10+ Best BAG making books on the market
In times of phones, tablets & co. you can get lots of (free) bag making tips and tutorials online. Nevertheless, for me – and probably for you as well – it is still something special to hold a well and beautifully made bag making book in your hands flipping through inspiring pages.
When searching for bag making books, you will find hundrets of them in the spheres of the world wide web and it is actually impossible to read them all. So, what are the good ones? In order to answer this question I compiled for you this list of thirteen bag making books that I really like and which I find very helpful.
Wherever possible, I added a link to the book authors’ website, just in case you want to learn more about the designer behind a pattern.
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Here are the best BAG making books:
Best-selling pattern maker Sue Kim included 19 projects for chic, modern bags in her book Boutique Bags. Sue’s instructions are very clear and you’ll find supportive images for almost every bag-making step. With this book, you’ll also get great tips for basic techniques, like installing hardware, creating pockets, perfecting gathers, ruffles or piping. Read more about Sue’s work here: ithinksew.com
This is quite simply THE professional-bag-making book for all skill levels. The Better Bag Maker from Nicole Mallalieu is full of essential information, tips and techniques. Nicole shows how you create various bag styles and designs from just one simple bag pattern. Visit her blog with tutorials and more here: nicolemdesign.blogspot.com.au
sew what! BAGS from Lexie Barnes is a great book for novices. It comes with cute bag ideas and a very detailed part for basic sewing techniques and tools. The 18 pattern-free projects vary from smaller bags like cases, pouches and organizers to different totes, drawstring sacks and messenger bags. Lexie also explains how you plan and create a bag to your own personal needs.
Style and Swing by Susan Dunlop comes with 12 beautiful and elegant handbag patterns. With its easy-to-follow instructions, helpful illustrations and templates, this book is perfect for beginners. Visit Susan at susieddesigns.co.uk
Aneela Hoey included 15 adorable and functional designs for pouches, covers, containers and more in her book Stitched Sewing Organizers. The little bags are great to keep all your craft supplies organized and could be lovely gifts for (sewing) friends, too. The patterns are perfect for all skill levels and can be made from your stash fabrics or fat-quarters. Visit Aneela’s blog here: comfortstitching.typepad.co.uk
In Bags and Totes from Liz Johnson & Anne Adams you’ll find clear step-by-step sewing instructions for 10 bag projects that are appropriate for beginners. The book includes patterns (without templates) for different styles of totes, shoulder bags and clutches. Visit: sew4home.com
With simply sublime Bags Jodi Kahn presents a very outstanding bag making book. The 30 do-it-yourself and fun bag projects require little (or no) sewing with very little investment in time and money. Create one-of-a-kind totes, make-up bags, evening bags and more with unique no-sew techniques and easy-to-find materials. Find more DIY projects from Jodi here: simplysublime.typepad.com
If you plan to sell your sewing work, I highly recommend Sewing to Sell by Virginia Lindsay. Even though this book is not only bag-related, you will get many useful and quick-to-sew bag tutorials among 16 starter projects. From this book, I got really helpful hints and information for my own online shop. Visit Virginia here: gingercake.org/gingercake
Virginia’s slouch bag pattern in Sewing to Sell is one of my favorites. Over the time, I made and sold this bag in different styles and combinations.
With Little Bags and Purses by Saskia Abel you are able to create beautiful and functional covers, cases, wallets, pouches and much more for your everyday life. The book comes with 16 charming projects, full-sized templates and wonderful pictures. If you are a complete newbie to sewing bags, some of the projects might be a bit difficult for you since the instructions comes without step-by-step illustrations. Nevertheless, the delight and inspiring images of the finished items convinced me to purchase this book.
Lindsay Conner & Janelle MacKay share 15 versatile projects for purses, totes and organizers in On the Go. The bag patterns are from different today’s sewing designers and bloggers. From a hipster pocket scarf or a cart/stroller caddy to a sporty strap pack or even a man clutch, this book provides you very unique and useful bag patterns for all skill levels.
Meet the designers of On the Go:
Lindsay Conner: lindsaysews.com
Sara Curtis: radianthomestudio.com
Rachael Gander: imaginegnats.com
Samantha Hussey: mrs-h.co.uk
Mary Jaracz: craftbuds.com
Sara Lawson: sewsweetness.com
Veronica Lovvorn: sewvery.blogspot.com
Janelle MacKay: emmalinebags.com
Jennie Pickett & Clara Jung: cloverandviolet.com
Lorraine Teigland: ikatbag.com
Michelle Webster: michellepatterns.com
Amy Butler brings you 12 basic patterns for 26 variations of wonderful and unique purses and handbags. In her book Style Stitches you will find modern clutches and wristles, stylish hobo bags and handy coin purses. All bag patterns are separated and don’t overlap each other, so you can easily cut them out from the book. Just have in mind that, when you have problems with your vision, the font in this book is a bit small. Visit Amy here: amybutlerdesign.com
Half Yard Heaven from Debbie Shore includes 26 gorgeous projects for you, your family and your home. Use your left-over scraps and create a beautiful book bag, a pretty cover for your sewing machine, a craft caddy, a useful notice board with pockets and many other quick, easy and delightful projects. Visit Debbie here: blog.createandcraft.tv/category/debbie-shore
I was struggling with me to add or not to add Sew Pretty Homestyle by the Norwegian designer Tone Finnanger to this list. It is actually not a real bag-making book. However, Tone’s charming project ideas, her gorgeous photographs throughout the whole book, as well as her great technical tips for embroidery, stitching and appliqués (which can be applied to bag-sewing projects, too) brought this wonderful book here.
Moreover, there are some bag projects included in Sew Pretty Homestyle like the “entrance door bag”, a needle case, small button bags, fabric boxes, a make-up bag, wall pouches and many more. And slippers are a kind of “foot bags”, right 😉 Visit tildasworld.com (Tilda is the fabric brand founded by Tone Finnanger).
So far, these are my favorite bag making books. Let me know in the comment section below if you have another great one.
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