Bag Pieces Bag Corner - Inside Bag Piping Bag Strap Bag Corner Inside Pockets - Reversed

Some work in progress photos of the messenger tote above. From Introduction to Machine Sewing with Cassandra at Purl Soho! The fabric I chose is from the Echino Collection by Etsuko Furuya for Kokka Fabrics Japan. It is called Black Quiet, 45% Linen, 55% Cotton, Home Dec Weight. The lining fabric is a random jungle print.

We began by learning about fabric and tools. Then measuring and cutting our fabric using a rotary cutter, quilting ruler, and self-healing grid. Then a quick intro demonstration of our Janome sewing machines like how to wind the bobbin and thread the spool. Finally, labeling our pattern pieces for the next class. This first day was the hardest for me. I had a lot of trouble using the tools and comprehending all the information.


Allana and Kate hard at work Stuffing our inner lining with pockets into the bag Lots of ironing! Lining up our inner and outer pieces Amy and Meghan hard at work

Our second class was much easier somehow. We learned to pin our pattern pieces together. Then construct our inside pockets by sewing and making corners. Lots of ironing was required for our piping, straps, and corners.

By the third and final class, we put it all together. And I felt much more comfortable using the sewing machine and tools, so it was the easiest class yet. We sewed our outside pocket, aligned our inner pocket/lining, made our final piping, added our magnetic snap, positioned our strap, and sewed it all together. All using the techniques and skills we learned in the first two classes. Our completed totes below!

Meghan, Alice, Allana, Cassandra (teacher), Bari, Kate, and Amy

Kate Meghan Amy Bari Allana

The project Cassandra designed was a great way to learn and our tote with lovely details like inner and outer pockets, adjustable strap, and piping were a nice way to make our complete projects unique. We also had the option to make one long strap or 2 short straps. She also gave us tips along the way on how to modify the structure of the bag slightly to create completely different bags and in turn usefulness. It was a wonderful way to explore and customize the same bag for more variations at home! The 9-hour class was packed with great detailed insight on both sewing technique and sewing tools!

Overall, I really enjoyed the class, really felt like I was learning great foundation skills, and am happy with the little customizable details in our project tote. It was a great balance of essential sewing techniques, enjoyment, and accomplishment. Perfect for a beginner intro class. Best of all, once I made my first corners and saw the end result, I got the sewing bug! I’m really glad I tried this class over others I was looking into. It was well worth it and I highly recommend it!

Purl Soho
459 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 420-8796