Book Review--Bags: The Modern Classics

Before I even start, I'd just like to say that three years ago, when I was just a few days shy of graduating college, my book reviews were wholly different.  I'm glad my former professors don't read my blog.  Sorry guys.  Thanks for the education.


I'm not a bag hoarder.  Even designer bags are not a priority for me; I tend to buy one bag (usually a knockoff at TJ Maxx) and use it until it's literally falling apart--not unlike the three pairs of Target shoes I've thrown away since Halloween.  I have one really nice bag that my parents bought me for my birthday, and I don't even carry it to work--just on the weekends or at night.  I'd rather spend my money on clothes or fabric.

So I was hesitant to buy this book at first.  Originally, I kept thinking of Amy Butler's Style Stitches--my mom owns that book, and if it doesn't have a style, it simply doesn't exist.  But then I saw on the Spool Sewing class roster pictures from the book, and one of the bags caught my eye: the Rebecca bag.  I carry huge bags for work (with my commute, I need to carry shoes, my lunch, my laptop, books--everything) and this one looked great.  I'll mention it below.

I looked through it on a lazy trip to Barnes and Noble and decided I had to have it.  There are so many great bags in here, and it isn't a book that relies on you to enlarge templates or draw patterns from the tiny picture in the book.  It features patterns for everything, which are neatly folded in the back.  I love that.  I can't write my name correctly half the time; I sure as hell am not going to draw your clutch accurately.

Granted, because I'm not a bag person (ha ha--or maybe I am, seeing all the shit I schlep), not everything is my cup of tea.  I do prefer leather/fleather to fabric for my everyday purse, which is why I only carry my birthday bag on the weekends and at night.  But I make my work bags and my cosmetic bags, and there's nothing cuter than a quirky clutch when you're running to the store for something.  And there are plenty of those options in here.

One of my favorite aspects of this book is the difficulty rating: everything is rated, but even the most difficult (of course, the bag I coveted) doesn't look too bad when reading through the directions.  There are loads of pictures and everything is spelled out pretty well.  Sue Kim sells her patterns online, so she has experience and it shows.

I'm really excited to make my new bag (don't judge me after seeing how many projects I'm behind on) (PS--everything is now off the table and in an empty Sam Adams Summer Ale case.  Thanks Nick), once I figure out which fabric to use, and I'd love to make some small bags for my mom and my friends.

Here are some of my favorites!


The Glenda clutch looks like a quick sew and a great way to use some scraps.  It'd be really cute as a gift card holder for a birthday or Christmas.


I love the detail on things like adding magnetic snaps.  I had no idea how this was done!


My absolute favorite, the Rebecca bag.  It's big and has a top zipper so nothing falls out as I trip on the Metro.


I think my mom would like some of these Sunglasses Cases.  Probably one for each pair!


The Sweet Annemarie bag is on-point with the crossbody feature.  I'd remove the corsage from it--that's a bit too much for me--and use a neutral for the outside and a fun print (Amy Butler's Lark?) as the lining.


The Urban Carryall would be great for a trip: it holds a ton, and if it gets dirty, just throw it in the washer!

So I really recommend this book and can't wait to get started on my Rebecca bag.  Of course, that probably calls for new fabric.  What should I use??