Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"The Bag Making Bible" Review

I have sufficiently calmed down enough to review this book in its glorious entirety.

The cover is beautiful, as is the entire book.  

Readers of Lisa's blog will not be surprised in the least to learn that this book is just as fun, just as readable, and just as action-packed as all of her tutorials and patterns available on her site.  Her instructions are crystal clear, her photographs helpful instead of just filler, and her chatty writing style makes it feel as though you're sewing with a pal instead of reading something that's technically....well, technical.

Unlike many other bag making books, this one is actually useful.  This is not a book of patterns for you to simply follow (although there are 8 fun patterns included).  This is a book that shows you how to create your very own beautiful custom bags, from top to bottom and everything in-between (because any bag-maker knows that interfacing is key).  Need to modify the size? Done.  Want a different kind of strap?  Done.  Want to incorporate fancy-schmancy hardware? Done and done.  Many are the bag books I have seen where they offer tips like "Add a lining.  Add pockets.  Add zippers."  And that's it.  No instruction whatsoever on how to do it.  This book shows how to add more pockets than I knew existed, and different methods for adding zippers (which aren't as scary as you may have heard).  The bag you end up with will truly be a one-of-a-kind creation as you build it according to your vision.  But to get you motivated, each section has a beautiful bag for you to create that will build upon the skills you just learned.  So you go from this:

A simple book bag with different style variations

...to this:
This bag looks quite ambitious, but Lisa's wonderful directions and tips will make it a reality.  This is the bag I've wanted to make since she released some sneaky-peeks of her book.

Look at all of the things you'll learn about within these glossy covers:
It's a mixed bag of bag-making knowledge...see what I did? It's a picture of a bag, with the bag parts listed inside.  Geddit?  Those are the actual chapter headings from the book, by the way.

 What's that tucked into the cover?  A full-sized pattern sheet! Some tracing is required, but I'd rather trace than spend the day at a copier, trying to enlarge.

And if you order a copy from her shop it may just land on your doorstep with this inside:

Isn't that fun?

OK, so to sum up.  You will want to get this book.  It's a beautiful book but it's not stuffed with fluff that other craft books are that distract you from the fact that they're just not very good or useful. It's clean and minimalist, but packed with information and tips.  The pictures are gorgeous, and focus on what's most important for you to get your bag just right.  She tells you everything you need to know to make a "Whoa baby!" bag no matter how many elements you choose to include.  Just be careful. Bag-making is very addictive, and you'll be quite busy--because everyone's going to ask "Can you make me one?"


  1. I have that book and I share your enthusiasm! Lovely write up!

  2. Lovely review! I just need to lay my handson one of those books! ;0)

  3. Before I knew it, I hit the purchase button. After read your review, I am so so so excited for the book to arrive.

  4. awesome. thanks for the review, Bethany! this sounds fantastic! And I laughed at the "she is to me what Heather Ross is to you" :P

  5. I wonder when that bag will arrive in my country...

  6. oooh that book sounds great xoxo something for my Christmas list perhaps, ooop did I say Christmas - sorry......

  7. Will you sew Guy Fieri a sunglasses case so that he will stop wearing his Raybans on the back of his neck? xo

  8. Haha Lisa--I almost spit my coffee out with that one :)



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