There are many great resources out there to help you start in your bag making journey the first place I started was YouTube, there are some fantastic channels I would encourage you to search bag making and find someone whose teaching style you enjoy.
These are some of the best tips I have learnt over the years.
Start your bag making journey with a basic pattern before jumping into making more complex bags, it's important to start with a basic pattern. This will allow you to get a feel for how the materials feel and go together and well as learning techniques involved in bag making without becoming overwhelmed. You can find basic patterns online or in sewing books, or even create your own by tracing an existing bag you already own. Many bag designers release free bag patterns which are usually aimed at beginners, its a great way to find if you like a designers style and method of pattern writing. I wrote a post about some of my favourite free bag patterns.
Once you have decided on your pattern, it's time to gather your materials. Depending on the type of bag you're making, you'll need a variety of materials such as fabric, lining, interfacing, zippers, and hardware. It's important to choose high-quality materials that are appropriate for the type of bag you're making. As a rule of thumb I always follow the designers fabric and interfacing suggestions the first time I sew a pattern as this gives me a good understanding of how the pattern goes together and helps me decide if other fabrics would work.
Investing in good quality tools as well as quality materials, is essential for successful bag making. Some basic bag making tools you'll need include a sewing machine, threads, quilting clips, good quality scissors, quilting rulers and a rotary cutter. Investing in quality tools will not only make the process of making bags easier, but also help you to achieve a good quality and professional finish.
Practice, practice and practice. As with any skill, practice makes perfect, start with simple bags and work your way up to more complex ones. Pay attention to the details and take your time. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, as they are an important part of the learning process.
Join a community, this is a shameless plug for my amazing bag making community. Learning to make bags can be a solitary activity, but it doesn't have to be. Joining a community of like-minded individuals can be a great way to learn new techniques, get feedback on your work, and stay motivated. You can find sewing and bag making communities online or in-person through local sewing groups or workshops.
Experiment with different materials and techniques, once you have the bag making basics down, don't be afraid to experiment with different materials and techniques. Try using different types of fabric, hardware, and embellishments to create unique and personalised bags. You can also experiment with different techniques such as embroidery, quilting, and applique.
Learning to make bags can be a fun and rewarding hobby. With the right tools, materials, and practice, you can create beautiful and functional bags that you can use or even sell. So, grab your sewing machine and get started.
Have fun and happy sewing