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Life Skills

Sew a Matching Tote Bag for Yourself and Your AG Doll (Intermediate)

In this one-day class we will sew a reversible tote bag for any 18 - inch doll, or 14-inch doll, and we'll learn how to sew a larger, people-sized tote bag. This is an intermediate class.
Karen Highland
199 total reviews for this teacher
Completed by 2 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
60 minutes
per class
Meets once
year olds
learners per class
per learner

How does a "One-Time" class work?

Meets once at a scheduled time
Live video chat, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Great for exploring new interests and different styles of teachers

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Class Experience

Sewers will make a reversible tote bag out of two complimentary fabrics. The secret to a cute bag is bright complimentary prints that work well together. The project goes as such:

1. Pin and cut out the fabrics. The pattern will be a pdf file in the classroom.
2. Cut out handles with the pattern, or have 16 inches of ribbon to use as the handles  (this is a bit easier).
3. Sew three sides of both fabric pieces. Iron the seams open.
4. Cut the corners.
5. Sew diagonally across the corners, reinforcing at the cut seams.
6. Sew the handles, if not using ribbon.
7. Sew the handles to the rim of the bag.
8. Attach the lining, encasing the handles. Leave one side open between the handles for turning.
9. Turn the bag rightside out from between the opening.
10. Top-stitch the bag opening.

I will show how to put an optional pocket on one side of the bag. Patterns for both bags will be in pdf form in the classroom.
What they might not finish in class they will know how to finish afterwards.
* The pdf pattern is in the classroom. Please print it out and have it ready. I often post a video the day before class if I need to explain anything. * Fabric. The bag is made up of two complimentary fabrics, each 13 inches by 6 inches. Fat quarters, used for quilting are great for this...but you will have more fabric than you need. (A future project, maybe?) The handles need to be 2 inches by 8 inches. If you use ribbon for the handles, then you need 16 inches. Grosgrain ribbon works well. It's the dull ribbon with ridges...but whatever you have or like is fine. * The child-size bag will require 1/3 yard of two fabrics. * Matching thread. Try to use two fabrics that will use the same color thread. It's frustrating for young sewers to have to stop and change thread in the middle of a project. * Threaded sewing machine with proper tension and properly sized needle. (more than one is always advisable in case one happens) Light weight fabrics will need a size 12 US (80 EU) Medium weight fabrics will need a size 14/90. Heavier weights will need a 16/100. You can get them and any supplies at if you don't have access to a store, or Amazon, of course. Give two weeks for delivery...mail-order is running pretty slow these days. I've also done curbside pickup with JoAnn's and it is great! * Scissors, seam ripper, pins. * Iron and Ironing board, set on proper setting for the fabric.
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
They will have a super cute tote bag for their doll and a matching bag for themselves.
1 hour per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
Parents, you know your child's capabilities. This 90 minute class is best for students who have some of experience on the machine, not brand new to the machine. I would call them intermediates. It's best if they are familiar with their machine and can re-thread it if the thread comes out, as well as re-thread the bobbin. If they need help with anything, then it would be best if parents are there to help if the needle comes unthreaded, or if the machine has any problems, like tension or other problems. It is very difficult for me to see from their laptop camera and figure out what the problems are, especially since all machines are a little different. Please make sure the machine is working and the tension is right. It can be very frustrating for students when these things aren't working properly.

You will find the directions in the sewing machine guide that came with the machine. Some machines (Singer) have arrows stenciled onto the front of the machine, showing the correct path to threading. 

If you don't have the guide, you can usually get it on the manufacturer website. 

Do a quick test on some scrap fabric to make sure the machine is in working condition. It is very disappointing to a learner to show up to class only to find out that their machine is not working. [insert sad face]

Some Quick Sewing Safety Tips:

Make sure your sewing machine cord is in good shape. 

Keep hair pulled back. 

Unplug machine when not in use.

Don’t sew across pins. As a pin nears the presser foot, stop the sewing machine long enough to remove the pin.

Make sure you’re using the proper needle for the fabric you’re sewing. A needle that isn’t the right size or thickness for the job could end up breaking.

Pay attention to the way your sewing machine sounds. If it starts making strange noises, or seems louder than usual, it might be time to have it checked by a pro.

Make sure there’s enough light. Using a sewing machine in poor lighting can lead to mishaps.


Karen Highland
Lives in the United States
Learning is Natural When You Fan the Flame
199 total reviews
198 completed classes

About Me

I teach Algebra and sewing. I'm passionate about Algebra because I believe it is a fundamental to building the life skills of critical thinking and problem-solving. 

I also teach some life skills classes, various sewing and needlework classes.... 
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