I made this picnic bag as part of a little project done at the last bit of the Intro to Sewing class at Sew Over It.

Dom was super flexible in her teaching – we could choose to learn how to do alterations during the last session of the class, or any other sewing project we were interested in.

I didn’t have many clothing articles with me during my time in London, hence didn’t need to alter anything. I found a lovely picnic bag in one of the sewing project books at the studio.

Floral picnic bag caught my eye – although I’m not so much of a floral person so I changed the design for mine 🙂

I worked with Dom to adapt the design and dimensions into a pattern, and selected fabric from the store to a different look for my bag. Those who know me know that I’m really into a more nautical / preppy look – so those colours were my top picks:

Bought materials directly at the Sew Over It shop

It was really fun working on a project of my own (instead of working on the same thing as the rest of the class as part of a curriculum). Unfortunately, this bag took longer than the couple of hours we had during the last session of the Intro to Sewing class. A lot of the time was spent drawing and cutting the patterns (like I mentioned in another post – pattern cutting & prep almost takes more time than the sewing itself!)

Even though I don’t have a sewing machine at the apartment I was staying at in London, Sew Over It offers “sewing cafes” where one can go down to sew at their studio whenever there aren’t classes. At a nominal sum per hour, one has access to coffee/tea & cakes, and their sewing equipment + basic materials (thread, scraps etc) – I was super thankful for that! I spent a morning there, and voila – managed to complete the bag:

My first look at the finished product!

It was really exciting to complete the project on my own – Dom explained the steps to me at the end of the class, but I completed the bag independently at the studio on another morning. Things do feel a lot more special and precious when you know that it was (sort of) designed and made by yourself 🙂

Roomy bag to carry stuff around London – matches the London public buses, too

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

Duration: The tote bag took ~5 hours (a few hours at the end of the workshop – of which I spent some time trying to decide on the fabric, but most of the time was spent drawing & cutting the pattern. I then spent a couple more hours to complete it on another day)
Price: GBP199 (~SGD360) was for the full Intro to Sewing Class where I made a cushion cover, tote bag+ lined zip bag. Dom also helped me get started on this project at the last bit of the class, and I bought the materials on my own at an additional cost

Level of “fun”: 4/5

Making the bag from scratch (trying to convert a pattern description in a book into a real sized pattern), selecting fabric, and then finally doing most of the sewing independent made the project more fun than just following instructions as part of a class :p

Level of difficulty: 3/5

The slightly higher level of difficulty came from having to complete the project independently at another time outside of the class, without an instruction sheet or a teacher to help you along. Nevertheless, the concept was pretty simple to grasp (know where stitches had to be sewn, which comes first and which parts overlap etc.). The earlier projects with similar elements were a great foundation for to me know how to figure the picnic bag out 🙂