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Handbag Designer 101: Everything You Need to Know About Designing, Making, and Marketing Handbags Hardcover – September 5, 2011

3.4 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Handbag Designer 101 is the bible for those aspiring to make their own bags. Included in the book are instructions and patterns for creating fifteen essential styles—clutch, hobo, tote, and more—made simple with easy-to-follow how-to illustrations and advice from famous bag designers and today’s hottest indie designers. Also included is the inside scoop on turning your handbag hobby into a successful business. From designing to making to marketing, Handbag Designer 101 teaches you everything you need to know.

 

Author Emily Blumenthal is the founder of the Independent Handbag Designer Awards, a fashion event in New York City presented by InStyle magazine and sponsored by Swarovski, Timberland, Singer, BurdaStyle, and more. She spearheads the website handbagdesigner101.com and designed the Yasmena bag, a favorite on the red carpet that has appeared on Sex and the City and has been sold at discerning department stores including Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman, and Bloomingdales.

 

About the Author

Emily Blumenthal is the founder of the Independent Handbag Designer Awards and spearheads the website www.handbagdesigner101.com. She designed the Yasmena bag that has appeared on Sex and the City and has been sold at discerning department stores such as Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman, and Bloomingdale's.www.handbagdesigner101.com
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Voyageur Press; First edition (September 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760339732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760339732
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I admire the author for wanting to share this information. It is very obvious she is passionate about purses! Gotta love that! :)
However, the other aspects of this book were disappointing.

I DID spend a lot of money at Kinko's enlarging the patterns per the books instructions--1st off, I actually spent MORE money at Kinko's than I did on this book! I was annoyed that Full Size patterns weren't included--it is expensive to have them enlarged to the proper size and even worse to try to do it at home on a regular printer!--even if you did try to do it on a regular printer, there are no grid-marks or guidle ines to line up the multitude of pages you would need to print to enlarge them--and now that I know they have to be 400%--most home printers don't enlarge that high!
But nonetheless, I dropped the 5 patterns I wanted enlarged off at Kinkos and left--came back to $3.29 copies EACH and knew immediately that they were WRONG! I was *Steaming!!* mad--But worse-- I feel bad for anyone who would not realize this and then go through the process of trying to use these 200% copies to actually construct something! I am a little perplexed about why full-size patterns were not included ??? You can get them now in Magazines so it surely does not make sense why this book would not have them included.

The written instructions in the book are also not good--I don't think the author actually wrote the project construction instructions so I can't fault her for that- but I wish she would have had several people USE these written instructions and edited before putting them in this book.
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By TerryVC on November 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am usually very positive and look for the good in all things, but I am more than a bit disappointed in this book. I wish I had read all the reviews more carefully.

My first impression was that this was a good basic book for a beginning bag maker and that it provided good information about types of bags and the construction. However, when I thought I would stitch up a few of the bags to see if I could learn any new methods I ran into several problems. The patterns in the book are useless due to the reduced size. Full sized patterns should have been included like the other books I have purchased as resources for construction methods. Yes, the mistake in finding out that the enlargement should have been 400% instead of 200% came too late for me and could have been quite costly if I'd had enlargements made at $2.99 each. After cutting a muslin for several styles, I discovered that not only was the size of the bag very small, but that the pieces do not fit together properly. I have designed and made patterns for enough bags that this was apparent before I did any sewing. The directions are very sketchy, not in good order and certainly not for anyone who hasn't constructed many bags.

I bought the book more for the marketing advice than to make bags, but since the patterns and instructions are such a large part of the book, shouldn't they be correct? My advice is to forget the hardcover and include paper patterns.
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Format: Hardcover
I was so excited when i got this book because i love sewing and especially things i can wear. I am a beginner so when at first looking at the backpack section and pattern i didn't notice anything being wrong. so i went to the store and bougth all the supplies necessary to make my backpack which even after coupons totaled $40 but I didn't care because I thought i was going to go home and start making my dream backpack. It said enlarge pattern by 200%.....the body of the bag ended up the size of my hand so I went online to see what other people might have to say and found multiple super negative reviews. first off they said that even if you enlarge it by 400% instead they patterns still wouldn't work. so i saw that emily blumenthal, the author, apologized for the error saying 200% would be fine, but she never did correct it or even say that 400% would be fine. she was also linking people to a site with so-called corrections to the patterns which look exactly the same as the ones in the book. and when the pattern is printed out its even smaller and so if i was to enlarge that by 400% it would be even smaller than the first time i tried, and on most home printers you can't enlarge past 400% and if I'm going to have to go to kinkos to get them all enlarged properly for $3+ sheet and then go through the hassle of dealing with the apparent bad directions and horribly designed patterns id rather just go buy a $15 pattern. Very disappointed in this because I was so excited to make a backpack today.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think this book is a great graphic representation of some basic silhouettes that are classic, chic, and stylish -- It's a good starting reference point for inspiration. As I bought this book more for the patterns, and teaching myself from some basics, and less for the business advice, I'll shy away from critiquing that part of the book, and stick more to its technical merits as a "101" -- or beginners guide.

Basically, there's no "101" about it. If you think you're going to follow the pattern in the book and make a bag that looks exactly like the picture, that's just not the case. This book is not written for followers of patterns (because if you actually read it and try to follow it, it's insanely wrong.) I'm not really sure who the target audience is, because I assume if you already have some pattern making experience, this book would either be confusing or you wouldn't need to read it, except to look at the pictures for basic inspiration. The written and graphic instructions were done by a complete idiot. The instructions are incongruous with the pattern pieces, and the diagrams are confusing and not at all descriptive of what they are supposed to identify. Also, sizes for things like zippers are not specified.

This book could definitely use a good technical editor to work with the author to make more realistic understandable instructions, and maybe a photography session to illustrate more of the steps in the making process.

I would give it one star based on the way it's written, but the images are nice, and have definitely help me think out my own patterns. Also, it looks good on the coffee table!
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