Hello! My name is Jessica Barrera and I’m thrilled to announce the release of my new book, Making Bags, A Field Guide, and to celebrate its release with a special book tour! There are nine talented designers, makers and influencers who are participating in the tour by either reviewing the book or making one of the projects from the book. At each stop of this virtual tour, each participant will be giving away an e-copy of my book! Follow along to learn more about my book and discover other amazing artists and companies along the way.
Since I started sewing, I couldn’t help but wonder why the handmade bags I created didn’t have the same appeal as store-bought bags. I became determined to learn how to make professional-looking bags on a domestic sewing machine, and now, after years of bag making and sewing, I’m proud to share this essential guide with you.
Whether you’re just starting your sewing journey, or a seasoned stitcher, this book will become your essential guide to bag making.
Within its pages you’ll learn the foundational knowledge about bag making, build the confidence to explore new materials and techniques, and there’s five skill-building projects to get you started.
This book has been written to grow your bag making skill set as you move through the chapters and onto the projects, leaving you armed with knowledge and eager for more. It has been divided into three parts, which makes it great for skill building, and also easy to jump around to find the information you need.
Part 1 is Bag Basics. I share information and tips about the following:
- Types of Bags,
- Fabrics and Interfacing,
- Hardware (including basic hardware tutorials),
- Handbag Zippers,
- and Notions for Bag Making.
Part 2 is Key Skills. This chapter begins to dive a little deeper. I explain the following:
- Parts of a Bag,
- My best tips for Structure & Shaping,
- Information and tutorials for Closures, Pockets, Straps & Handles,
- and Bag Care.
Lastly, Part 3 includes five, skill-building projects.
The first project is Quilted Pouches. This stylish project is the perfect place for beginners to start. It’s a modern take on a classic, quilted zipper pouch using soft faux leather or natural cork fabric and minimalist quilting for additional texture.
The next project is a Fold-Over Crossbody Bag. In order to continue to build your bag-making confidence, the Fold-Over Crossbody Bag has been designed with similar steps as the Quilted Pouches. This convenient crossbody has a trendy design with contrasting accents. There’s plenty of space inside to store essentials, and the adjustable strap can be removed to carry this bag as a clutch.
The third project is a Beginner Tote. This medium-size tote has lots of room for storage from the depth of the boxed corners. The addition of pockets makes this bag very functional for students, professionals, light travel, or everyday use. The Beginner Tote has been designed with similar steps as the Quilted Pouches so you become more comfortable with the process.
The next project is one of my favorite designs of the book which is a Hobo Bag. Sophisticated and stylish, this Hobo Bag was designed with minimal details to gradually expand your bag making expertise, but also to pair effortlessly with everything in your closet.
And to cap off the projects, I concluded the book with a Handbag design. By the end of the book, hopefully you’ll feel prepared to tackle a more challenging style of bag and put your knowledge to the test. This handbag has been designed to make a sophisticated statement everyday. The convenient side pockets give easy access to small essentials and the roomy interior provides space for larger items secured with a zipper closure.
So now it’s up to you to decide if you’re ready to embark on the adventure of bag making!
I hope you’ll enjoy reading this book, and making the projects I’ve designed for you. I’m truly grateful to have authored this book. It’s one of my life’s greatest achievements, and I hope it will inspire you to never stop learning and creating.
Now, I invite you to follow along with the book tour, where you’ll have the chance to win a copy of my book! Each virtual host has their social media linked.
Bag Making: A Field Guide Virtual Book Tour Schedule
- Monday, July 3rd, 2023: Kick-off post on the Sallie Tomato Blog, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Tuesday, July 4th, 2023: Emily Lemke, The Preppy Needle on Instagram.
- Wednesday, July 5th, 2023: Sarah Thomas, SARIDITTY, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Thursday, July 6th, 2023: Christine Welsh, ChrisW Designs, Instagram.
- Friday, July 7th, 2023; Julia Passafiume, Old Spool Sewing, Instagram.
- Saturday, July 8th, 2023: Jessica Dayon, Instagram.
- Sunday, July 9th, 2023: Jesy Kessel/Anderson, Needle, Ink and Thread, Facebook , Instagram , and TikTok.
- Monday, July 10th, 2023: Pia Sirvent, Mrs. Ginger Handmade, Instagram.
- Tuesday, July 11, 2023: Kat Riley, Sew Original, Instagram.
- Wednesday, July 12, 2023: Hilarie Wakefield Dayton, Little Stitch Studio, Instagram.
Interact with any of the posts on my virtual tour for a chance to win an ebook copy of Making Bags, A Field Guide! Winners will be announced on Friday, July 14th on the Sallie Tomato Blog, so make sure to check back in!
Shop Making Bags, A Field Guide at C&T Publishing
About Jessica Barrera
Jessica Barrera, an author, designer, educator, and entrepreneur, has been creatively sewing and crafting since the age of five. She studied entrepreneurship at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and now operates her own sewing pattern and supply company, Sallie Tomato. Her innovative designs and products aim to attract the next generations of sewing enthusiasts while appealing to current makers. Aside from running a business, she’s a mom of two boys, loves coffee, home decorating, boutique shopping, traveling, yoga, being outdoors, and is a fan of classic movies. Find her on Instagram @sallietomatopatterns.