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The Better Bag Maker: An Illustrated Handbook of Handbag Design Paperback – 4 Apr 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • The Better Bag Maker: An Illustrated Handbook of Handbag Design
  • +
  • The Bag Making Bible: The Complete Guide to Sewing and Customizing Your Own Unique Bags
  • +
  • Sew Brilliant Bags: Choose from 12 Beautiful Projects, Then Design Your Own
Total price: £35.95
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Stash Books (4 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607058057
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607058052
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 1.4 x 25.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 257,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product description

Review

Bags are a popular project for sewists of all levels-they're a great way to showcase favorite fabrics, without all the fuss of garment fitting. The first third of Mallalieu's book focuses on step-by-step tutorials for techniques specific to sewing bags, such as choosing interfacing, preparing and attaching pockets (including zippered pockets), and attaching hardware such as snaps, clasps, purse feet, and strap rings. These lessons are followed by a basic tote pattern with detailed instructions, placing the techniques within the context of an actual bag pattern and allowing novices to build confidence. The other ten designs feature a variety of styles, from chic overnight bags to a stylish satchel to a convertible backpack-tote, and all of the patterns expand on the skills and methods covered at the beginning of the book. Pattern sheets are included. VERDICT While these plans are useful, the technique tutorials are the highlight here-they contain information that can be applied to many bag patterns, not just the ones in this collection. Sewists of every ability level will appreciate having a wealth of bag-making information in a single volume. Library Journal, March 2014 If you are going to purchase just one book on making bags, this should be it. It is comprehensive for all techniques required to make spectacular bags from zippers, handles, pockets, lining and more. This should also be a "must have" for any teacher that facilitates classes on making bags or totes. No doubt about it, with this book you'll definitely be a Better Bag Maker! sewcalgal.com, 4/13/14 Nicole is a bag-making expert and this book is perfect for the person who: a) likes bags. b) wants to make bags. c) wants to make bags that won't fall apart after a few uses. Is this you? Because it's definitely us. What's fun about The Better Bag Maker is that each bag tutorial in the book is a slightly-tweaked version of the same pattern. They start simple (hi, beginners) and end with fairly advanced techniques (we're looking at you, people-who-can-confidently-sew-zippers). Tools and materials are pretty basic (a functional sewing machine, scissors, fabric, interfacing), but Nicole definitely explains the what and how of all the extra goodies that will take your bag making to the next level. You'll learn how to use interfacing to reinforce your projects, how to add hardware, and why straps are important. Creative Bug, 6/16/14 Learn professional techniques, shortcuts, and secrets for making couture bags with this new book, The Better Bag Maker: An Illustrated Handbook of Handbag Design by Nicole Mallalieu. 10 skill-building projects, fully explained with detailed tutorials and illustrations, make this book a source of inspiration and instruction. Internationally recognized handbag designer and founder of the blog YOU SEW GIRL!, Nicole Mallalieu, shares her professional secrets, shortcuts, and techniques for sewing fashionable bags. FabShop News, June 2014 This book by Melbourne-based designer Nicole Mallalieu is a must have if you want to learn to make your own bags. Apart from the 10 fresh and modern projects-ranging from a simple tote bag to a denim weekender with zippered and twist-lock closures-it contains chapters about tools and materials (with a useful interfacing guide) and basic bag-making techniques, such as pockets, straps, bag bases and closures. The instructions are clear with lots of photos and illustrations. Down Under Quilts Magazine, June 2014 Nicole is an internationally recognized handbag designer, and here she shares with you her professional techniques shortcuts and secrets for making couture bags. Set apart a homemade bag from a handmade bag! The projects in this book are graded and ordered by degree of difficulty and will teach you a range of expert skills from adjusting the proportion of the pattern to constructing pockets, straps, flaps and bases. Quilter's Digest, June 2014 If you have an addiction to bags, like me, its a great plan to start creating your own. Learn how to make gorgeous, sturdy, purses and tote bags that you'll be proud to wear around town. These quality patterns make quality bags that are ideal for a wide variety of occasions and events. The Better Bag Maker by Nicole Mallalieu is the only book that you will need to learn how to make bags. This purse sewing pattern book is a comprehensive guide full of technique, tips, tricks, and simple-to-read patterns. AllFreeHolidayCrafts.com, June 23, 2014 I have been a fan and customer of Nicole Mallalieu's for several years. This book is like having her do a private class! The instructions are very clear and detailed and fun. The lesson plan is progressive - building each bag on previous lessons and the basics section. You won't be disappointed. I am an experienced bag maker, yet this book is full of great new tips. Everything is so clearly illustrated with drawings and photos. It is a terrific book for both those new to sewing, and those who have been sewing for decades. Highly recommended. Very pleased with the purchase, and a bargain, as the book has a full complement of patterns. Most handbag instruction books are those that are just bags, nothing special. This book shows quality well-made bags with very good instructions. I have been wanting to up my game with my bag making and this book will show me how. Chock full of techniques that will make my bags look like they were store bought, not handmade. Been studying and will get to work on a project soon. Can't wait. 8/11/14

About the Author

Nicole Mallalieu was born to sew! She has been sewing obsessively since the age of 3. Currently, Nicole designs purse, hat, and garment patterns and teaches bag-making for YOU SEW GIRL!, which she founded in 2003. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been looking for a bag book like this for a long time. I have loads of bag books with fantastic bags but the instructions are mostly sketchy. When I make a bag I am often disappointed with the zippers I have put in which are untidy. Nicole has some great tips for securing fabric pieces and zippers while you sew and I can't wait to get stuck into my first bag. Also, there are instructions for resizing any of the bags.

Pictures are included with the instructions which help tremendously. Yes, some of the instructions are quite complex (as is the case with any intricate bag) but if you take the time to follow the pictures and read carefully it becomes clear. I wouldn't dream of doing a hard square bottom but I will now. I also like her array of professional looking handles and with all the patterns to go with her example bags, its an absolute steal. Yes, you can get some of these tips off the internet but not all in one place.

Finally, he bag at the end of the book which converts into a backpack is exactly what I have been looking for this past year now that I don't have a car. This pattern alone would cost me the price of the whole book. Well done, Nicole.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent - clear instructions and tips to make professional looking bags. I have a number of bag making books and this is the best one. It includes a pattern which can be altered to make bags of any size. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting and informative book. Fast response and delivery thank you very much.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is way better than Lisa Lam's...almost glossy paper, very well organised and there is no need to jump pages in searched of tips and infos! Mallalieu did an excellent job helping beginners understand the fundamental of bag making. It is still a bargain for the advanced group as just like the book says, one simple pattern is all you need to create a bevy of bags, from totes to backpacks to weekenders. Unleash your creativity, the imagination is yours! They are 10 types of bags to try in total and each is graded with beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate, confident and beyond. It is full of techniques, tips and tricks. Lots of photos to accompany your 'journey'. A definitely 5 out of 5 for it! Beginners, grab this book, you will not regret it! Thank you Amazon for the prompt delivery.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not what I was expecting. Having "cut my teeth" by making several items from Lisa Lam's book 'The Bag Making Bible', I wanted to improve my skills to make better bags (my interpretation of the title). This book concentrates on one pattern and how to make many versions not what I wanted. The book has remained untouched ever since.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very good instructions. Have used the book to make one bag, but then designed my own using the book as a reference for techniques and ideas.
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Format: Paperback
I love how professional these bags look, not home sewn at all

I usually buy Kipling bags as they're lightweight, full of pockets & pretty too, but they are expensive. Now I can start making my own
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been making bags for many years (probably more than Ms Mallalieu herself) and just bought the book for some new inspiration as I am admittedly not great at pattern designing. Her bag patterns in this book are lovely indeed but that's about it. I don't think she is a particularly good bag maker at all! All the instructions and explanations are so overly complicated that I would not have understood anything if I had not known how to do certain things. For example I can't believe how complicated she makes it to put in an internal zip which is usually done within 5 minutes. With her techniques it would take forever. And why attach the facing to the bag body, then construct the lining and attach it to the facing which is so much more complicated than just attach the lining to the facing and then the whole thing onto the main bag body. The fabrics she uses in the book are really awful as well which makes it difficult for a beginner to see the beauty of the bag models through the ugly outside.

If I were a novice bag maker who wants to learn new techniques it I would have been utterly put off by this book, thinking that it was all far beyond my skills. I don't recommend this book to anyone who still wants to learn, and can only recommend Lisa Lam's books "The bag making bible" and "A bag for all reasons". These are so much better and explain things in an easy and understandable way, just the opposite to this book.
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