Behind every good idea!

Behind every good idea!

Research to designing and making, to promotion
I have just finished running my 4 week Beginners course at the Arts Depot and loved every minute. Last week I spent 2 days creating my next set of workshops.
This to me is the easy bit, although there is a lot of research, designing, making and marketing to be done before they start.
I have 4 new workshops between now and September, firstly my Family sewing course; here you can come with your child and learn to sew together.
There is my beginners pyjamas course, this runs over 4 Saturdays, 2 of which you make the trousers and then the shirt. Then I have the bag making and the skirt and shirt workshops.
For more information
See more details here on eventbrite:
What do I need to do before this can actually happen. i was once a teacher and a head of a large deign and technology department, as part of this role I created schemes of work, following a curriculum, order and manage materials accordingly. I love creating projects and still do, just in teaching there is never enough time, we usually spent the later part of the year doing this, once all the exam classes had left. I really want to teach bag making, but as with anything you teach you need to be a master, so this is what I set about to achieve. not sure i am there yet, but enjoy it so much and as long as I keep it simple, I should do ok.
I love-making simple bags and have produced a bag kit in the past, this is available on Etsy
Research and Making
My bag making history, has always been basic, I wanted to change this, so I set about the challenge of teaching myself everything included in Bag making. I started by following a tutorial I found on Pinterest and made a small bag from an old quilt I had. This was relatively easy, although I soon recognised how much goes into even a simple bag. this bag was too soft and needed interlining, so back to the drawing board. I created a board on Pinterest, this is always my research starting point.
Sometimes fabric can also inspire a make, I have a Orla Kiely obsession and have just decorated my bedroom using her fabric for curtains and bed linen, I have some Orla Kiely furnishing fabric that inspired me to make my next bag.
A book that I would also highly recommend is; The Bag Bible 
This is a fantastic book with so much helpful information.
I made a bigger bag, so I made my own paper pattern, based on the smaller one I started with. It also amazed me how much goes into a bag, components that you don’t even see; interlining, fastenings, straps, pockets and handles is just some of the many parts. I really want my bags to look shop bought, so many home-made, look homemade. The interlining and type of fastening can make such a difference, a bag needs to stand up on its own. You can see a lot of the different options available in the bag bible book.
I ordered metal magnetic press studs and started teaching myself how to make the flush pocket. I made several toiles of this, practice is always the best way to learn. I made another pocket big enough to fit my mobile phone in.
I taught zips the following week in my beginners class and included the flush pocket zip along side the invisible and lapped zips insertion. the students found it challenging (as I did first time round).
This bag was definitely a work in progress project, due to all the components needed and sourced. Not everything is available at your local haberdashery, so online specialists were used and I waited for my daily post to arrive. Each stage was slightly delayed as a result.

This also taught me that when I teach the bag making, I am going to need to cost in every little component and factor in delivery time scales.

Materials needed for this bag:
  • Interlining
  • Fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Zips
  • Magnetic fastening
  • Webbing straps
  • Thread
  • Denim needle
  •  Sewing Clips
I also recognise that there are so many stages to making a bag, so want to make it a 2 week course.
I have since made another style, so there are options for people attending my workshop to make, one has a zip opening and the other press stud.  See pictures below
Stages of making my bag:
  • Pattern making
  • Sourcing materials and components
  • Cutting out sections; pockets, lining, outer panels, straps
  • Interlining outer fabric
  • Making lining with pockets
  • Attaching pockets to outside panel
  • Attaching straps
  • Sewing base
  • Top stitching
  • Attaching fastening to lining
  • Attaching lining to bag
  • Top stitching
It is a great product to build confidence with sewing, so great for beginners and also great to make something more personal to you and affordable. Bags are so expensive, so making it yourself cuts out the mark up costs.
I then went about creating schemes of work and created flyers and events on eventbrite. I created a advert for the Lovesewingmagazine and Claire at Hello Finmchley interviewed me, here is a link to her blog post:  My flyers are available at the artsdepot now.
I hope you can see that a lot goes on before my workshops start. The workshop itself is the easy fun bit. I get to share my passion with like minded people, who could ask for a better job. Come along and see for yourself!
I am also at the Knitting and Stitching show this weekend and there are a few places left on my shirt to bag workshop and the sewing room containers workshops, please click the link and book a place.

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