When & Where

Quick Facts

  • Availability Yes
  • Course Code W23FASC04B
  • Suitable For 19 year olds and up are permitted on this course

What you will learn

Bags and handbags are a big fashion statement, classic styles such as the backpack are timeless. In this course you will learn skills to make your own backpack in a range of materials. Including soft leathers, suede, and fabric to a high degree of professional skill and finish. You will be able to use purchased patterns, which you can adapt if you wish, or to develop your own designs and patterns to produce unique pieces. If you are a returning student, you will be able to continue with your projects. No previous leather making experience is needed, but sewing machine skills would be very beneficial for this course.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Work to a design brief
  • Resolve and realise a design concept
  • Learn how to make an all over bag gusset with zipper
  • Learn to work with different reinforcement materials


  • Full fee
  • Concession fee
  • Class format and activities

    In-centre Learning. You will be required to stand and move around throughout the lesson. Please let your tutor know if this is difficult for you, so other arrangements can be made. You will be using industrial sewing machines which uses a larger motor which is more powerful than a domestic machine. All tools will be used under the direction of the tutor, if you are not feeling confident with tools just ask for further guidance.

    Entry requirements

    This is a Beginners course with the uses of a pattern, intermediate/ advanced using own pattern or adjusting commercial pattern. Suitable for people with some previous experience with Leather making/ bag making. Could be good for clothes making students that have done zips and pocket for apparel•Students must be able to speak, read and write in English•Competence in using a sewing machine is desirable but not essential•Basic numeracy is an advantage though not essential.

    What you need to know before you enrol

    You’re encouraged to create a sketchbook of Backpacks/ Rucksack ideas by collecting images (or drawing free hand sketches) of bags and small accessories which interest you. You can also start a Pinterest account, it’s a great way to save images of interest. It’s also an easy way to share. Excellent attendance and punctuality are important, for students to fully achieve the course outcomes. Working on projects in your spare time for completion/experimenting of activities outside of college is beneficial. The fashion studios are on the first floor of the Nancy Seear Building. There is wheelchair access via a stair-lift. Health & Safety information will be given to you at the start of the course and subsequent lessons where necessary.

    What you need

    • paper scissors • fabric scissors • tape measure • Metal ruler • notepad/ sketchbook, colour pens, HB pencil, sharpener and eraser • awl • Leather with thread of your choice (a more detailed list will be given at first class) But if you have something you would like to use, bring it and we can discuss how it would work for this project. • cutting blade (https://www.proatelierplus.com/product-page/olfa-ck1) • Harness needles (https://www.proatelierplus.com/product-page/systemsu-saddlersharness-needles-a) • some pattern cutting tools are provided for use in the studio • paper and card are available for use in the classroom • calico for toiling is available at cost price from your tutor • you will need to purchase a sewing machine bobbin from your tutor for £1, refundable at the end of the course Make sure to bring cash if you want to buy materials from your tutor

    What you can do next

    Beginning Pattern Cutting for Bag Making, Leather Making Techniques: Zippers and Inside Pockets, Leather Making Techniques: Handles, Design and Make: Bucket Bag