Oh, I have a gorgeous new handbag book to share with you today! Say hello to Sew4Home Bags and Totes – 10 Easy, Fashionable Projects Anyone Can Sew. This book was created by Liz Johnson and Anne Adams, the founders and current managing editors of Sew4Home.
Since 2009, Sew4Home has created a TON of on trend projects for the DIY enthusiast. And don’t let their name fool you. Yes, they have projects for bed, bath and beyond, but they have quite a long list of handbag and accessory tutorials too! I discovered Sew4Home in 2010 when I came across a cute Zippered Pencil Case and bag on Pinterest. Since then I’ve been keeping up with their work on their website and through Instagram.
Bags and Totes is a softcover book with 128 pages. One feature of the book you’ll notice first is that there is no pattern booklet or CD included. This is because the handbags are created using basic strips, rectangles and squares . You could easily make your own pattern pieces using chipboard or plastic sheets though. I like to draw them on the actual fabric (wrong side). Little waste!
There is a section and the beginning of each pattern called “Get Started”. This will tell you the exact cutting measurements needed for the bag(fabric too). It’s stated clearly and is easy to follow. If you’re more comfortable, you can make your pattern pieces from this section to reuse for another time.
From there, you will find fusing instructions, and step by step directions typed out and computer generated images showing you many of the steps. Finished bag pictures are included throughout the book so I felt I could easily get through each pattern by having well written directions and images to follow.
As an experienced handbag designer and sewist, I can honestly say if you are new to bag making you’ll find most of these projects perfect for you. There are also patterns with zippers, grommets, twist locks and drawstrings that can improve your skills too. These installations you may find a bit more challenging, but the experienced sewist will find these patterns fairly easy (and fast!) to sew up.
An important aspect of all bag-making patterns are the how-to’s of hardware. Adding snaps, twist locks, zipper installations, etc. Bags and Totes will guide you through this, but if you’re a beginner you may still struggle until you get the hang of it. The resource section at the back of the book will guide you to their website where you’ll be able to find more detailed tutorials for hardware installs and other handbag construction methods.
So my final thoughts? A very modern handbag design book that is well written and perfect for a sewist wanting to dive into the world of sewing handbags. Experienced bag makers will enjoy the patterns and can easily modify for fun or a challenge. A nice addition to your crafty library!
To purchase your copy, check out your favorite book retailer or buy directly at: Interweave or Amazon
Published by F&W Media, Incorporated — October 10, 2016