Beginner Sewing: Making a Tote Bag
4.7 (5 ratings)
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Beginner Sewing: Making a Tote Bag

A complete instructional guide for creating a sewn, lined, tote bag.
4.7 (5 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
156 students enrolled
Created by Kimberly Irwin
Last updated 5/2016
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  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • 3 Articles
  • 21 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • 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
View Curriculum
  • 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.

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. 

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.
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Curriculum For This Course
22 Lectures
1 Lecture 02:50

Student will be introduced to the course and its content.

Preview 02:50
2 Lectures 06:58

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

2: Supply List

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

3: Selecting Fabric, Lining, Interfacing and Webbing
1 Lecture 00:38

A guide to safely operating a sewing machine and iron.

4: Sewing Machine and Iron Safety
Sewing Machine Basics
3 Lectures 19:18

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

Preview 09:23

Lecture shows the student how to properly wind a bobbin.

6: Winding the Bobbin

Learn how to thread the sewing machine properly.

7: Threading the Sewing Machine
Stitching Basics
3 Lectures 26:32

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

8: Controlling the Machine and Stitching Practice

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

9: More Stitching Practice

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

10: Troubleshooting and Tips
Preparing the Fabric for Sewing
5 Lectures 01:04:45

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.

11: Piecing the Pattern Pieces Together and Understanding the Symbols

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

Adjusting the Pattern

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

Cutting 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.

Marking the Fabric

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

Applying Interfacing
Construction of the Tote
6 Lectures 01:16:15

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

16: Assembling the Exterior and Interior Pockets

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

17: Attaching Front Patch Pocket

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

18: Constructing the Outside of the Tote

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

19: Constructing the Lining and Attaching the Lining Pocket

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

20: Assembling the Tote

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

21: Finishing the tote
Course Conclusion
1 Lecture 01:43

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

22: Course Conclusion
About the Instructor
Kimberly Irwin
4.8 Average rating
25 Reviews
516 Students
4 Courses
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.