Book Review – Making Bags: A Field Guide!

Book Review - Making Bags: A Field Guide by Jessica Barrera
Book Review - Making Bags: A Field Guide by Jessica Barrera

Making Bags: A Field Guide! by Jessica Barrera “Sallie Tomato” is a next-level bag-making book for your library to help with creative makes.

I was lucky to be contacted about helping to share this book with my followers and students! I love books about techniques, troubleshooting, ideas, and new tools. As a sewing educator, I am always looking for new items to share with my students to help them make.

My Favorite Parts – The Review

WOW! This is FULL of great information for any maker skill; the sections are perfect, and I love the information regarding bag types, notions, tools, interfacing, and so much more. It’s an excellent guide for sewists, especially bag makers!

I recommend checking out this book, even if you are a seasoned bag maker. I haven’t seen one laid out this way, and it made my brain happy with the ease of finding the information needed when constructing my sample.

Interfacing – What and What kind??

The interfacing section had me smiling, for those new to sewing or who haven’t used interfacing yet in their makes haven’t had to encounter this phenomenal supply. It is what makes a bag pop with structure and keeps them crisp. From homemade to handmade in a snap!

However, interfacing can be daunting since there are so many types. I love that she breaks down what works best for bags. With the number of styles, it does help narrow down your choices to be less overwhelming.

Useful Chapters to Check Out

Some of the book’s best sections are the Anatomy of a Zipper, Pressing Tools, Pocket Types, and Bag Types. As a teacher, the hardest part of the process is the terminology and ensuring you’re talking about the correct part, technique, or piece. Not knowing what things are called can confuse you if you’re trying to ask questions or research. I am a sucker for any diagrams. It’s such a valuable piece of information!

This book has sections that break it down, so it’s easy to digest and recreate. I found myself in a few areas; even though I teach, it doesn’t mean I have tried every technique, tool, or fabric.

My Learning and Take-A-Ways

I had never used a continuous zip and had to use the zippers section to help me with my project. Continuous zippers are FUN, and I will use them more and add them to some of the class projects!

I have only used cork for the bottom of a bag and applique, never sewn as a strap or part of a closure on a bag.

My Finished Project from Making Bags: A Field Guide

When agreeing to do a review, I asked if I could review and make a project from the bag. For me, my learning and information intake work best in practical use. So making something from the book would solidify my learning.

I was stoked when my request was approved; once the copy of the book came to review, I chose the Fold-Over Crossbody Bag. It is a beginner project and a super adorable bag. I thought this bag would be perfect for festivals and small trips. I love the hardware and all the detachable straps! You can use it as a clutch or adjustable strap bag.

This is my finished bag; it’s so cute and didn’t take long to make. I chose to quilt the fabric to make it a little more luxurious. The fabrics remind me of Taylor Swifts Midnights! (I just got back from Night 2 in Cincinnati) and this bag would have been perfect to wear, but the stadium only allowed clear see-through bags.

If you love the fabrics and hardware, you can purchase them directly from They graciously let me choose my fabrics and notions from their site and sent them to me to make the bag! In my experience, this is my first time being gifted the supplies! I truly appreciated this!

Products used:
D-Rings – 1″ – Color: Gunmetal
Slider Buckel – 1″ – Color: Gunmetal
Swivel Hooks – 1″ – Color: Gunmetal
Lighting Bolt Zipper Pull – Color: Gunmetal
Fabric Main – Rifle Paper Co – Camont
Lining – Ruby Star Society – Space Thistles – Jolly Darlings
Zipper – White and Marina Stripped Nylon Coil Continuous Zip
Bosal – Fleece Batting

Also, she had a kit for this bag too!!
Grab your goodies from

Giveaway on Instagram

Check out Instagram for a Giveaway of this EBOOK!! Details will be located there as it will be exclusive to Instagram. Make sure to follow the instruction on the post to be entered!


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