For the last couple of months, I've been taking a sewing class once a week through the continuing education program at a local community college. The three hour classes were structured so that we spent 30 - 45 minutes at the beginning of class talking about some fundamental sewing technique and then we'd use that technique to make a tote bag.
So that's the one I did during class. Since I believe in the power of homework, I gave myself homework in the form of using the same pattern on a tote bag at home. Here's how that one turned out.
I'm currently taking the next class in the series. I got to pick my own project and I'm working on a wrap skirt (wrap skirts require So. Much. Fabric.) with a lining and pockets. I'll keep you posted.