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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Review: Hip Handbags by Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader

Hip Handbags: Creating & Embellishing 40 Great-Looking Bags by Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader
Lark Books (March 3, 2009) ~ 128 pages
Non-Fiction / Crafts / Sewing / Handbags

Edition Reviewed / Special Thanks: Paperback - many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy to review!

Perfect for : Personal Use, Gift for a crafty person

In a nutshell: Hip Handbags is a fun and helpful book that will provide instructions to make 40 handbags, all based on seven basic bag designs (Messenger, Clutch, Tote, Tuck, Flirt, Vessel, Traveler).

The book includes helpful sections designed to give the reader some basic information on fabric, bag style, design, embellishment, preparations, and sewing basics. All of these are helpful in completing the included projects, as well as giving the reader the ability to veer off and start creating their own handbags based on the basic bag styles.

Extended Review:
Content: The book includes an Introduction, Design Your Bag, Handbag Basics, Beautify Your Bag, Embellished Bags, Prepare to Sew, Sewing 101, Project Key, Meet the Hip Handbags (Sections for projects under each of the seven handbag types: Messenger, Clutch, Tote, Tuck, Flirt, Vessel, Traveler), a Gallery of Totally Hip Handbags, Metric Conversion Chart, Meet the Designers, Acknowledgements, Index and Artist Index

Format: The informative sections prior to the actual projects are very helpful, providing some great basic information that I found particularly helpful (I am not a novice to sewing, but I'm close). Each project includes: a title, a Hip Index, the bag pattern the project is based on, a list of special materials or tools, fabric suggestions, a section that tells how the project differs from the basic pattern, hot tips, cool alternatives, and helpful tips for sewing. There are plenty of illustrations and photographs to help in understanding what to do.

Readability: With the included instructions, pictures and illustrations, the projects seem fairly easy to follow, and look like they will have great results.

Overall: This book provides crafty people with some very creative designs for handbags, all based on seven primary designs, and shows how changing small elements like the handle can give the handbag an all-new look. I love the designs in this book and can't wait until I've got the time to sit down and make some of them.

About the Book: (From the publisher)
Now it’s easier than ever to make your totes totally chic! Forty projects offer a wide variety of fabulous choices featuring great fabrics and design options, including novelty threads, raffia ribbon, straps made of jeweled necklaces and bracelets, embroidery, and more. Crafters will find 25 simple sewing projects, all originating from seven basic patterns, ranging from a flat folding purse to a pocketbook made from iridescent ruched silk. Another 15 designs use plain store-bought bags as a canvas for creative embellishments, such as transforming a simple black clutch with elegant silk flowers.
Examples from the Book:

About the Author: (From Amazon)
Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader works as an editor and is the author of Fun & Fabulous Curtains to Sew 9781579907945, Stylish Skirts 9781579907242 and many other books.

If you have reviewed this book and would like me to add a link to your review, please include a link in your comment!


bermudaonion said...

My handbags would never look like that!

Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

OH I love the flowered bag on the right! I have a Mom who knows how to sew so maybe I can get her to make me one because I know I probably couldn't do it LOL!

XOXO~ Renee

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