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4.6 out of 5 stars374
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 28 August 2010
I have been following Lisa's handblog for nearly a year and used a lot of her tutorials on u-handbag so I was eager to get my hands on this book. It was well worth the wait. There is so much detail in here that she may get in trouble from other bag pattern designers - you probably won't need to buy their patterns. And the range is fantastic - you really can make some professional looking bags.
I wondered whether it would just be a reworking of her internet tutorials, but no, this book goes into more detail and is more comprehensive. There are some very complicated and time consuming bags but there are also more simple ones. As I like to put together quick to make bags to sell, I know I will be able to use the advice to put together my best bag yet. There are both proper patterns to follow and detailed instructions for how to do each different type of pocket for example. The only thing that is missing is bag/purse frames - maybe she is saving this for volume 2...
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VINE VOICEon 27 August 2010
You might question how a book of only 160 pages can call itself a "bible" but don't, because that's exactly what it is!

It has everything you need to know in order to make your own bags from the patterns included in the book and to understand how to put your own ideas together to create your own bags should you feel inspired. I've been waiting (not so patiently) for this book ever since Lisa Lam announced on her website that it was happening, and as soon as I saw it listed on Amazon, I took full advantage of the "look inside this book" feature to see exactly what was in it, so I knew what I was getting. Having purchased some of Lisa's bag making kits and PDF patterns previously I was concerned that there might be some overlap/duplication with the patterns included in this book but I am happy to say that all 8 of the bag patterns in the book are new and not available in any of the kits or PDF patterns available from her shop. In other words 8 brand new designs for some fantastic looking bags are contained within this compact bible of a book.

As I had already checked out some of the images, I knew which ones I couldn't wait to make as soon as my copy arrived, and as soon as the book was showing as being in stock I ordered it. In particular, I can't wait to get started on the Oversized Fashionista, the Organised Office, and the Great Getaway bags, but all the bags look fantastic. There are plenty of photos of the bags and photos of key stages and techniques, as well as photos of basic equipment and fabric swatches to ensure you can identify everything you need when you go shopping for them. Plus full size patterns for all eight bags in good strong paper and not tissue paper, which let's face it is a bit of pain to use and doesn't last very long, so kudos to Lisa for giving us patterns that will last!

I've seen a lot of bag making books before, bought a few, decided against a few, but this one is definitely a winner and one that I will keep on my sewing table as a handy reference in between all that bag making.

Final comments: It's a great book, one of the best sewing books I've seen in a while and definitely of the same high quality that I'm used to as a U-Handbag customer and U-Handblog visitor. If you have seen U-Handblog's tutorials then you'll know what I mean. If you haven't then please visit immediately after purchasing this book and you'll see the wealth of information available there as well as becoming hooked on bag making and Lisa's very friendly style of blogging. The U-Handbag shop has everything you need to make your own fantastic and unique handbags like the ones included in this book, and it's been a fantastic resource for me over the past few years as she sells some unique bits and pieces to make your bags truly special. Thanks Lisa!
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on 11 May 2012
I've had this book for a few months now since I wanted to use it before I wrote a review. All I can say is that it has proved to be fabulous. Initially I used the instructions to make a zipped pocket in a simple tote bag I was making (I'm very new to sewing.). That worked beautifully, and gave me the confidence to tackle the Oversized Fashionista bag. I made it in Harris tweed and the results have surpassed my wildest dreams - it looks smart, holds all my stuff and is confortable to carry. I took it on a daytrip to London this week and collected unsolicited admiring comments (turning into disbelieving comments when I told them I'd made it myself) from 2 shop assistants in different shops, 3 senior women in various meetings and the female train guard on the way home. That never happens to me. Even my husband loves it (and he's REALLY not into handbags). What's more Lisa's approach (the book is divided into instructions to make all the different components you might want in a bag so you can customise each bag entirely) has now given me the confidence to design and make another bag for my mother which is also attracting a hugely positive response. The patterns are full size (no pesky photocopying) and very clear to use. The instructions are equally clear. My one and only comment of an even remotely negative nature is to say that there was one tip from her blog (suggesting that you cut interfacing and padding to be a fraction smaller than the seam allowance so that you don't end up trying to sew through too thick layers) which I have found really useful and which doesn't appear to be in the book. THat should not stop you buying it!
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on 20 February 2011
I have to say, having read some of Lisa Lam's tutorials on her blog, I was expecting great things. On the whole I'm not at all disappointed. It's a fabulous book, full of great ideas. I like the way she explains everything from the very basic anatomy of a bag, the terminology she will be using, right the way through to the finished, more complicated projects. It's a very thorough book and will explain just about everything you would need to know to not only follow the directions for making the bags in the book, but to start designing your own. It's certainly given me the confidence to have a go. There are, however, a couple of things I'm not keen on (hence the four stars instead of five). One is the font that's used for the majority of the book. In some lights it's quite difficult to read as it appears very light against the page. The other thing is, there are a couple of spelling/typo errors which should have been picked up in the proof read. Hopefully these things will be corrected in further editions. On the whole, though, an excellent book, and one I can see myself using for a long time.
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on 14 September 2010
I LOVE this book. It give soooooooo much information on making bags that it has enabled me to design my own bags. I would however give a slight word of caution, I would say that this book is not for the inexperienced sewer.
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on 22 June 2014
First the good bits:
The bags are really lovely and the patterns do work well, once you get your head around them.
I also like the way that Lisa Lam describes the processes and goes into great detail about the materials and components.
Now for the niggles:
As others have mentioned, aarrggh - that pale grey font! WHY oh why is it everywhere at the moment, from books to
tablets? What's wrong with black, or at least dark grey? Pale grey is tricky enough for those with decent eyesight, let alone people whose eyesight isn't so perfect - it's just too similar to the white paper it's printed on - there's no contrast.
Next, those instructions! What on earth was the author thinking, putting the instructions for each bag all over the place, and using totally different fabrics for the tutorials from the pictures of the finished bags?
Even as a very experienced sewer, I had great difficulty following the tutorials as I couldn't see which bag was which, and which section applied to which bag. I actually gave up trying to follow them in the end, and just used the patterns only, making them up in my own way. I can well understand how a beginner might be put off making bags forever!

A few tweaks and this book could go from just three stars to five.
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on 8 September 2010
Like other reviewers I am a great fan of the wonderful uhandbag website run by Lisa Lam. I was very excited to find her book on Amazon and pre-ordered several months ago. My book arrived last week and I have just completed my first bag from Lisa's patterns. Although I am a fairly experienced bag maker, I still found the book helpful and the patterns are wonderful. Usually when I buy one of these books there are only one or two bags that I really want to make. Not so with the Bag Making Bible. I started with the 'Piping Hot Hobo', which came out exactly like the picture, and I can't wait to try almost ALL of the other patterns. I made some subtle alterations to the pattern lining, as I wanted zip and phone pockets. Lisa encourages you to be creative and these bags can be made exactly as described, or altered to your own taste. I kept the outside the same as I loved the look, but have other ideas for it.
All in all this is a great book and the bags are really practical and realistically usable. Well done's hoping for a second book soon!
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on 3 September 2010
This book arrived in the post this morning & I've hardly put it down since! Thought it would be good, but it's actually brilliant - I love it! The instructions are so clear & novice friendly. Now I just have to decide what I'm going to make first - tricky one.
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on 5 September 2010
This book is so much better than all the other how-to books I've bought. Yes, it has patterns (and they're very good and very varied) but it also has all the techniques you need. Want to know how to make a zip pocket in the lining? It tells you. Want to know how to attach a magnetic closure? It tells you. And it does all this with really clear photographs. It starts from easy techniques, however, and builds your confidence if you've never made bags before, so is suitable for all skill levels as well. This is going to be one I use and use and use.
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on 3 September 2010
I have made loads of Lisa's bags, buying the kits and patterns from her blog. Every one of those patterns has been perfect, and easy to construct. I love how Lisa gives the person making the bags the confidence to try a tricky task and makes it easy to understand and do for themself. This book is no exception and I am so eager to start sewing. Every single pattern in this well laid out book is just so gorgeous, I'll use this book a lot, thanks Lisa :) My girls are going to have a lovely new bag each for Christmas!
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