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On the Go Bags - 15 Handmade Purses, Totes & Organizers: Unique Projects to Sew from Today's Modern Designers Paperback – January 7, 2016

4.4 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

You can never have too many bags...or bag patterns. Authors Lindsay Conner and Janelle MacKay have assembled an awesome collection of 15 bags, totes and organizers from some of the brightest names in sewing. The book features bags for a variety of skill levels, from beginner to advanced, and includes a section on bag-making basics, just in case you need a review. (Sew News, December/January 2016)

15 great ideas for keeping everything stored and in its place whilst you travel around. Projects are organized by skill level and there is a good basic techniques section. The book includes a laptop cover, bag insert, stroller caddy, organizers, totes, bags, sling, art case and more, even an unusual scarf with a zipper pocket. I would make that so that the zipper is concealed and on the inside for safety. Learn how to cut, pattern piece, do curved corners, use interfacings, make straps and closures, do piping and more. This book has great designs, tips and techniques as well as clear instructions, photographs and patterns. I like the tablet shoulder bag, art case and airport sling and the cover backpack pattern is my favourite. (Karen Platt yarnsandfabrics.co.uk, 12/18/15)

While most bag-sewing books focus on traditional handbags and purses, this collection curated by Conner (Modern Bee) and MacKay features totes and organizers suitable for a variety of purposes. With designs ranging from an infinity-style scarf with a zipped pocket to a wine bottle tote to a single-strap backpack, there's a bag to suit most styles and needs. The authors organize the bags into easy, intermediate, and advanced projects based on the skills required, and tutorials on basics such as making straps and adding closures are included. Sewists interested in refining their bag-making skills can work through the book in order, learning along the way. The directions are straightforward, and the work is divided into components, making the process user-friendly. Pattern pieces are included on a pull-out sheet. VERDICT Crafters who enjoy books by Sara Lawson (Big-City Bags) and Anna Graham (Handmade Style) will appreciate this eclectic collection. (Library Journal, January 2016)

Top sewing designers and bloggers share 15 unique organizers for everyday life. From a laptop folio or a gym bag to an airport sling or a trunk organizer, every tote has distinctive features to keep your essentials in easy reach. Each multi-use project is organized by skill level, from confident beginner to more advanced sewer. Also included are an overview of bag-making basics and pull-out patterns. (Notions, Winter 2016)

This book has three sections. In the first one, easy projects, you will find five simple designs, including a pocket scarf, laptop keeper and padded bag insert to turn a regular bag into a camera bag. The second section contains six intermediate projects such as a picnic blanket that folds into a tote bag, a travel toiletry organiser and a two-bottle gift bag. The last section has four advanced projects, including a snap-and-go sewing case, minivan organiser and a gym bag made with mesh fabric. The book has clear instructions and an extensive techniques section, making it very suitable to beginning sewers who lead a busy life and need many different bags! (Down Under Quilts, Issue 174)

About the Author

Lindsay Conner is a freelance writer, editor, and sewist. A Craftsy blogger and Baby Lock designer, she designs patterns for books and magazines. The author of Modern Bee, Lindsay lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and baby boy. lindsaysews.com, craftbuds.com

Janelle MacKay designs her own line of metal bag hardware and sewing patterns. When not filling bag-bling orders or shoveling snow, she's dreaming of warm places. Janelle lives in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada with her husband, 2 daughters, and son. emmalinebags.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: C&T Publishing / Stash Books (January 7, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1617451304
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617451300
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Block on December 24, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just finished perusing this book and am very happy to see the array of diverse projects! Directions look fairly comprehensive, especially for anyone with sewing experience. While one author lives in the US and the other lives in Canada, a variety of designers contributed these designs. Although one (negative) review claimed that hardware had to be ordered from the Canadian author, that is absolutely not true. I've seen most of the required hardware in my local big box stores and even some local quilt shops. I'm looking forward to making several of these projects and will update my rating and review after I've had the time to sew something!
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By TDM on December 22, 2015
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I love this book! I have been waiting for months for it to come out! I have other patterns from almost all of the designers in the book, and am looking forward to making almost everything in this book! I love that it has different bags, totes and even things to make for men, which is not easy to find! This is a great resource for making many different kinds of bags, and each and every one can be adapted in one way or another, which is always so fun to do!
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While I may be somewhat biased in my opinion of this book (I am friends with the authors and have a project included in the book), I honestly love the variety of bag, purse, and organizer projects it includes. I've personally sewn up 4 of the projects already and found the instructions and diagrams to be detailed and thorough on each one, and I can't wait to try out several others. This book is definitely a great value for the number of patterns you receive. Plus, since several bloggers and designers contributed to the content, perhaps you'll discover a new blog or bag designer to follow.
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The book is well written with lots of clear diagrams. Although the book is broken up by experience; easy, intermediate, and advanced, the projects are easy enough for all skill levels. I appreciate the intro includes various tips and that each project materials list is detailed and specific to include the types of interfacing and hardware that can sometimes be tricky to find. For example, listing an "all purpose" vs heavy duty vs #5 zipper. I am excited to get started. The airport sling will be my first project! My MIL wants to borrow the book to make the gym tote. I may have to get her a book of her own, her birthday is next week.
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Lindsay and Janelle have put together a wonderful book of sewing projects with a variety of useful bags and organizers. To be transparent, I am a contributing designer to this book. Last year, when I submitted my pattern, I had no other information about the other designs and projects. I didn't know what to expect and I could only hope that the finished book would be something I could recommend to my friends. The finished book is beautiful and so much more than I expected! I'm happy to recommend it to anyone that enjoys sewing bags, gift items, and home decor items.

These projects are practical and stylish. I think modern moms will love making such useable projects. Each of the designers contributed bags and organizer patterns that have a specific purpose. Do you need to be more organized at the store? There a shopping cart organizer for that. Traveling? There's a hands-free sling bag with pocket that makes your passport and ID easily accessible. You get a variety of sewing patterns, with a range of difficulty. Many of the projects make fun gifts too!

The instructions are clearly illustrated and all of the patterns have been successfully tested before publication. There are also lots of extra tips to help with new or tricky techniques.

Patterns from most of these designers are around $10. So for the cost of 2 patterns, you are getting 15! Not every project will appeal to every buyer, but if you see 3 or 4 things you'd like to make then the book is easily worth the price.
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This book is contains several different pattern designers that are some of the best in the bag pattern writing industry. I have purchased a lot of their patterns separately, so it's awesome to have this collaboration with a great collection of projects.

My favorite thing about the book is that the pattern pieces included are not overlapped on the page. (Most pattern books have a lot of overlapping pieces.)

The book is organized by beginner, intermediate, and advanced patterns, so by the time a beginner makes it to the end of the book, they should be able to make all of the projects. There are a lot of helpful construction tips at the beginning of the book that are applicable to all patterns.

Definitely happy with my purchase!
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This is a great book with a huge variety of bags by Lindsay Conner of Lindsey Sews and Janelle MacKay of Emmaline Bags. There's a gym bag, stroller caddy, art tote, you get the idea. All are written with detailed instructions and easy to understand illustrations. My favorite project from the book is the Mom’s Minivan Organizer by Sara of Radiant Home Studio. I see a lot of ladies using a large tote such as this to take their sewing materials to class when I teach a workshop! I think this is genius! Really handy, very sturdy, and a great size for fitting into the back of your car! Get this book!!!
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