Hand Stitched Crossbody Bag

A Virtual Class with Karen Stevens

This class will employ basic running stitch and back stitch to create a cross-body style bag with a wide shoulder strap. We will use hand stitching to create wonderfully strong seams. Your bag will be both beautiful and durable, ready to hold anything you might wish to carry.

Choose two fabrics to color block the exterior and strap, or keep it simple with a solids. Either way, your finished bag is fully reversible with an inside pocket for essentials. As with all of Karen’s classes, there will be plenty of opportunity to use remnants of meaningful cloth and to add embroidery or embellishments to the fabric.

You will learn hand sewing skills that can be applied to any other sewing project and gain confidence to approach other, more complicated projects. This might become your go-to bag for running a quick errand, or strolling through the farmers’ market. It is sure to become a treasured, daily companion.

Enjoy the kind of slowness and mindfulness only hand stitching can bring!

Two sessions: Saturday, November 19th and Saturday, December 3rd, 2022


11am – 1:30pm

Zoom, a link will be sent to participants the day before class.



Finished measurements: Approximately 16″ x 13″. Strap is 40” but can be adjusted to your preferred length.

Recommended fabrics: medium weight linen or linen blend, quilting cotton or lightweight canvas. Requirements based on 44” wide fabric.

For a solid exterior:

  • 1/2 yard exterior fabric
  • 1/2 yard lining fabric

For color blocked exterior:

  • 1/2 yard exterior fabric A
  • 1/2 yard exterior fabric B
  • 1/2 yard lining fabric

Additional supplies: embroidery or sashiko thread and needle, chalk or erasable marker, clear ruler, thimble, sewing thread and needle. A rotary cutter, self healing mat and acrylic ruler are helpful but not essential. 

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Karen Stevens

For the last 25 years, Karen has been a freelance CAD instructor, training textile and fashion designers to create knits, prints and wovens for the garment industry. But these days you are more likely to find her in her creatively cluttered studio than on her computer, adding one more vintage patch to a favorite pair of jeans or double gauze shirt. Her love of visible mending, natural fibers, hand dyed fabrics and slow stitching has recently turned into a small side business, creating one of a kind stitched curiosities.

Karen lives in rural Northwest CT with her family, a menagerie of pets wearing party hats, and an indigo dipped laundry line.

“You repair the thing until you make it completely.”     Louise Bourgeois

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