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Check It Out: Are bags your bag? Then try these books

March 13, 2014|By Tamara Henn

What's the one accessory most women can't live without? Why, a handbag, of course!

Designer purses are more popular than ever, but they can also be quite expensive. If you covet the look and quality of a high-end bag that won't break the bank, consider making one of your own.

The Newport Beach Public Library is well-stocked with craft books on sewing and embellishing handbags. Indulge your passion for purses with this extraordinary collection of titles:

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"Bags — a Knitters' Dozen," edited by Elaine Rowley: Both knitting novices and seasoned experts will appreciate the eclectic mix of "Knitter's Magazine" patterns featured in this portable guide. Projects include totes, pocketbooks, beach bags and backpacks in felt, wool, metallic yarns and other luxurious fabrics.

"Crafty Bags for Stylish Girls: Uniquely Chic Purses, Pouches & Pocketbooks" by Elizabeth Ingrid Hauser: This children's title offers an enticing array of projects that will inspire the "tween" crowd to create the bag of their dreams. Many of the designs can be easily assembled with a glue gun or craft glue. Girls who want their handiwork to reflect their own signature style will be especially pleased with the variety of purses, bags and accessories in this volume.

"Purse Pizzazz" by Marie Browning: If you love the look of designer handbags but hate to sew, this is the book for you! Even non-crafters can easily adorn cigar boxes and simple totes with beading, appliqué, decoupage and cabinet hardware. Each project idea is accompanied with precise instructions and a large high-quality photograph.

"The Decorated Bag: Embellishing Handbags, Purses, and Totes" by Genevieve A. Sterbenz: Sterbenz presents her collection of 50 designs to transform inexpensive, readymade bags into designer inspired originals. This lavishly illustrated reference provides detailed instructions on how to decorate purses using rhinestones, beads, vintage buttons, lace and other adornments. Most of the techniques are simple enough for even those with very limited sewing experience, making this an excellent choice for beginners.

"Carry Me: 20 Boutique Bags to Sew" by Yuka Koshizen: Japanese handbag designer Koshizen shares her expertise in sewing high-end fabric purses, totes and laptop bags. Experienced crafters who are eager to hone their skills will be inspired by these innovative designs. This comprehensive resource includes full-size patterns, step-by-step instructions and numerous illustrations.

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