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  • mademyownco

Tote Bag + Lined zipped bag

Updated: Jun 7, 2020

I made the cutest beagle tote bag & lined zipped bag as part of the Intro to Sewing course at Sew Over It. This was part of the same 2-day course where I made a cushion cover.

One of the things that drew me to Sew Over It when I first checked them out online was the extensive range of fabrics they have. When I saw the beagle-printed fabric, I was in love, and could not wait to make something with it when I signed up for classes.


So many adorable fabrics to choose from

You might have noticed that I was enticed by a pig-printed one as well. SO ADORABLE. As always, choosing the fabric took a lot of effort for me (I had to whatsapp people to help me decide).

After the cushion cover (1st half of day 1), the next thing we made was a simple tote bag (2nd half of day 1) – this comprised of a lot of sewing in straight lines, and pressing the hems / folds while sewing (e.g. the straps, “mouth” of bag). Most of the sewing on everything is done on the inside, and it’s always an exciting moment when you are finally done and turn it inside out to see if you messed up.

Tote bag 1

WIP tote bag inside out – the print looks quite nice this way, too!

Nope, didn’t mess this one up! Was really happy with the tote bag – I used it for grocery shopping during my time in London. Looking the beagles just makes me smile  🙂

Tote bag 2

Completed beagle tote bag

On day 2, we worked on the lined zipped bag – as you can probably guess from the name, it was a slightly more complex bag as we had to figure out a lining, and incorporate a zip as well.

Lined zipped bag 1

Pinned materials for lined zipped bag

It usually starts innocuously – just a few small pieces of cloth you pin, and then just sew a few stitches with the sewing machine, and that’s done, right? Not this time!

Firstly, sewing a zip onto something isn’t that straightforward, but I won’t go into the details here to teach you how to do it (since this isn’t the point of this site). Once you’ve accepted that, working through each of the steps slowly but surely gets you there.

Next, sewing a lining is essentially sewing 2 little bags, then putting one (the lining) into the other. The joining of the lining to the main bag had to be stitched by hand (stitches are “hidden”and you won’t be able to easily see them), so that was a little bit tedious. I will never look at lined zipped bags the same way again!

Lined zipped bag 2

Completed zipped bag

I picked a red polka dotted lining, because if the lining isn’t obvious, people might not remember the effort taken to hand-stitch it in, right? 😀

Lined zipped bag 3

With a pop of polka dots as a lining


Details of the workshop (same workshop as the one listed on the cushion cover post)

Duration: The tote bag took ~3 hours (2nd half of day 1), and the lined zipped bag took ~3 hours (1st half of day 2). The full Intro to Sewing Class (2 x 7 hour session – includes 1 hour lunch break every day) Price: GBP199 (~SGD360), and this included all the materials for the cushion cover (+ cushion), tote bag, lined zipped bag, and coffee/tea/cakes. I used a 10% discount code when I signed up for their mailing list. They also have special discounts for classes of the month, so look out for those!

Apart from the cushion cover, tote bag, and lined zipped bag, I also made a picnic bag as a project during the 2nd half of day 2. I didn’t mange to finish the bag in the class but went back to Sew Over It to use their machines to complete it. I will be sharing what the picnic bag looks like in a separate post (really love it!).

After this, I went on to join two other classes – the Dressmaking Weekend where I made a full circle skirt and a shift dress, and also the Ultimate Pencil Skirt class. Look out for these in future posts 

Level of “fun”: 3/5

Similar to what I mentioned in the cushion cover post, it was really enjoyable to figure out how to use a sewing machine again. Learning to insert a zip and a lining makes you appreciate how little things in life that you take for granted aren’t necessarily so easily put together.

Level of difficulty: 2/5

Dom was an excellent teacher, and both projects were relatively straightforward, as most of the sewing was in straight lines. It was probably a little bit more challenging to insert the zip (but not difficult, given that very clear step-by-step instructions & guidance was provided!), and also a wee bit more tedious to sew the lining by hand. Overall, I would say it is still a pretty easy workshop!


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