In this class, you’ll learn to create the Oberlin Tote with Ellie Lum, the founder and pattern designer at Klum House. The Oberlin is a sleek, stylish take on the classic market tote, featuring sturdy leather straps, a reinforced base, a magnetic snap closure, an interior zipper pocket, and four external pocket compartments.
This class will help you build a solid foundation of bag-making skills. You’ll learn to work with heavy-duty materials like waxed canvas, leather, and metal hardware to make a professional-quality bag—all on your home sewing machine! If you have some basic sewing experience under your belt and are looking to dive into the world of bag making, this class is for you. Build new skills, get lost in the flow of making, and create a shop-worthy finished product with “I made this!” bragging rights.
Hi! I’m Ellie.
I've been designing and making bags professionally for over twenty years. In 1998, I co-founded a custom messenger bag company called R.E. Load bags. After years of training stitchers to manufacture bags, I realized that my true passion lies in teaching. I started Klum House, my current business, as a way to invite more folks to work with their hands, make high-quality finished goods, and gain confidence through making.
Klum House bag patterns are informed by my roots in the industrial sewing industry, but I’ve designed them all to be created on a home sewing machine with just a few extra tools for installing hardware. I love teaching makers to harness the full power of their home sewing machine to achieve professional results without industrial equipment. Klum House classes will teach you to work with natural, heritage materials like waxed canvas, leather, and metal.
Sometimes makers take one look at a heavy-duty bag and think, “I could never make that.” But I promise you, YOU CAN! Just because a finished bag looks impressive doesn’t mean it’s hard to make. I’ll break it all down and guide you every step of the way. You’ll be amazed at what you’re capable of!
- Sewing multiple layers of heavy duty fabric
- Attaching leather straps
- Sewing a zipper
- Constructing pockets
- Sewing French seams
- Constructing a boxed corner
- Various ways to set rivets properly
- Installing a magnetic snap
- Conceptual elements of bag making
Digital Pattern + Resources Included with Class
- Fully-illustrated, step-by-step instructions booklet
- Tiled PDF pattern (for home printing)
- Large format PDF pattern (for professional printing)
- Complete list of necessary materials + tools
- Pattern drafting instructions
- Leather + Rivets Guide
Start1. Cut Your Fabric (4:32)
Start2. Prepping Leather for Bags (4:16)
Start3. Prepare Exterior Pockets (4:03)
Start4. Attach Exterior Pockets (7:07)
Start5. Prepare + Attach Base Layer (3:00)
Start6. Baste Pockets + Base (3:58)
Start7. Prepare Tote Hem (1:45)
Start8. Install Magnetic Snap (3:32)
Start9. Sew Interior Pocket (12:45)
Start10. Sew the Tote Hem (5:00)
Start11. Sew the Bag Together (6:12)
Start12. Construct Boxed Corners (9:51)
Start13. Attach Leather Straps (12:28)
"110% recommend this class. Ellie is an excellent teacher!"
- Michelle V.
"Ellie is a fabulous instructor. She gives just enough information with concise direction. I love her style & would love to take her classes in person at her workshop. Great job."
- Felicia G.
"Ellie is such an encouraging teacher and clear as a bell in her instruction. She broke complex information down into understandable bits, and explained the why's as much as the how's."
- Katelyn M.
When does the course start and finish?
Do I need an industrial sewing machine to make this bag?