What type of sewing machine do I need?

You can use a home sewing machine to start the course with. Once you are comfortable and have decided that you want to invest in then you should get an industrial sewing machine. A walking foot flatbed would be your first machine. I don’t have a model or brand I prefer over another but I have a Consew 206 RB-5, it’s a mid range machine cost wise, but I get great results.

The Beginning course teaches fabric and leather techniques. If you plan on fabric, faux leathers and vinyl you should be able to use a home machine, but you will need to be warily of thick materials and fabrics  You will be limited by thickness- the enemy of the bag maker. If you plan to sew leather then I suggest you have an industrial walking foot sewing machine.

There are so many brands that I’ve never used, it’s impossible for me to give an overall review of sewing machines, so I’m sticking to what I know..

What materials do I need?

Most of the materials for each course can bought at your local fabric or leather store. Thread and pattern paper (oaktag) can be ordered online.The school sells Bontex kits that will give you the Bontex you need to make professional constructed bags.

  1. Fabric:  Medium to heavy.
  2. Pattern Paper- oaktag or poster board that students use in school. The paper should be stiff.
  3. Steel ruler 24″
  4. Scissors and utility knife or exacto knife.
  5. Rubber cement- this should be very good quality Rubber cement, if you have a Tandy leather or any place that sells sewing supplies for leather would be a good start.
  6.  Cutting board
  7. Think about the bags you would like to make, you will start with a tote, think about closures, like magnetic snaps, drop locks or turn locks.
  8. To get ideas, go to Ohio Travel Bag, you can google them.

Who are we?

Linda and I have been designing and making handbags for 20 years. We studied accessory design at F.I.T and Linda has a Masters in Art, from Tyler School of Art. We started on the streets of NYC selling our bags and six months later we were designing accessories for New York’s famous Fashion Week.

Read our story

What is the site all about?

What is the site all about?

Howtomakeadesignerhandbag.com/HMDH Academy makes handbag design techniques available to anyone who's interested. Learn from home and it's affordable! We provide all the skills necessary to take the first step to pattern making, construction and designing your own handbags.

HMDH started 3 years ago and has given hundreds of students a chance to learn handbag design in the comfort of their home, using materials bought from local fabric and leather shops. The Academy provides detailed education in handbag construction for a fraction of the cost of attending a traditional school.

Many of our students dream of owning their own handbag business. HMDH provides each student with a low cost effective introduction into the world of accessory design. Our goal is to give each student, no matter where you live, a chance to learn these valuable techniques.