Ever wanted to design your own bag, one that has all the features you want?  Well I want to introduce you to someone who can help.  When I did the post on “Bags for the Boys” one of the bags that I featured was this Multi Pocket Urban Tote Bag, a free tutorial from Don Morin’s design blog, called Bag'n'telle - Design it yourself Handbags!

Don Morin is a Canadian designer.  You might know him online as the Weekend Designer but he's here to tell you "it ain't rocket science!” Clothing designer, patternmaker, and educator, Don Morin is the design talent behind Bag'n-Telle. A thirty year veteran of the Canadian fashion scene, Don has designed everything from swimwear to fur coats for many private-label Canadian manufacturers and now trains new generations of design hopefuls for the garment industry.

"I've always been a bit astounded by how people regard fashion design as some secret mystic ability when, in fact, anyone with a creative thought can be a designer. They only need to be shown how to follow through and execute their ideas."

In this blog, he teaches us how to design and create bags, and not just any bags, but bags using designer methods and techniques adapted for the DIY crowd. Don definitely knows what he’s talking about and is great at communicating his knowledge. His musings on creativity and design considerations are wonderful inspiration.

Old School Backpack

Now I know that a lot of us already make our own bags, and there are some great patterns out there for them which have been made with impressive results. At the same time, if printed fabric purses, patchwork totes or slouchy slings aren’t what you are looking for, Don shows you how to make bags that have lots of hardware, look tailored, and uses fabric other than printed cottons.  Bag’n’telle shows you how to get the look and construction of a “tailored” handbag at home, including using leather and leather trim.

Don says “You do not have to be an expert to be your own designer.  With simple pattern modifications and some common sense (sometimes a bit of trial and error too), you can create your own design details. When combined with the ideal fabrications you can realize your own creative visions.”

Saddle-Stitched Handbag

“Fabrics, trims, buttons, and embellishments are among our favourite resources for expressing our creativity in fashion design.  There is something particularly special and rewarding about designing and wearing your own creations.”

He conceived the idea of a fashion pattern-drafting blog that offered some insight into the design process of fashion accessories, including creations from some of his design workshops. You will find expert information on the site about design, construction, tools, and materials.  There are 16 free tutorials, and all the projects are geared to the novice designer and the equipment available to them — meaning a domestic sewing machine and a few easy-to-use tools.

Etui Bag

This really doesn't look "home made" it.  Don likes to encourage the reader to use his design ideas and “how-to’s” as a guide to “make it your own.”   YOU become the designer.  The skills are easy to learn, but it is your creativity that makes it special.

Hard-side Pannier Tote

So go check out the site, design your own creation using his techniques and know-how but remember as you heard about it here, you have to share the results with us!



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Replies to This Post

Oh can't wait to look at this!  Thank you for sharing this!  Janelle

Thanks so much for this post.  I'm trying to design a bag right now that has the full size divider inside but I also want to make it a zippered pocket at the same time.  I got a lot of nice ideas on future bags from this.  Again thanks.


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