I picked up a number of books on bag making looking for design ideas, inspiration, and even patterns to try out, and one of the books I picked up was Sew the Perfect Bag which is published by a magazine I read – Sew News. Most of the books on totes and handbags seem to be pretty simple – and unfortunately this book isn’t too different. The majority of the projects included are super simple – things that even a beginner sewer probably wouldn’t need instructions or patterns to make. With that being said, there are a few more complex patterns included as well.
Some of the simple projects include a mesh bag, a laundry bag, a few different totes, a bangle bag and other similar projects. More complex patterns include those for a diaper bag and a jewelry bag. There are a few embellishment ideas to jazz things up a little bit, but most of the projects rely on pretty fabrics to add any interest. The one design I did think was really cute was a bag made from a shrunken woolen sweater, though that is likely due to my love of wool felt!
There are a number of photos of the different project steps, however for some of the project steps they suggest flipping to different areas of the book for more clear instructions. While I think this is fine for an experienced sewer who would know what “box the corners” or “bag the lining” means, a less experienced sewer might get frustrated with this terminology for such otherwise simple projects. That being said, I can appreciate a book that gets right into the projects rather than spending half the book explaining techniques and ‘how to sew’ directions.
One additional note – this book was printed in 2010 – but wow does the cover photo look old-fashioned and out-of-date!