When I need a new leather bag I prefer to buy locally. Yes, I can:
Near Hannover Bree has its headquarter and I love their style.
When I need a fabric bag for grocery I use the Ratzfatztasche pattern to make my own.
I just love how easy they are.
When I want a more fashionable bag I make the sling bag pattern by Amy Butler.
I love to use heavy Echino fabric for this one so I do not need to add an extra layer of fabric like the pattern requests.
For my bags I like to use corduroy for the handles - I made the first ones with fabric, but corduroy has a much better feeling when you use it.
I just found a good resource here: Tilly and the buttons. You will find a guide for beginners with no background in sewing to get you through the first steps of sewing.
Oh, do not forget to read the directions of the pattern before you start. American pattern mostly include the sewing allowance, European and Japanese pattern do not include it and you have to add it yourself.
I use sewing chalk or old soap bars to mark the fabric.
I am not an expert on teaching what you need to start sewing. So I will just share some helpful links here:
For fabric and or supplies:
vlisco - beautiful cotton fabric with an african feeling. They produce in Holland for the african market and sell in 6 yards coupons, so you can make two pairs of trousers out of one coupon. My fav are their wax-prints.
shaukat - sells beautiful Liberty Tana lawn for a reasonable price. I use it for blouses or summer trousers/skirts. It is very fine and a bit tricky to sew, but great for hot temperatures.
stragier - sells beautiful Liberty Tana lawn for a reasonable price. I use it for blouses or summer trousers/skirts. It is very fine and a bit tricky to sew, but great for hot temperatures. (a french website)
michas Stoffecke - is a great resource for garment fabric - mostly for children you will find beautiful fabrics (a german website)
charlottas . everything you need from yarn to fabric and books. Mostly for quilters. (a german website)
hawthorne threads - fast shipping - good prices and a gread collection of quilting fabrics - seems they started to carry some voile, too
purl soho - why can I not live near this shop? They carry all you want for your sewing.
For books / pattern:
I am in love with Japanese sewing pattern. They are great for beginners.
You can buy them directly in Japan or through etsy or ebay. I used this shop to get my most loved book. The pattern are easy and you just need basic skills. I made trousers and blouses from this book I wear nearly daily. All I had to do was adjust the length a bit.
An easy free pattern to start with is this. It is for a bag with lining that is very easy and fast sewn.
And it is a very forgiving pattern, so you have a good experience when you start. Just straight sewing and you are done.
Today i went to catch the usual train at 7:00. Everything seemed o.k.. The train was announced on the board. A train was on the tracks. Well, people were not boarding and when I asked why i was told it was going to Berlin - not Hamburg. After some time the waggons going to Berlin were on their way and my waggons to Hamburg were coming on the tracks.
Well, until I went into one. Seems they were used after the last Soccer Play. A lot of rubbish and a heartbreaking smell.
30 minutes late I hope to reach me destination
soon. And i will be happy to leave this Train that reminds me more of a trashed Public toilet than a train.