Overview of Purse-Making Classes

Purse making or handbag making classes are offered at a number of art and design schools. Continue reading to learn about the most common course offerings for aspiring purse makers.

Essential Information

Purse making classes may be offered through certificate, undergraduate and graduate degree programs in fashion or accessory design. Classes usually come in the middle or second half of a program, after a student has taken classes in design fundamentals. Students enrolled in these programs may earn certificates in fashion design, as well as degrees such as an Associate of Arts (AA) in Accessory Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Accessory Design or Master of Arts (MA) in Accessory Design.

List of Courses

The following course summaries cover the most common purse making courses.

Fundamentals of Handbag Design Course

Students begin learning about how purses are designed and the basic concepts of purse creation. The history of handbags is covered and students learn about past trends and how to determine future trends. The equipment, materials and patterns used to create purses are covered. Different styles, techniques and design methods are also discussed. This is an introductory course to working with handbag designs.

Purse Pattern Design Course

Patterns are the focus of this course as students learn to create their own purse patterns. Student study the basic principles of purse design to gain an understanding of how to create a pattern based off an idea. Materials used for purse creation may also be studied. Students make their own patterns and may construct a purse from the pattern. Basic patternmaking courses are prerequisites for this course.

Purse Construction Course

This course covers construction and reconstruction of purses. Students learn how to evaluate used purses to determine if they can be repaired or restored, as well as pursue reconstruction. Students study basic construction techniques and designs. Advanced patternmaking and collection creation may be studied in this course. This course requires prerequisites in handbag fundamentals and patternmaking.

Advanced Handbag Techniques Course

This course is usually found in accessory design programs only and comes near the end of the program. This course takes students into advanced areas of purse creation, including working with different design techniques, using jewels and other embellishments and creating purses from unusual materials. Students learn how to deviate from the traditional patterns and create unique designs. The addition of hardware to the basic purse is studied and students may work on updating classic designs. Sewing skills and construction techniques are also emphasized in this course. Students should have a firm understanding of basic purse construction, patternmaking and advanced sewing skills before taking this course.

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