Fabulous Book on Bags

Blogged under Good Books,Sew Simple by Tammy on Thursday 11 February 2010 at 3:42 pm

I’m sick…again..this time it is a sinus infection, and since this is the second time since Christmas that I’ve been ill, I figured it was time to actualy go to the doctor. They squeezed me in, which meant a fairly long wait in the waiting room and then more of a wait at the drug store while I waited for my prescriptions to be filled, but one good thing about all of this was that I had plenty of time to browse through one of my new craft books, The Perfect Handmade Bag: Recycle and Reuse to Make 35 Beautiful Totes, Purses and More by Clare Youngs.

Sewing books can be tricky to put together. I actually worked on a proposal for one last summer, and though I did have one editor interested for awhile, I have to admit that the process was much more difficult than I had expected, and I think that is why sewing books can often be a little less than what I have hoped for. You have to be so exact with measurements because these details are crucial to the final product. This book, however, seems to deliver on the details. While I just purchased it and haven’t made anything out of it, from the instructions they look pretty straight-forward. Plus, from the few reviews over at Amazon.com, some readers have posted that they have made multiple bags from it with great success, so I’m encouraged.

This book makes you want to pull out the sewing machine. The bag designs are great. Out of the 35, there are only a handful that don’t interest me, and that’s probably personal taste. The rest are very useful as well as fun like small bucket bags; numerous shopping totes, one that even folds up and secures with a button so you can easily carry it for those unexpected grocery trips; evening bags, one has some adorable mother-of-pearl buttons sewn all over the front and another has a beaded handle; well, you get the picture. Plus, the author uses all types of recycled material and notions for each bag. I’m not sure if I have that much stuff to recycle around here, but it got me thinking about it.

I’m a bag person, and I know I’m not alone in my love for them. I’ve always wanted to make them too, so once I’m done with my current book project and I have my sewing space back (and more time!), making bags from this book as well as a few other sewing projects I left un-done are on my list of things to do. I’d like to make some of the shopping totes as gifts.

My only warning about this book is probably for anyone without any sewing experience at all. There is a techniques section, and it looks pretty thorough. However, when I think back to how hard it was for me and how many years I struggled with sewing before the lights came on, I wouldn’t suggest this book to anyone who has never, ever sewn, unless you have someone nearby who could help you a little. If you did, then this would be a great place to start because most of the projects are designed around sewing straight lines, and many of the projects just require a few small pieces of fabric and notions.


  1. Comment by Eileen — February 13, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

    Oh my, I’m a “bag lady” too – can’t get enough of them. This is a must-have book for me.

    Hope you’re soon feeling better, Tammy.

  2. Comment by Tammy — February 15, 2010 @ 6:35 pm

    I got it through Crafter’s Choice book club as one of my 4 freebies, just paid shipping. However, after looking at it, I would have definitely bought this book at some point.

    By the way, I am feeling better, thanks. Antibiotics are a wonder!

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