Handbag Workshop

Design and Sew the Perfect Bag

Anna M. Mazur
The Taunton Press, Inc.
Pub Date: Oct 14 2014

When I picked up Handbag Workshop I was honestly expecting something different. The other bag books I have read or purchased are honestly more ‘crafty’. I love quilting, so making quilted bags is sort of my thing – though I have several knitted and felted bags in my stash. This? This is something much different. And I mean that in an “OMG, this is INCREDIBLE! Sort of way.

The bags in this book are, in a word, stunning. That doesn’t mean that my quilted bags aren’t – but these are bags that you might pick up in a quaint little shop in Italy or Paris. They are made of leather and/or high quality tapestry, and beautiful fittings. Anna Mazur’s book is somewhat of a work of art itself. She starts you out slowly, teaching bag forms, such as the 1950s Princess Grace Kelly trapezoid-shaped tote designed by Hermes and now known as the Kelly Bag. Beginner bags, intermediate and advanced level bags, from simple pouch style zippered bags to a Shaped Cube Drawstring Bucket Bag, each of the bags included in the book are small works of art. Works of art which, of course, require the right tools and materials. Tools and materials? Anna Mazur leads you through everything you need to create these bags, based upon the needs of each bag’s materials. She is extremely clear in all of her instructions, from materials to neat little tricks to make your work easier to complete in order to create a stunning bag.

With all of the positives in the book, my favorite part? The photos. Anna has taken gorgeous step-by-step photos which lead you through the making of each bag without questioning whether or not I am doing something wrong. The tools list is broken out for each bag so that you don’t have to purchase any materials you don’t need in order to complete the bag you are working on.

Overall? If you are looking for simplistic bag making, sans zippers and other fittings, I can recommend other books which will meet your needs perfectly. If you want to create a bag (or let’s face it – multiple bags!) that will astound everyone who sees it, and make all of your friends achingly jealous, you really must buy a copy of this book. It is Gorgeous, well written, beautifully photographed, easy to follow, and one of those books that will take pride of place on your art bookshelf.

I received this book from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own. If you are interested in creating bags of true beauty and elegant design, you can’t go wrong with Anna Mazur’s Handbag Workshop.