all my own work by ann

Sewing and textiles with Ann

Maker’s Atelier Book Bag

I have decided that this design in The Essential Collection book, is worthy of its own post.

As I write this, I have made 5 1/2! In fact, I have run out of thread part way through number 6, and am waiting its arrival from an online order.

The method described is neat, robust, and imminently suited to adjustment.

Number 1 was blogged as part of this post.

IMG_0748I use it a lot. This is the small bag, lined. Sometimes it goes with me to the supermarket. but more likely I will take it into town, or containing gifts when I go to visit the family. Yes. Mum knew what I was talking about when I mentioned the ‘London bag’.

A few months ago a friend gave me some fabric, saying I could make more use of it than she could. Its an old jacquard table cloth; quite hardy and quite large. So I decided that I would re-purpose it in the form of presents for each of the girls.


The bags (above right, hanging on a coat hanger) are an inbetween size – between the small and large bags as detailed in the book. It works! I lengthened the handles slightly too, as I think that the original small bag handles are a little bit short. I positioned them in the same place as for the small bag. They are all lined, with fabric that I bought for lining bags ages ago; before I owned The Essential Collection. And I won the thread in the raffle at SewBrum last year! But there isn’t enough of it to make 4 bags; I need more!

Although I paid for the lining fabric, the rest of the resources for the bags I have acquired for free. So excellent use of resources for re-purposing!

I have had trouble sourcing another resource – the petersham that goes round the top of the bags and helps give a robust finish to the handles. I have searched Birmingham and parts of the internet. So when I run out of Petersham I have used herringbone webbing and some lighter weight Petersham ribbon.

So that’s 5 of the bags. The 6th is a significant departure, although the method is the same again. It’s a shoulder bag. The bag is smaller, the handles are a lot longer – maybe slightly too long, and they are positioned towards the outer side of the bag. Its made from a relatively solid jersey, which is perhaps a mistake. I lined it to give it some solidity. The fabric may not work very well, but as a toile for an interesting woven fabric sometime in the future, it has been a success.


Oh, and one of the friends due to get one of the bags, gave me the Essential Collection for my birthday, so two of my friends will be ‘getting back’ from gifts that they have given to me.

I recommend this design to you! Thank you Frances at the Maker’s Atelier.


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