This site is a home for Colette Patterns sewalongs, which were published between 2011 and 2017. This site is no longer being updated, but you can find more tutorials and new video classes every month by joining Seamwork.

Cooper Sewalong November – December, 2013


Speedy Cooper Sew Along

We are thrilled to hear that you all love Walden! To celebrate the launch, we are hosting sew alongs for the new patterns. Up first: Cooper!

This bag is really quick to sew, and we are eager to see all of your fabric choices. So we decided to make this a fast sew along, with just 4 weeks to make your bag and get it posted to the Colette Patterns Flickr group for entry into the contest.

Read more about this sewalong →

Before you begin

  • →   Buy your pattern
  • →   Pick your fabric (and pre-treat if it might bleed)
  • →   Review instructions

The Cooper Sewalong

  1. The Speedy Cooper Sewalong & Contest (20 Comments)

    Learn all you need to know to make the Cooper bag in any of three variations: messenger bag, backpack, or satchel. If you’re new to bag making, this is a perfect place to start. Learn all about specialty fabrics, hardware, and the simple techniques you can use to get a professional finish.

  2. Bag making supplies and resources (46 Comments)

    Many of you have asked for resources on finding some of the more specialty items used to make bags for the Cooper Sew Along. I’ve spent more hours than I can count researching this stuff as we planned our kits, so I want to share some of my resources with you today. I have used …

  3. How To Install Magnetic Snaps (5 Comments)

    Today, we’re going to show you how to install a magnetic snap in your Cooper bag, or any other project that calls for them. We’ll be showing the male side of the snap, but you can use the same steps to install the female side. Step 1: Transfer magnetic snap | markings to the right …

  4. Cooper versions 1 & 2: Assembling the body

    Are you ready to start making your Cooper bag today? I know some of you are still gathering up supplies. Don’t worry about it too much. This bag is a pretty quick sew, so you should have lots of time to catch up if you’re not quite ready to start. In this post, we’re going …

  5. Cooper version 3: Assembling the front

    If you’re making the satchel version of Cooper, here’s where you start.

  6. How To Create Adjustable Straps

    If you’ve just picked up your Cooper pattern and want to make straps for the messenger bag or backpack, but have never worked with webbing before, this step-by-step tutorial will guide you through the process of creating adjustable straps. You can use this technique for any type of adjustable strap with a slider… even bras! …

  7. Cooper Version 2: Backpack Straps (5 Comments)

    Today is for those of you working on the backpack version of Cooper. If you’re doing the messenger or satchel, hang tight. We’ll return to those on Friday, giving you the weekend to sew. If you’re working on the messenger, you might also want to check out today’s tutorial on assembling adjustable straps. We’ll be …

  8. How To Install Jiffy Rivets (2 Comments)

    Special note: Rachel is moving on from the CP blog, and this marks her final post for us. Thanks to Rachel for all of her contributions in the last months. – Sarai Today, we’re going to cover installing jiffy rivets on your Cooper bag. We will be using a Cooper satchel in our example, but …

  9. Cooper Version 3: Attaching Satchel Handles

    Today, we’re back to working on the satchel (v.3) of the Cooper bag. If you’re working on the messenger or backpack, we’ll return to those versions on Monday, as we put the flap and body together.

  10. Video: How to square the bottom of your bag (4 Comments)

    Getting a nice square bottom of the bag seems like witchcraft. Looking at it from the outside, it’s not at all clear how you can sew into those tight little corners. Luckily for us, there’s no black magic involved. Just a simple little trick we’re going to show you. First, watch the quick one minute …

  11. Finishing the body and flap

    Welcome back to the Cooper Sewalong, folks! Today, we’re going to be finishing up the body by attaching the bottom gusset and sewing up the sides. Then, we’ll finish up the flap. Follow these steps for any of the three versions of Cooper and you’ll be almost ready to finish up. The only thing that …

  12. Cooper Version 1: Messenger Strap

    If you’re working on the messenger bag version of Cooper with us (version 1), we’ve just got a quick walk-through today on making your messenger strap. For the other versions (backpack and satchel), you can skip this post and we’ll finish up the bag by sewing the lining on Friday! Though you can also add …

  13. Lining your Cooper bag (5 Comments)

    And we’re finally finishing up our bags today! Today, we’ll be installing the lining on any of the three versions of Cooper. If you’ve already done the shell of your bag, this process should be very easy. After making the 4 interior pockets, you’ll put the lining together in much the same way as you …

  14. The Cooper Sewing Contest: Vote For Your Favorites! (30 Comments)

    I must say, this is one of the most expressive sewalong or contest roundups we’ve done. It seems like every person took their bag in a totally different direction, and the variety that resulted is kind of amazing. We’ve got cute bags, chic bags, kids’ bags, understated bags, bold bag, men’s bags. You name it, …

  15. Cooper Sewing Contest: The Winners! (3 Comments)

    A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the Cooper Sewalong and Contest! We had so many incredible entries, believe me when I say that the voting was extremely tight. Congratulations to our winners: 1. Favorite Satchel: Alison’s City Cooper 2. Favorite Messenger: Alix’s Charly Harper Cooper: 3. Favorite Customization: polkadotelefant’s dog-friendly Cooper 4. …

Begin Sewalong   →

The Cooper Companion

Interested in making the Cooper bag? Get this in-depth guide to bag making, and we'll walk you from start to finish. With over 400 photos, this guide takes you through all three variations (messenger, backpack, and satchel), along with perfectly illustrated instructions for added details, techniques, and variations.

Order yours here