Book Review: Hip Handbags

This collection of forty bags based on seven basic designs, serves as a nice introduction to constructing and designing the perfect bag for any occasion. Beginning with selecting the right fabrics for the exterior and linings, Shrader then covers the incidentals like strap attachments, closures, adding flaps or pockets and a wealth of embellishments. Each design begins with the construction of the basic style before moving on to more detailed work, usually involving decorative stitching or appliqué. Every design comes with a “Hip Index” to assist the fashion impaired as well as easily enlarged patterns, typically in a scale of 1 square = 2 inches.

Some designs like the Funky Chicken purse with its chicken wire exterior frame, are a bit extreme. Most are similar to the Bubble Bag which takes full advantage of fabric design and positive/negative values to create an impact. Experienced seamstresses looking for more advanced techniques will be disappointed but for the beginner, this is a good place to start expressing your creativity on a small scale.

Further Reading on M&C