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26 Reviews
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68 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great start to making bags!
This book is FAB!! It has pull out patterns, which can be photocopied at various percentages. This means that unlike buying a pattern, which is a set size, you can make any of the bags featured in almost any size. It really does include a huge variety of styles from clutch bags to beach bags, and a load of other styles in between! Another bonus, is the gallery at the...
Published on 28 Aug. 2004 by Carmen Maidment

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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars bags in four styles
Handbags are high fashion with the appropriate high prices attached. Imagine the joy of using four fold-out patterns to make your own individual styles. The four patterns are for a tote, clutch bag, drawstring bag and beach bag. Step-by-step, comprehensive instructions and photographs show you how to create bags to suit your wardrobe. The ideas come from a team of experts...
Published on 15 Nov. 2008 by K. Platt


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68 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great start to making bags!, 28 Aug. 2004
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Carmen Maidment "CarmenJean" (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Making Handbags: Retro, Chic and Luxurious Designs (Paperback)
This book is FAB!! It has pull out patterns, which can be photocopied at various percentages. This means that unlike buying a pattern, which is a set size, you can make any of the bags featured in almost any size. It really does include a huge variety of styles from clutch bags to beach bags, and a load of other styles in between! Another bonus, is the gallery at the back which gives wonderfull inspiration, and really shows what can be done with the patterns. It really is one of the best books to start out with!!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good basic patterns, 6 Mar. 2007
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Ally (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Making Handbags: Retro, Chic and Luxurious Designs (Paperback)
The patterns and instructions are really useful. They're clear and simple and don't assume you're an idiot, which is always good. I found the supposedly 'inspirational' ideas - photos of bags that other people had made from the patterns - a bit, well, lame. Still, the main point of the book for me was the patterns and instructions, as I'm still a bit of a beginner at sewing, so it was definitely a good buy.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars in the bag, 31 Oct. 2004
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Miss Jowyn N. Jenson "jowynj" (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Making Handbags: Retro, Chic and Luxurious Designs (Paperback)
I'm new to bag making and this book has given me a good head start. Great instructions and pull out patterns you can use over and over. I felt that the only drawback to this book is that it only covers 4 basic styles of bag. But you can adapt the basic principles to make a different style of bag. Lots of inspiration.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars bags in four styles, 15 Nov. 2008
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K. Platt "blackplantlady" (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Making Handbags: Retro, Chic and Luxurious Designs (Paperback)
Handbags are high fashion with the appropriate high prices attached. Imagine the joy of using four fold-out patterns to make your own individual styles. The four patterns are for a tote, clutch bag, drawstring bag and beach bag. Step-by-step, comprehensive instructions and photographs show you how to create bags to suit your wardrobe. The ideas come from a team of experts at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Once you have mastered the designer secrets they teach, you can customise the patterns. For non-sewers, there are ideas to embellish existing bags.
A variety of fabrics are used from denim to leather. My favourite is the felt appliqued tote.
I feel the patterns could have been a little more varied, but there are plenty of examples of the different looks you can achieve with just four patterns. A gallery of designs offers inspiration to spark your own creativity.
There are some English sources of materials included, but these are mixed in with American sources, not listed separately. The chapter headings appear to be misleading as they include other styles that should not appropriate to that chapter. I don't particularly feel that the subtitle is defined by the contents.
Overall this is a good book for the beginner bag maker, who then wants to develop their own ideas. A well-presented, handsome and useful book.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite handy!, 20 Jun. 2007
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V. Smith (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Making Handbags: Retro, Chic and Luxurious Designs (Paperback)
Useful for the basics of making a bag, but not very inspiring. I found the gallery of other peoples bags they had made very disappointing, but perhaps that's to make us feel good about what we make! Its also annoying having to cut the pages out of the book to get the patterns, and taking each page to be photocopied could cost you a fortune.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like the curate's egg., 16 Aug. 2011
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This review is from: Making Handbags: Retro, Chic and Luxurious Designs (Paperback)
Like the curate's egg - good in parts.

Some good ideas here and SOME of the bags are very nice. The patterns are the most useful element. However, you need to think carefully about the methods as the finish on some doesn't look very good. You would probably need to develop your own improvements to some of the construction methods.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK..., 2 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Making Handbags: Retro, Chic and Luxurious Designs (Paperback)
This book has 4 basic patterns - a beach bag, a gusseted tote bag, a clutch bag and a drawstring bag, and instructions to make several variations of each of the basic designs. These often used unusual materials like fur fabric, clear plastic and a silk scarf, which weren't really my style, but they do at least get you thinking about how you can customise bags with your own ideas. I liked the design on the front cover, which is why I bought this book. I have made that bag (a variation on the beach bag) 4 times now, in different sizes and variations, and was pleased with the finished bags, but I was not inspired by the other designs.

The pattern pieces need to be photocopied to various sizes, which is fine if you have access to a clever copier (I didn't!), and also gives the option to vary your bags by copying to a different size. The pattern pieces are on pages that you can tear out along perforations. Only the first bag in each section has making illustrations - the variations don't - so I found I had to keep flicking back and forth to work out what the text meant. Sometimes the variations were very different from the basic pattern so a couple of pictures on the variations pages would have helped.

The second section of the book is a gallery of photos of bags made from the 4 patterns. I mainly found this section funny, rather than inspirational.

In summary, it's OK - I am happy with the bags I have made, and may make more of the same design, but I probably won't use any of the other patterns.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely bags to make., 17 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Making Handbags: Retro, Chic and Luxurious Designs (Paperback)
I'd never made bags like these before. Easy to follow instructions for very pleasing results. Have made a few to sell for charity fundraising and they have been very popular especially made in bright colours.
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55 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What I thought about 'Making Handbags'., 4 Oct. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Making Handbags: Retro, Chic and Luxurious Designs (Paperback)
A nice simple book to read and follow.
Nice to do in spare time and this book shows you how.
Colour pictures throughout and useful patterns at the back to create ypur own bags with.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book to start, 31 Oct. 2009
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This review is from: Making Handbags: Retro, Chic and Luxurious Designs (Paperback)
Full of info for a first time bag maker. Lots of info but more importantly patterns to get you started.
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Making Handbags: Retro, Chic and Luxurious Designs
Making Handbags: Retro, Chic and Luxurious Designs by Nicole Malone (Paperback - 1 Aug. 2002)
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