The Better Bag Maker – Book Review & Giveaway
*** GIVEAWAY CLOSED ***
Today I’m kicking off The Better Bag Maker Book Tour and sharing with you not one, but two bags that I’ve made from Nicole Mallalieu’s latest book.
Prior to pattern testing these bags for Nicole, my bag making experience was zilch (I’m excluding draw-string bags here!). I had a lot to learn, and The Better Bag Maker – An Illustrated Handbook of Handbag Design delivered!
The book is cleverly ordered so that all the tools and materials, key skills and basic bag-making techniques are explained at the beginning of the book. The bag making projects, using information from those early chapters, follow. A full sized pattern sheet is included.
The basic bag is the first project and it is the building block from which all the bags in the book are derived. Being a total bag-making novice, I heeded the advice of the author and tackled the basic bag first.
The bag is fully-lined, with a zipped pocket, compartments and a magnetic clasp.
The basic bag is the perfect size for me. It goes on picnics, to sewing gatherings, knitting machine classes, fabric shopping, kids’ birthday parties and family holidays. It even recently went to school with my eldest daughter when she was star of the week. She used it to carry all her precious treasures to share with her class. You could say this hand-made bag is very much part of our day-to-day life, which is very satisfying on so many levels.
For those with eagle eyes and who are already familiar with the book, I incorporated the ‘alternative two-fabric straps’ method in my basic bag as described on page 77.
The main fabric for the bag was Lungo d’Arancio from Tessuti. I will confess that when I was on my post-bag-making-high (which I can tell you readers, lasted for quite some time!), I bought some of the blue colourway to make another basic bag. One of these basic bags in my house just isn’t enough!
After the thrill and satisfaction of making my first bag, I decided to up the ante and try one of the more advanced bags in the book. As I mentioned earlier, this is exactly how the book has been designed. There is the basic bag (as above) and then project-by-project the basic bag is modified and new techniques are added. You can pace yourself and work through the projects one-by-one, or jump in at anytime. I ended up diving, rather than jumping, in and tackled one of the intermediate bags in the book. Zippered welt pockets anyone?
All jokes aside, it’s pretty amazing that Nicole’s instructions, diagrams and photos can take a novice who’s just made her first basic bag and give her the expertise and confidence to sew The Galapagos Boho with zippered welt pockets, curved patch pockets and an adjustable strap.
*** GIVEAWAY CLOSED ***
The lovely people at Stash Books have kindly offered to send an electronic copy of the book to one of my lucky readers. Hip hip hooray! If you’d like to win this copy, just leave a comment below by Monday May 12th @ 5pm AEST telling me about any of your bag making successes, failures, plans or dreams. I’ll randomly draw the winner and pass the details onto the publisher who’ll distribute the prize.
If you’re interested in purchasing a hard copy version, it’s available from numerous online bookshops or you can try your local bookstore. My local, Can Do Books, already has it in stock! A kindle version is also available.
The next stop for the Better Bag Maker Book Tour is Sew Mamma Sew on the 23rd May. More reviews, giveaways and/or glimpses of bags from the book will revealed on the following dates and locations:
Now it’s time for me to frock up in my newly-sewn You Sew Girl’s Draped T Dress and head into the city (Melbourne) for the official book launch. I see a glass of bubbles in my near future. Here’s cheers to Nicole Mallalieu and her fabulous new book…