Friday, 20 September 2019

Bags One For Me!

I have reviewed Clare Youngs craft books before [Scandinavian stitching, Christmas Crafting, Paper Crafting, Book Art] I think she is an very gifted crafter- and more than that, an excellent teacher. Her books are always carefully written, well illustrated, full of helpful tips and diagrams. So I was really pleased to come across one of her books I had not read before in a Bournemouth Library last week.
This is her second book, in print for ten years now, so I'm surprised I've not found it before.  It's really 'on trend' because it contains 35 bags all designed to be crafted from recycled fabrics you have already - a winter coat, a silk scarf, an old blanket, a felted sweater, a tea towel, packaging, unwanted curtains, old shirts - plus a necklace, some buttons, and garment labels.
There are 5 sections - purses[ie what we Brits call handbags], shoulder bags, shoppers&totes, evening bags and kid's bags.
I am not sure which one I would like to make, but they have inspired me to consider producing a few bags from my Great Stash of fabrics.
I like the way she makes her bags personal by stitching a little tag into the side seam- either an embroider bit of tape, or a piece of ribbon or folded fabric. A little finishing touch to make it special.
This bag is made from packaging, sandwiched between plastic sheeting. It reminds me of the tote bag I was given when I went to the WWDP conference in Austria- that was plasticised coffee bags sewn together. Clare's books are clearly popular in other countries too. The English edition has the evening bag made from a silk scarf on the cover - but the German one features a patchwork weekend bag 
Yes- that does mean bag-lust! But I have too many bags already, I think I could only justify making some if I was planning to give them away!
For the inspiration it has given me, coupled with clear clear explanation of techniques, and suggestions for tweaking her designs, Clare definitely scores another *****


  1. It sounds a very useful book. The bags look great! I, too, am of the, "I have too many bags," faction but since I mainly cycle nowadays, I've not been interested in buying any new bags since CBC bought me a comfortable Cath Kidston rucksack last Christmas which I've used exclusively since. Before that, it was his Dad's old Berghaus day hiking rucksack. I struggle to use a bag that isn't capacious enough for the kitchen sink esp since being on the refusing packaging train!

  2. That sounds like a great book! I checked to see if our libraries have a copy, but, they don't.

  3. What a lovely book. I have to increase my stash of bags as more and more stores (in Canada) are no longer providing bags. I saw a beautiful bag the other day, $40 which I think would be about 25 pounds. Lovely but really it was just canvas with some witty quote stenciled upon it. I can find just as useful ones in the charity shop and add a decoration for a tenth of the price.

    1. A CS one which you buy cheaply and personalise will be much more special than an expensive designer one


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