Beginning Handbags Course Syllabus

Course objectives: Introduce students to handbag pattern making and construction. Students learn and master basic techniques of handbag pattern making and construction. These techniques are taught via video, the student is required to document each assignment with pictures taken as you go through the lessons. This course deals with soft constructed handbags only. Once the course is completed the student is given a certificate of completion.

Instructors: The courses are taught by Richard Manigault and Linda Gentile-Manigault, who have a combined 40 years of experience designing and making handbags in many different styles. Both instructors attend F.I.T in New York City.

Assignment submissions consists of an original sketch of the students design, the three patterns, Master, Outside and Lining Patterns, pictures of the construction process and the finished bag.

Support: Students have several options for support, Email, Forums or one of several community groups, we also have a Facebook group, but answers are limited as many of the members are not students.

The skills you will be mastering will give you the opportunity to make your own first samples. First samples and patterns can cost as much as $5,000 per bag and small production runs are extremely expensive making it extremely hard for a designer to enter the market. Knowing how to make patterns and first samples can save you a heck of a lot of money in getting your collection to market on a limited budget.

If you are a small shop owner and want to accent your clothing collection with your own designer label bags, here is a chance to explore the idea. Imagine being able to take that left over fabric and create bags as a extra revenue stream.

You can also use these skills to create and sell your own patterns for profit.

You can sell your designs online

You can start a small business

This class is a prerequisite to Advanced Handbag Courses.

Lesson 1: T Bottom Tote this is the most simplistic of all the techniques, that combines the bottom, gusset and font/back together in a one piece pattern.

Lesson 2: Adding pockets and recessed zipper collar

Lesson 3: Messenger Bag – We look at 2 different types of gussets.

Lesson 4: Round Bottom Bag.- how to make and measure a round bag starting with the bottom.

Lesson 5: The Zebra Bag -we explore the wrap around gusset, which was introduced in the messenger bag

Lesson 6: Maria Bag. More Gusset development

Lesson 7:  Croc bag- Working with the wrap around gusset

Lesson 8: Alexis- working with a different construction technique

Lesson 9: Complex One piece construction

Lesson 10:  zippered Gussets

Supply List:

  • Oaktag or poster board
  • scratch awl
  • pencils, eraser
  • 22″ steel ruler
  • xacto knife or utility blade
  • Cutting board.
  • Rubber cement
  • Sketchbook.
  • Fabric or lightweight leather
  • Home sewing machine can be use, but if you are using heavier fabrics or leather then you should have a walking foot  flatbed. A home machine will have difficulty in sewing the heavier weights.

You have up to 1 year to complete the Beginning Course in order to proceed to  Advanced Handbag Course if you chose to move to Advanced.