Book Report: The Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam

Posted in: Reading List — By on February 10, 2011 7:19 AM

Lisa Lam is the lady behind the popular uHandblog, one of my favourite sewing sites.  She’s been sharing her knack for stitching online for years now, demystifying purse-making with enthusiasm and a flair for teaching.

…So, it’s no surprise that her new book is awesome.

The Bag Making Bible includes a general overview of sewing and fabric, and then delves in to everything you ever wanted to know about purses.  It’s pretty amazing that Lisa was able to cram so much know-how and inspiration into a 150-page book, as she has in The Bag Making Bible. Lisa uses photos and illustrations to explain all of the techniques required, and the book features patterns and instructions for 8 stylish bags, from a clutch to a travel bag to totes.

One thing I loved about this book was that it included patterns for a range of sewing abilities — even the most advanced sewer can learn something new.  The patterns are so nice that you’ll want to make them all, even if some are fairly basic.  Speaking of these patterns, they are very easy to customize and manipulate (the book includes instructions for modifying patterns). I will definitely be sewing up the Great Getaway Bag, the Reversible Bucket Bag and, my favourite, the Oversized Fashionista Bag (below) in the near future.

One of the patterns — The Piping-Hot Hobo, a saddle bag with accent piping — was so cute that I had to make it immediately.  I’ve made many purses in my day, so on my first attempt at this bag I didn’t think I needed to follow the instructions after cutting out my pattern pieces. I was wrong. I really liked the pattern, so I resolved to follow the instructions meticulously on my second attempt and I’m glad I did — I love the final result! The instructions were totally clear and the entire project only took a few hours.

This was the first time I’d used D-rings and clips for the strap and the first time I made my own piping. I’m pretty sure that everything I sew from this day on will have piping — it looks so sharp!

All in all, this is one of the best sewing books I’ve read and I thoroughly recommend it to sewers of all levels.  Check it out online, and make sure to also check out Lisa Lam’s uHandbag shop for bag making patterns and supplies and uHandblog, an amazing resource for sewing ideas and inspiration!

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