Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Purse and Book Review

A couple weeks ago I showed you the fabric I purchased for my new purse.

Last week I was able to make the purse.

I'm very happy with how it turned out!

I taught myself how to put in a concealed zipper!

I also put pockets inside.

A few months ago I bought The Bag Making Bible: The Complete Guide to Sewing and Customizing Your Own Unique Bags by Lisa Lam.

I really like to make bags, but I wanted to learn how to customize patterns to fit my needs. This book does exactly that. I used the Pick-A-Pocket Purse pattern design by Monica Solorio-Snow of the Happy Zombie. It is a free pattern on allpeoplequilt.com. The original pattern has no closure of any kind and no inside pockets. I really liked the basic design but wanted to tweek it to suit my needs and tastes. Lisa's book really helped with that.

Her book covers all aspects of bag anatomy and design. First she covers the basic equipment used in bag making - the usual sewing supplies but also tailors awls, pliers, bodkins and more. Then she covers what presser feet and sewing machine stitches you'll need and why. Next there are diagrams and photos covering the various parts of a bag. The chapters cover things like using a pattern and adjusting it to fit your needs, choosing fabrics for your bags, structure and reinforcement, linings, closures, handles and straps, pockets, edgings and trimmings.

So far I've only really used the chapter on closures. At the beginning of the chapter there is a chart listing the 7 different types of closures she covers, the page numbers each is on, the benefits of each and suggested uses for each. Then there are three pages worth of information about the various closure tools (zippers, snaps, locks, eyelets and rivets). All this before she gets to explaining how to use each of the 7 closure types! Can you tell that I really like this book?!

There are plenty of pictures for each of the techniques along with written instructions. For me, the pictures were not sufficient on their own to learn the technique but they do supplement the written instructions well. So I did have to actually read not just look at the pictures! Maybe if I was a more experienced sewist the pictures would be sufficient. I don't know.

Each chapter, and there are 8, ends with a pattern that features one of the techniques covered in the chapter. AND all of the patterns are included on full-size pull-out sheets at the end of the book. So you can get started right away making any of the patterns in the book. If you want to learn about bag construction and how to customize patterns to suit your needs, I highly recommend this book.

Goldie was "helping" me take pictures of my new purse last week. She wanted to be in the pictures with the purse but I said no. I placated her by taking some pictures of just her.

Then her friend, Sarge, from across the street wanted his picture taken too.

He's in Goldie's favorite spot in our yard and she decided she couldn't tolerate that.

They really are good friends, but Goldie has her limits of what she is willing to share.


Barb said...

Love the purse!!

krisgray said...

Love your purse! Thanks for the review. I've been wondering about putting this book on my Xmas list as I love to make bags.

West Michigan Quilter said...

Your purse is wonderful. Thanks for the review. love those pictures of the cats too!

Mama Pea said...

Your purse turned out great! You do such quality work. I bought that book, too, and I like it. I haven't had a chance to read it all or to do anything with it yet, but I have some ideas!