a little girl under the guidance of my grandmother, first learning quilting techniques eventually graduating to making clothes for my dolls and Barbies and then for myself and my friends. I believe that it is never too soon or too late a new skill.

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