sunglasses and tote bags | sew it academy project 1 | one small stitch for man

Simple bags – Sew It Academy initial projects

sunglasses and totebags photos in layout | lewisseares
Initial projects in Sew It Academy

I have recently enrolled with Sew It Academy, an online sewing school, as they have a dedicated menswear pathway and release a new ‘project’ every month.

At $11.97 per month (£9.11 apx.) for a single pathway or $17.97 (£13.68 apx.) for both women’s and menswear I think the price is really reasonable too.

I have actually enrolled for both the menswear and women’s wear pathways as much as I would like to create a #memade wardrobe for myself, women’s clothes are much more fun from a style perspective. I would also love to make clothes for drag Queens too!

Sew it Academy beginners course

The courses start with tutorials in what is a sewing machine, what the parts are and most importantly how to sew in a straight line.

It then launches you straight into two projects. On the men’s course you make a ‘pocket square’ and a laptop case and on the women’s these sunglass cases and a tote bag.

sunglasses cases with fleece interfacing and satin lining | one small stitch for man
Sunglasses cases with fleece interfacing and satin lining. Mine is on the right in blue and Joe’s is on the left.

I had never thought of making my own pocket square and I can see how useful a skill that is when you are making your own neck and bow ties (and shirts) and want to style everything together.

I have skipped the laptop case for now as I didn’t have any felt in my stash and as I have a funky laptop case already I didn’t want to make another, especially one where there are no raw edges to deal with.

Sew it academy womenswear initial courses more complex than menswear

The women’s wear initial projects are definitely more complex than the initial men’s projects, I’m not sure why that might be…

The sunglasses case is interfaced with fusible fleece and fully lined with a pocket bag. I like the soft curve on the opening and the way that only the interfacing and fashion fabric sides of the seam are trimmed so that the lining rolls over the top of the edge. At least I presume this is a design detail.

I might check that in the Facebook group for the course (it has over 2k members so is quite the community).

Joe Plumb and Lewis Wheeler modelling homemade totebags | one small stitch for man
Tote bags – I prefer the webbing that I upcycled for Joe

The tote bags were really fun to make. Unfortunately I regretted my choice of the rainbow webbing. It made me smile in the shop but I just think its a little tacky. I’m an out gay man myself and love attending Isle of Wight Pride but this is too much rainbow for me. My friends seem to like it though and say that it picks up the colours in the beach hut fabrics.

I was also jealous because it was my idea to unpick the handles from some IKEA bags so that my friend Joe had some webbing for his bag too. I think it looks really cool although I don’t know if it counts as upcycling as I’m now left with two rather useless IKEA bags. Perhaps I could give them custom handles? Or repurpose the fabric?

I showed my best friend Matt the tote bag today and he says if I run up a few he will sell them in his hair salon for me. Wow, what a compliment.

Although when I asked him to be more Esme Young from GBSB he said I had made ‘no effort to do any kind of pattern matching’, which to be fair I hadn’t. There’s a lesson learnt.

When I posted the sunglasses case on instagram my cousin Laura asked for one for her Ray Bans too, I think I may be on to a winner here.