Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Style and Swing Bag Making Book

Many of you have probably come across Susan Dunlop aka. Susie D Designs through her bag patterns in magazines, including Sewing World Magazine and Love Sewing.  When I heard she was writing a whole book on bag making I was very excited.


I've been wanting to have a go at bag making for ages but just hadn't had time to get around to it.  Now I have Julie working on The Sewing Directory I actually have a couple of days a week off to sew.  So when I got a review copy of Susan's book I just had to make one of the many beautiful bags in the book.

Hobo Handbag

I decided to make the Hobo Handbag as pictured above.  I have to admit I spent ages trying to pick the perfect fabric, the one Susan used in the book was so pretty it was hard to find something as good, but I think I managed it with Cloud 9's Peacock print from Alegria (a 2012 collection).  I'd been stashing it for a while waiting for the right project and this was it.

The most time consuming part of the whole project was the cutting and interfacing, I spent most the morning doing that.  But the instructions were simple to follow plus the book has full size patterns for you to trace and use.   Books with patterns that require sizing up totally put me off so it's a definite plus point for this book.

One of the reasons I picked this project was that you didn't need any special bag making supplies other than a magnetic snap (but you could use velcro if you don't have a snap).  The actual construction was quick and simple, I added a few extra pockets internally so I could fit everything in, this is simple to do.  The instructions were easy to follow, not confusing at all and there were useful diagrams to help guide you too.

The most difficult part was the final stitching when sewing through 4 layers of fabric and several layers of interfacing, it got a bit tricky but all turned out ok in the end.  I was very impresed with my finished bag, this is the first handbag I've ever made.

Although I split the project over 2 days you could easily make this in one day.  There are several other bags in the book I want to make, especially now I know how easy the book is to follow.

I think this will have to be my next one, it looks really spacious.  I'm thinking it'd be a good project bag for taking supplies to my sewing group.  It'd also be a good beach bag too.

I also like the look of this bag too as a bigger handbag, I like wearing cross body bags.   You can see more of the bags in her book on the look inside feature on Amazon. 

When it comes to buying the book through do pop over the Susan's site, not only is it available early there (not published on Amazon until the 28th May but available on her site now) but it's £5 cheaper than Amazon and comes signed!

I think the book is great, and even if you haven't made a bag before it's easy to follow and covers all the bag construction techniques you need.  She has rated the projects by difficulty, the one I picked was an advanced beginner one but was still simple given that I've never made a bag before.

 Hopefully this is the first of many projects that I'll get to sew now that I have a little more free time :)

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