The Manor House has now reopened! Come and explore the new storytelling of 1,000 years of history.

Bag making sewing workshop

Course description

An opportunity to learn how to deconstruct garments and then using basic sewing skills and a dollop of imagination, make your own ‘bag for life’. Basic patterns and pre-loved garments will be provided so all you need to bring is a sewing machine, curiosity and enthusiasm. You’ll leave with a new skill, a richer awareness of potential and a bag or two, and some new friends!

Run by Ilona from our craft team who says: 'this course is rather like an adventure! We go treasure hunting: burrowing deep into rag bags, unearthing raw materials. We explore: discovering how – with the addition of time, an element of skill and a dash of inspiration – to unleash our creativity, transforming something unwanted, unloved and discarded into something beautiful and useful.'

Tutor description

Whilst working as a graphic designer at Durban University for twenty five years, Ilona combined her design skills with a life-long passion for sewing, creating highly sought-after bespoke bags. Now retired, she’s been a volunteer craft tutor at a women’s community centre and presented sewing courses at Oxford Summer School.


Students will need a sewing machine and basic sewing equipment (scissors, tape measure, thread, etc). As a tutor, I will bring supplies of materials such as medium weight interfacing and webbing for bag handles which may be purchased. I will also bring garments for deconstruction, but the participants are welcome to bring their own ‘rags’ should they wish to do so.


    The course will be held in the Old Meeting Room in the Manor House. Please note this is on the first floor of the house and requires good mobility to get up the stairs.

    Two course dates to chose from

    Dates available

    To attend this one-day workshop, you can choose from one of two dates:

    • 12th October, 9.30am - 4.30pm
    • 24th November (this date to be specifically Christmas themed), 9.30am - 4.30pm

    5 places available on each workshop