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The Basics and Beyond


Join bag designers and makers, Karis Hess and Mary Hayes, as they lead a 5-week video course on bag making. Learn new techniques and gain confidence with step-by-step instructions, instructor feedback and our robust private community forum.


Let's Learn to Sew Bags Together!

Before we jump into all the details about Bag Bootcamp, let's take a look at who this course is for:

  • you would love to learn how to make bags, but you're overwhelmed and intimidated by all the supplies and techniques to complete one
  • you've made bags in the past, but you're self taught and you'd like to add to your skillset
  • you don't have any idea where to start but you'd love to give a handmade gift to your friends and family
  • you've used a variety of free tutorials and videos to cobble information together, but you're still feeling lost and left with questions about techniques or next steps
  • you find the variety of materials, zippers, interfacings and hardware daunting
  • you would enjoy a community of fellow bag makers to share tips and projects with

You are in the right place friends! We are so excited to give you the foundation necessary to give you (or improve upon) your bag making skills. These are techniques you will build on as you progress on your bag making journey. Let's get started!

Registration has closed

Join the waiting list for our February, 2023 session

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By the end of this course, you will: 

  • Have a specific, in-depth list of the basic tools you will need to sew bags
  • Receive guidance on best sewing machine practices for bag making
  • Learn how to confidently use your sewing machine and different presser feet
  • Discover how to choose a variety of fabrics and how best to sew with them
  • Understand the differences between the range of stabilizers and interfacings and when to use them
  • Learn about different thread weights and needle sizes for the job at hand
  • Gain confidence in reading and understanding patterns
  • Understand the basic techniques to modify patterns to suit your needs
  • Learn several techniques for sewing in zippers
  • Learn how to create a multitude of pockets to add to your projects
  • Learn how to successfully install hardware 
  • Have sewn with a myriad of substrates
  • Have completed 4 individual projects reinforcing the skills you have gained
  • Engaged with fellow bag makers to share your successes
  • Receive a roadmap of next steps for your bag making journey that includes how you can continue to grow your skillset

Let's Grow Together

Bag Bootcamp combines video lessons with a community setting, providing a well-rounded experience and connecting you with other bag makers. Share your wins and finished projects, encourage and support one another, make new friends. Regularly scheduled Zoom meetings will encourage all to get to know one another a little better and also give you an opportunity to have Q&A and Show & Tell.

Connect. Engage. Create.

Registration has closed

Join the waiting list for our February, 2023 session

"If you are a visual learner, want to be around a creative group of like-minded sewists and have enthusiastic teachers giving you the best video instruction, then you don't want to miss joining Bag Bootcamp. Karis & Mary are the dream team that will get you to that next level of understanding patterns, techniques, materials and substrates you never thought you would tackle on your will never feel alone with these two dynamos only a video click away."

-Lynn P. 

What was your favorite part of Bag Bootcamp?

Linda C.

The short videos that went step by step so I could pause and refer back when needed. I was also amazed at the information provided to help us understand the ins and outs of making bags.

Karen S.

The videos - they were very well done, clearly demonstrated what we were learning, and were available for reference any time I got confused or needed a refresher. Great delivery of the content.

Debby G.

Having the live Q&A - learned so much from questions of other participants. Also, like the bite-sized increments of the teaching videos - easy to go back and review a particular technique.

Every creative has tools of the trade. Bag makers are no different. In fact, we simply adore gadgets. We will explore everything from sewing machine presser feet to marking, cutting and clipping tools.

Cotton, leather, pleather, mesh, denim, blends, vinyl, cork, canvas, linen, sparkly, glittery, shiny -- have we got your attention? Learn how and when to use them all and how to best stabilize and interface for longevity.

Get the skinny on how to read patterns. No two designers write alike and understanding what's what can sometimes be overwhelming. You'll also learn to modify and alter patterns to best suit your needs.

From topstitching to hardware installation to bonus bling - we will share how you can elevate your bags to a professional status. Don't overlook the small details which can a big difference!  Are you ready to get started?

Below is our general Course Outline. It will give you an inside peek at each of the Modules we will be working through. Keep in mind, these are "top level" categories ~ the meat is in all of the topics we will cover which fall under the main headings. The list of all there is to learn is exhaustive ... trust us, you are in store for a content rich experience!

What was your favorite part of Bag Bootcamp?

Frances Z.

Learning all the techniques at my own pace (I’m slow!)

Danna W.

I really liked the part where you say what presser foot, what stitch length, and needle position to use.

Molly B.

I thought the instruction was extraordinarily wonderful. I am personally looking forward to Bag Bootcamp 2!

Karen S.

Although we did great projects, the real value was in learning fundamentals and techniques that gave me the skill and confidence to tackle other bag projects on my own.

Barbara M.

I loved the whole experience. The videos were great since I live in Massachusetts. I learned with every project and am looking forward to the next one. 

Leslie H.

Even though the gaining of bag making knowledge was invaluable to me, I think I was equally thrilled to be seeing other folks finished projects. What a treat!

Registration has closed

Join the waiting list for our February, 2023 session