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The Build a Bag Book

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Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Understanding the templates 8
Materials 12
Tools 14
Techniques 16
Debbie’s top tips 26
Glossary 27
The Projects 28
Simple 30
Crafty 34
Curved flap 38
Knot 42
Patchwork 46
Piped 50
Patch pocket 54
Purse with flap 58
Purse with zip 62
Foldaway 66
Quilted 70
Beach bag 74
Drawstring bag 78
Double pocket 82
Bow 88
A little something extra 92
Index 96


About the Author

Debbie Shore started her career as a children's television presenter and since then has appeared regularly on television both as an actress and selling products on a shopping channel. Debbie has also hosted live fashion shows with a major fashion store, produces her own range of instructional DVDs and writes for several popular sewing magazines. She is now a bestselling author and has written 12 books for Search Press, with several more under way. Debbie was voted Sewing Designer of the Year in the Immediate Media British Craft Awards 2017. She lives in Lincolnshire. Visit her website at www.debbieshoresewing.com.


Sew News Staff Pick - Find everything you need to create 15 stylish bags and design countless more with The Build a Bag Book & Templates. It contains easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions and is stored in a handy hardback folder with two sturdy, reusable templates, making it a valuable resource that you'll come back to again and again. 
*Sew News*

These two stunning new titles from Debbie convince us yet again that we can never have too many bags!  Each book comes in an attractive hard-back folder which also encloses a wallet containing two durable plastic templates, from which, by following Debbie’s impeccable instructions, it is possible to construct fifteen different bags from each book.  There is a bag for every taste and occasion, each beautifully presented in full colour, showing Debbie’s inspiring fabric choices.  Techniques including zipped pockets, magnetic closures and piping are all covered in detail, making these projects suitable for every level of sewing expertise.  Debbie also includes inspiring suggestions on adapting the templates to expand the design possibilities and create even more bags.  Outstanding value for money, these books are a definite must-have for every bag-loving sewer.
*East Kent Embroiderers’ Guild*

Debbie Shore has released two new bag making books in a new series of books with Search Press – the Build a Bag series. The first two books focus on Tote Bags and Occasion bags, each book containing instructions for 15 projects as well as tips on making your own variations of these designs. I hear that future books include backpacks and satchels. What differentiates these books from other bag making books is they both come with full size reusable plastic templates, so you can use them repeatedly without the wear and tear you normally get from paper patterns. They are thin plastic templates with slots for you to draw through to mark the shape of your bag, the flap or zip positioning. The templates are also transparent, so you can fussy cut your fabric. Each book has a handy plastic pocket inside the front cover to safely store your templates, so they don’t get bent or damaged. Both books start with a guide to using the templates, to the tools and techniques you will need to make the bags (with step by step instructions and colour photos) and some tip tips from Debbie. The bags themselves range in size and complexity and include clutch bags, large totes and handbags. Some of them do look quite similar with just a detail like the bag flap changed but there’s still several different styles and sizes contained in the books. The projects teach you different bag making techniques including adding zips, making pockets, sewing different shaped bag flaps, making piping, bag closures, making quilted bags, adding details like bows or applique etc. In her bag making tips Debbie lets the reader know which bag is the easiest one to start with. As with all her books the project instructions are easy to follow and have clear photos for every stage to help guide the reader. These books are ideal for those new to bag making and will help readers grow their bag making skills and confidence as they work through the projects. The plastic templates are a brilliant idea and a great bonus. I look forward to seeing the next books in this series.
*The Sewing Directory*

I always get excited when Debbie Shore brings out a new book. The 'Build A Bag' series is absolutely amazing. A brand new concept that is both original and simple, the 15 projects are stunning. The book and the reusable templates come in a folder and can be removed for easier usage. As always, the projects are beautifully presented and the instructions are simple to follow.  the step by step instructions come in both a visual and written format, and with additional hints and tips they can be adapted and embellished to your own design. Each project has a coloured diagram to show what piece of template to use. For both a beginner and an advanced sewist, this is one book that will be forever loved. The bags as you would expect are amazing, and all are absolutely useful. I can imagine my friends are going to love them. They are a perfect gift idea. The only problem is knowing which to sew first!! 
*Postcard Reviews*

Debbie Shore is well-known for her clear, instructional sewing videos and during lockdown, I watched many of them. But for those who don’t get on with online tutorials - which can be challenging when the computer screen is not in the same room as the sewing machine - her books are even better to follow! Tote Bags is the 3rd in her Build a Bag series, and the complete novice bag-maker will find her cutting out and assembling instructions could not be easier. Using the two durable and reusable templates provided with the book, Debbie shows you how to create 15 specific bag designs, then, when feeling more adventurous, mix and match and adapt the templates to create your own unique designs. Because the templates are semi-transparent and sturdy, they can be precision positioned (for fussy cutting) and drawn around so there’s no need for guess-work or pins. I particularly like this book for its A4 size and its bold, clear photographs of each stage of sewing: by following Debbie’s pictorial sequence of completion, you will be ensured the perfect finish. Committing your precious, just-off-the-loom masterpiece to the scissors can be a paralysing moment, but Debbie’s step-by-step instructions will support you all the way.
*Association of Guilds for Spinners, Weavers and Dyers*

From the minute I received my copy of this new book I just couldn't wait to get started.  It is great that it has a hard cover and pockets to keep the templates in.  Debbie takes you through the whole journey of how to make each tote bag so if you are a beginner there is plenty of help and references for you to look at if you are unsure. So far I have only made the "Sew simple tote bag", but I can't wait to get started on my next project which will be the, "Purse with Flap". I think that there will be a few friends that may be getting bags for their Christmas present
*Joan Whalen*

For a sewing book, this Debbie Shore book was easy to follow and understand. There are plenty of bag options the hardest bit of the book is choosing which to make first once you have your supplies in hand. Each pattern shows which piece of template is needed and there are clear picture instructions as well. Well done Debbie Shore I hope she brings out many more books in this type.

This is beautifully packaged and set out well for everyone to be able to achieve the tote bags. Each bag has informative instructions and easy to follow guidelines. Debbie's tips and techniques are also a helpful addition to the book and gives you a chance to try new ideas to enhance your bags. The Templates are wonderful for placing on your material to enable you to have the placement of stuff as you want it to be.
*Lynne Callister*

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