In today’s post I will be reviewing;
Book; Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam
- Title; The Bag Making Bible
- Author; Lisa Lam
- Publisher; David & Charles
- ISBN: 13:978-0-7153-3624-3
- ISBN: 10:0-7153-3624-X
- RRP: £14.99 (at time of writting)
My Reason for buying
Having received a sewing machine for my birthday in June, and making my first couple of tote bags, I was hooked. I have another book on making bags but Lisa’s book looked like it went into a lot more detail, regarding choosing materials and options for closures and handles. I’ve been reading Lisa’s blog for a little while and looked forward to her book being published.
- Foreword by Amy Butler
- Basic Equipment
- The Sewing Machine
- Anatomy of a Bag
- 1: Getting Started
- 2: Choosing Fabrics
- 3: Structure and Reinforcement
- 4: Linings
- 5: Closures
- 6: Handles and Straps
- 7: Pockets
- 8: Edgings and Trimmings
At the back of the book are details about suppliers, more about the author Lisa Lam and a pattern sheet.
Each of the chapter sections go into details about a different features of a bag, these are FANTASTIC. They have a list of each of the options that are going to be described in the chapter, the benefits of each and suggested uses of which styles work best with different options. There are pictures on the opposite page to give examples about what is being described as well. The chapter then goes on to have really detailed step by step directions for every option mentioned. They are superb and if you are new to sewing, you can still follow them and apply them to simpler projects you already create if you find the projects within the book beyond your current skills.
Each section is colour coded, which makes it quick to find things if you are using this book for reference.
There is a comprehensive suppliers section at the back of the book, which will help you find the tools and items needed for the projects, if you don’t have a sewing shop near you.
The one thing that lets this book down from the point of view of someone new to sewing, is the placement of the projects within the book. If they were all placed at the back of the book then referencing techniques from different sections around the book would be fine. If the project at the end of the section used only techniques shown so far, again it would be fine. As it is, there is a project at the end of each section, but the projects often refer to techniques from sections further on as well as what has been covered so far. The references do quote the page numbers of the techniques needed, but if you are new to sewing this is very confusing and to be honest, I gave up trying to follow the project instructions at this point. In fairness to Lisa, the book does say in the introduction that it is aimed toward the more confident bag maker. I continued to read the rest of the book, without the projects and I’ve learned lots!
Value for Money
This book is very much worth the £14.99. A good reference book for bag makers of all levels.
Would I buy it Again?
I’m really glad I bought this book, and I’ve learnt so much. This is one for me to grow into, as I am still very new to sewing. I am going to practice the techniques shown and add them to more basic bags, which is my current skill level. Once I am more used to my machine and the techniques then I’ll have a go at some of Lisa’s designs.
If you are totally new to sewing, the book I reviewed previously Sew What Bags by Lexie Barnes, is a much simpler place to start. If however you have been sewing a while and want to get into making bags, or to include really impressive features and finishes to your existing projects then Lisa’s book is for you.
Newbies, still buy this book for the impressive tutorials on choosing fabrics, linings, interfacings as well as how to incorporate more details into your simpler projects, that you already like to make. I’ve added a pocket to my latest tote and want to tackle the concealed top edge zip to a later project.
My skill level is still at ‘Sew What Bags’ but Lisa’s Bag Making Bible is a must have book, for moving forward and getting more professional looks to future bags.
Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon
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