Book Review: OK, so I had a bit of help…

Thanks for the lovely comments on my new bag make earlier this week.  I feel pretty chuffed with myself, could you tell?

So the pattern was self-drafted, but I had a little something to help me through:

The Bag Making Bible, by Lisa Lam

I’ve actually had this for nearly a year, but on first flick through, I wasn’t too taken with it.  It’s organised as a sort of meander through bag-making – there’s an introduction, then a project, then some information about materials, another project, a technique or two, and so on.  I just ended up confused.  And I have to admit, I do have a slight resistance to any book with ‘Bible’ in the title – so often it’s a setup for a major let-down.

But actually, this is a gem of a book, if you start off from the crucial page:


Yes, the index!  In a way, the ‘Bible’ bit makes sense – this isn’t the kind of book you’d read from cover to cover in one sitting, it’s the kind you’d dip into for advice about this or that, relevant to the situation in hand.  So I’d be merrily making my bag, and thinking “how on earth do I put a zipped pocket in the lining…?” Quick-check in the index, and ta-da, there’s a lovely 4-page step-by-step guide in the middle of the book.  Lisa Lam definitely takes the panic out of attempting a new technique.  After I’d managed this:

…I thought “well, that wasn’t too hard!” – a mark of a truly well-written craft book.

The book comes with a pattern sheet for all the projects featured – I haven’t actually tried any yet…

…but I have learned about interfacing v interlining, magnetic snaps, zips and pockets, handles, inserting the lining… the photos, explanations, and tips are excellent.


All in all, a fab book – “a complete creative guide to sewing your own bags” as it says on the tin.  Best read (if you’re anything like me) when you’re in the midst of a project, rather than before.  Just remember, start with that index.

1 thought on “Book Review: OK, so I had a bit of help…

  1. A good indexer is worth her weight in gold – it’s a fascinating skill. Too often, non-fiction books don’t have indexes. Why not?! Publishers scraping around to save money, but they’re so essential on books like this. I’ve often fancied the look of this one!

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