Bags of fun

The Partner Journey team is always up for trying out new things. So it was with this positive attitude forefront in our minds that a couple of us recently went along to a tote bag making class for beginners – to see if we had what it takes to make products as beautiful as those made by the talented sellers on

It turns out that using a sewing machine is far, far more difficult than we thought it would be. We received frequent slapped wrists for things like not having our bobbins set up correctly and pinning the fabric the wrong way, but overall it was really good fun.

We found the class via a social group discount site and went along to The Creative Sewing Studio in Bermondsey, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and met the lovely Tracey who gave us a brief introduction to the sewing machines. She explained to us in nice straightforward steps how to follow a pattern, cut our fabric, iron on the interfacing and sew all of the pieces together to make our finished bags. She was also on hand to help us with the many problems we had with the sewing machines. It’s safe to say it didn’t come easily to us; we just hope that she found our complete lack of ability endearing and not annoying!

Unfortunately we weren’t able to take any photos during the class as we were too busy creating our bags, but we do have some images of the finished articles we’d like to share with you.



The class was three hours long and to begin with we were dubious that it would take that long to make a single bag, but in the end we needed every last second. It started us thinking about other skills that are much more difficult than they look, and wondered if any of you have ever tried anything which turned out to be much harder than you had anticipated?

Ultimately, we think we’re a long way from being anywhere near good enough to join the amazing sellers on the site, but we should probably pre-warn our families that they may well be receiving some rather fetching handmade tote bags for their upcoming birthdays and Christmas.

We’ve also been checking out our competition from the sellers on the site:

This Chubby Chickens Tote is very sweet and this Screen Printed Retro Messenger Bag would add a lovely pop of colour to any outfit.

Chubby Chickens Tote by Charlotte Macey Textiles
Screen Printed Retro Messenger Bag by Jane Foster Designs

Our colleague Lucy mentioned that this ‘You Look Lovely Today’ Tote Bag would be a nice way to bring a smile to her fellow commuters on the train each morning!

‘You Look Lovely Today’ Tote Bag by Alphabet Bags

I’m going to put this Organic Cotton Moroccan Design Tote straight on my wishlist as it reminds me of my recent holiday to Seville, which already seems rather a distant memory…

Organic Cotton Moroccan Design Tote by Helen Rawlinson

We thought you might like a last picture of us with our lovely tote bags. We’d also like to thank Tracey and the Creative Sewing Studio for their help and patience with us during the class – we had such a good time and can’t recommend classes like this highly enough. It goes without saying that we’ll be trying more things like this again very soon.

Anna and Leanne

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