Saturday, 9 October 2010

Books for bags

I have almost as much of a fetish for books as I do for fabric and this week I have been slightly naughty and bought several really nice ones.
The First book by Lexie Barnes is Sew What Bags, 18 pattern free projects you can customize to fit your needs.
This book is really great. It shows you lots of techniques and tricks to make sewing simple bags a doddle, without lots of scary jargon or expensive bits and bobs.
The messenger bag is one design that I have seen often made for sale, and selling well on folksy.
If you have small children there is a lovely pattern for a simple backpack for their P.E kits.
This book is great for bag beginners.

The next three books are great sources for inspiration and historical information about the bag.
Bag - A lexicon of Style by Valerie Steele and Laird Borrelli is a fairly in-depth look at the practical side of the handbag.
They explain the origins of the bag and how the changes to design has been influenced by women roles within society and the independence and privacy that a good handbag gave our sisters in the past.

Over time the humble bag has become a common symbol to define status and luxury.
Obtaining this season's it bags has become a battle and waiting lists for some back can be up to a year, maybe more!

In some instances the expense and logo of a bag has become so obscene that even the designers have seen fit to mock their own work such as the  "Quelle Idole" from Hermes or Moschino's Logo bag, both 2000.
Anna Johnson highlights these, and other unusual and unqiue bag designs in her book Handbags- The power of the purse with equal measures of humour and respect.

Claire Wilcox book simply titled Bags is published by V & A so you can expect, and indeed relieve oodles of information and history.
All of these books have slightly different angles on the subject and whilst some information may overlap the photographs are all presented beautifully and are mostly different.
Any one of these books would be enough to satisfy curiosity.

And finally, the piece de resistance, the much awaited The Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam.
Many of you may already know Lisa through her fabulous U handblog and shop U handbag.
Those of you who don't will find this book just as wonderful as the already converted.
The projects in this book are more intricate than in Sew What bags, but as Lisa says these are statement piece to love forever and the efort will be worth while.
That is not to say that this book is not assessable to everyone, beginner or the more advance, but do not expect to have the patterns licked in five minutes.
Lisa is self taught, so have hope and faith in yourself!
Of the eight bags of offer the getaway bag is my favourite, but it was hard to choice and I will be making all of them in the next few months.
The book has very detailed chapters on techniques such as structure, closures, choice of fabric, tools of the trade and so much more
Right from the start this book enchants you, with a forward by Amy Butler, the guru herself, how can it not!
I cannot recommend this book enough!

 These reviews are completley my own opinion of the books  and are not in anyway connected to any of the authors or publishers, which is a shame because then I might have had a giveaway!
Instead I have added an amazon Widget to this post so you can buy them all now!


  1. The Claire Wilcox has me salivating..... and the Lisa Lam has me intrigued fab post lady xx

  2. I have Sew What! Bags and recently made the DJ messenger bag. You can see a review of it on my blog:

    I'm desperate to buy the Lisa Lam book. I read her blog and she really knows what she's talking about! Her bags are so beautiful and well made.

  3. Hi Bonnie, A good selection of bag books, I think I need to buy the Lisa Lam looks right up my street. What a clever woman she is. Have you seen the Amy Butler book on bags called 'Style Stitches'? Just another one I would like! Dianna

  4. I have Dianne, its on my list too!

  5. Hi Bonnie - I bought The Bag Making Bible yesterday - I've been reading it cover to cover, and want to get stuck in today!

    Have a fun week, Jane :D


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