Another Review at MyShelf.Com

The Build a Bag Book and Template Series
Satchels: Sew 15 Stunning Projects and Endless

BY Debbie Shore

Search Press
17 November 2019/ ISBN 9781782217688
How-To Books / Sewing

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


There is more inside this book than paper pages! The cover sports a ruler in imperial and metric and the whole is held together by an elastic strap. Why? Because inside the cover is a pocket of reusable plastic templates for making fifteen different satchels, plus as many variations as you can imagine.

Whatever your own views about plastic I think that having a template made from it is a good idea, because it is something you can use many times without it getting dirty or tatty. Search Press is adept at coming up with innovative ideas for their art and craft books, and this is a particularly good one. Satchels tend to be associated with school but have come of age with an array of pretty and practical designs that can be customized with the help of the template. This does not require pins as it is semi-transparent so you can see where to draw, and you can mix and match the various options once the basics have been mastered. There are instructions with staged photographic steps for fifteen bags and these include bags with various pocket types, straps for hand or shoulder wear, a variety of fastenings plus extra details like bows, different shaped straps and ideas for using more than one fabric. At the front there are pages showing how to use the template, plus tips for working with laminates and faux leathers, what fabric supports, threads, tools and hardware you will need plus how to make your own bias strips, make straps, pipe seams, make a zippered pocket and put in several modern types of clasp. There is a page of tips plus a useful Oops! troubleshooting page. Turn to the back for a glossary, index plus how to make a shoulder pad to slip onto the strap to make it more comfortable. This is definitely a book destined for my keeper shelf and one I heartily recommend to anybody who wants to make bags that are modern, attractive and useful.

Also new out in this series is a book on making backpacks. This contains a plastic template too plus fifteen different ways of making backpacks, rucksacks and drawstring bags. Make one with a teddy head, a useful bag for shoes or storing hair tools, bags with shaped corners and more. Finally at the back is a project for a cosmetic purse; another winner that adds a less featured type of bag to the sewist’s repertoire.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Half Yard Bags and Purses

If you cannot find a good range of general sewing tools and materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2020