Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sew Awesome...just sayin'

Sew *ahem* So, there is a book out there that I think should be on every sewers shelf. This book would be Sew What! Bags by Lexie Barnes and it's the perfect book for people like me. I love bags, I really do. I'm called "bag lady" as I have been known to keep a bag in a bag in a bag(did you follow that?). I love sewing, but I have never been one to use patterns. They intimidate and I can usually figure things out on my own anyways when it comes to simple concepts. This book is perfect because it shows you the fundamentals of making bags of all forms without a pattern. With these skills you can make any bag you want and make it totally customizable. It is like hiring a fashion designer, but it's cheaper because all it takes is the cost of the book! I really urge you to check it out. Oh, and another thing, the book is spiral bound so the pages can lay flat while you are working. Genius!

Inside the Book:
Chapter 1 How to Use This Book - This section is helpful and should not be skipped over. Reason being is that this book is written in a way that gives you more freewill than others and it is best to get use to how it flows before you get yourself into a project. It gives you indication of what is free about the creating process and how to go about it to get the result you want. It will also help you understand involved tools, fabrics and notions, the variations of them, what they do, and why you need them.
Chapter 2 Sewing Basics - This section explains stitches and techniques, and when to use them.
Chapter 3 Warm Up Projects - These projects are smaller simpler projects. They are great examples to show how one technique from one project can help you create a whole range of projects. They are just variations of the same techniques. These include, but are not limited to, an eyeglasses case, Diaper Case, Knitting Wristlet, Sandwich Bag, Business Card Case, Lip Balm Lanyard, Tissue Pouch, Grocery Bag Tube, Map Sack,and Zippered Wristlet. Just goes to show you how one project can lead to a bunch of other seemingly unrelated projects.
Chapter 4 Totes - This section is about all the different variations of totes.
Chapter 5 Drawstring Sacks - Can be anywhere from backpacks to holders
Chapter 6 Messenger Bags - These are a range of messenger bags. This is my favorite section, but I could be bias because I really love messenger bags and I really love the fabric choice in the "City Satchel".
Chapter 7 Organizers - This includes, but again not limited to, a tool apron, artists roll(for paint brushes, knitting needles, crochet hooks, ect.), tool holster, and caddy.

All of the projects listed above can be seen as an example by going to

I have made two wristlets with the book guiding me when I was having a brain fart. They are not a good representation of the wonderful skills that the book can offer, but they are all I have made so far. Both were similar with some improvements to the the one pictured. The hand beading was actually quite calming, so if you like that effect I suggest trying it out. This one was sent to claire313 for the Ongoing Wish Swap 63.
(Photos compliments of claire313)

This book is part of the Sew What! series, so if bags are not your thing, or you want more types of projects, you can choose another subject offered in the series. Currently the other parts of the series are Sew What! Skirts by Francesca DenHartog and Sew What! Fleece by Carol Jessop

Sew what are you waiting for?