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Just a Couple of Bag Ladies

I’m afraid to count. I feel like Imelda Marcos but instead of shoes, it’s bags. Handbags. In the past five months, I’ve made over 20 handbags. Wow – it would be embarrassing if it wasn’t necessary. Every time I made a bag, I learned something very valuable that I applied to the next bag. Eventually, I got the hang of it.

But I wasn’t the only one. My good friend, Nancy Zieman, also made bags (I’ll bet she’s up to 20+ too!) just for this project, Designer Handbags. We decided to tackle this subject together because she has a line of handbag templates with Clover and I developed a ‘functional embroidery’ technique that not only looks good but works too. It sounded like the perfect marriage. And it was – we had a blast and hope you will too.

In Designer Handbags, you’ll find a 30-minute video illustrating all of the steps – embroidery, stabilizer, foundation, hardware, pressing – everything you need to make your own Designer Handbag.

There are some very clever – or smart – techniques that simplify complicated sewing tasks with an embroidery machine. What pleases me the most is every corner, strap connector and tab are exact duplicates of each other. There is no ‘bad side’ to your Designer Handbag because the digital files do all the work. You will be so impressed with your professional results when you create your own handbag with Designer Handbags.

Of course, Nancy brings her years of sewing expertise to making bags. I learned so much from her! And you will too. Nancy enjoyed using her purse templates as a starting point for Designer Handbags while I just started with rectangles of fabric. So if you have a favorite purse pattern that you’d like to add smart embroidered accents to – you can. Truly, the choice is yours.

I have made cutesy bags, quilty bags, sophisticated bags, go-to bags, gadget bags, and travel bags (with a zipper sleeve!). But I’m probably not stopping because each one is sooooo different from the one before it. I’ve been feeling like a hoarder because I haven’t been able to share the handbags until the product is out. And now it’s out! Last weekend, Nancy and I showed a few of our bags with quilt shop owners at Quilt Market in Houston. Here we are – caught in the act of hauling our precious cargo.

Finally, I get to show them off this weekend in Orlando at the Stitching Sisters event at Sewing Studio. Click here if you want to join us.

Here’s your assignment this week:

I can’t wait to see what you do with Designer Handbags and I’m hoping you’ll share photos on Facebook in a few weeks but for now, tell me what size bag you prefer. Do you tote a jumbo bag, a mid-size or petite purse? Tell us what you’re carrying now and you could win Designer Handbags.

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question:

I would really like to know how many of you prefer books or ebooks when it comes to embroidery/sewing/quilting titles. So tell me your preference and you’ll be in the drawing for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate from All About Blanks.

And the winner is…. (drum roll please!)
“Your quilt is quite beautiful and I am sure your niece loves it!  I prefer books b/c I like to riffle through the pages which is hard to do on an e-book…just a little old fashioned, lol”

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  • Shirlene Renshaw

    Right now I have a petite purse when I am out and about – but when I travel to an embroidery class I enjoy the larger jumbo bag, as I can cover my ‘show n tell’ and all my class supplies. I sure would enjoy being about to make these in different fabrics and have one for every occasion, too.

  • michelle

    I carry a very simple bag, but I do knitting, sewing, embroidery,have a puppy, so I use alot of different bags for all that stuff. I would like a nice purse.

  • Anne Marie Reilly

    Most of the time I use a mid size bag with a strap that goes across my body which leaves my hands free for shopping or whatever. I also feel that type of strap is more secure if I am in a mall or walking on the streets of New York.

  • Donna Noll

    I carry a mid-size most of the time. I do prefer a petite purse with a strap that goes across my body when shopping at a quilt or sewing convention because my hands will be full of shopping bags!

  • Sarah McKinney

    I carry a medium bag that is at this moment overstuffed. I need to keep my bag lighter due to an old shoulder injury. I do have a variety of bags that I use for different things class (show and tell), knitting, traveling, shopping and stowing gear in the car. I do like bags and so do both of my daughters. i have fun making them also.

  • Shirley R

    I like a large bag, and my favorite is one with 3 zippered compartments; that helps keep my many items separated into some semblance of order.

  • karin

    My favorite is mid-size, with pockets inside & out…and of course, the fabric is bluebonnets! I made it when we first came to Texas, and I get many compliments on it. The outer pockets hold things I need to get to immediately – my camera, my phone, my sunglasses. Inside, I can tuck away my money (what little there is), a pen or 2 & my appt calendar. There’s even a little pocket for my chap-stick & dental floss. Anything more than that, and it’s too heavy for me to carry!

    I can’t wait to see what secrets you have in store!

  • June Young

    I also like a large bag. I tend to carry a lot of “stuff” with me. I sometimes tote my netbook computer in my purse/bag, along with the mouse. I like making my own bags so that I can customize them to my personal needs.

  • Wendy

    I love shoes and purses because unlike clothes, I can always find ones the fit – hence my closet is full of both LOL!

    Right now I am carrying a large bag because there is room for my iPad and I never know when I will need to whip out the pictures/video of my son’s wedding to share with a friend.

    I have a nice assortment of medium bags, my favorites are those with an outside pocket for my phone and several inside pockets for keys, lipstick and the smaller things that tend to get lost in the bottom of the abyss.

  • Judy Carter

    I usually carry a medium size bag. I would like it to be smaller, but it needs to have a pocket for my Samsung Galaxy Tablet, and then room for my wallet and cell phone. I like it to be a cross body bag, but also be able to be a shoulder bag too. I found one at Penny’s and thought it was perfect…..but it is so slouchy (is that a word??). I like a purse to have a substance so it kind of stands on its own, but not be too stiff. I have not tried to make a bag to meet all my specs, but maybe you and Nancy have come up with the perfect solution. Still looking for my perfect bag!!!!

  • Debbie St. Germain

    I just got a small purse since I don’t carry as much, but realized it still isn’t right. I want to make my own purses, so need to learn so I can make one that fits my style and needs. I love watching Nancy’s show, and learning about all types of sewing.


  • Mary

    Years ago, when cell phones first came out,I used to carry a smaller purse, so my husband wouldn’t ask me to carry his cell phone. The cell phones were large and heavy for me to carry. Now, I’ve switched to mid-size purse. I do like large bags for my crafts – knitting, crocheting, etc.

  • Celeste B

    I usually just carry my wallet but that doesn’t mean I don’t have lots of purses. Every time I have some fabric leftover from a project, a purse suddenly appears. Most of mine are in the medium size range.

  • Barbara Basel

    I alternate between a mid-sized purse to a large purse. I have severe rheumatoid arthritis which makes carrying a stuffed large bag difficult. Unless the mid-sized purse is designed appropriately, I can’t carry everything I need. I do make most of my bags and have altered some of the patterns to work for me. I have some of Nancy’s purse templates. It would be nice to win your new product! I can think of a million ways to use it already!

  • Gerry Barrett

    I carry bags I made from the Grids & Grommets by Indygo Junction. It’s midsize. I love bags! But get in a rut sometimes! I’ve made a few changes, like pocket sizes to meet my needs, but not many!

  • Donna G.

    I like a bag that’s big enough for my necessities and plenty of pockets for organization. Usually a medium size purse will do. I think the bags you and Nancy made are fabulous! I’m going to give making one a try!

  • Gail Beam

    I usually carry a medium to large bag with a shoulder strap and all my bags have lots of zippered pockets!! My bags carry just about everything but the kitchen sink! lol

  • Greta

    Thank you! I put blanks to use all the time 😀

    I have different sized bags, when my back is acting up I carry a small one, when it isn’t, I like one that I can fit everything into. Mid-size works too, can’t go wrong with a good bag 😀


  • Mary Haggenmaker

    It’s hard these days to figure out what a large bag is. You see someone with a large least it looks large..and then you see someone else with a HUGE purse. Personally I have what I would call a medium size purse. It has 3 zipper compartments in the middle(between the straps), a zipper pocket on one outside and a slide in pocket on the other outside. The center zipper compartment also has a zipper pocket in there. It also has a pocket on one end with a velcro closing for a cell phone..too bad mine doesn’t fit in it. It doesn’t look as large as some of the purses I see but it sure is fat. It’s been around a couple of years so it’s starting to get that well worn look. I’ll probably make a new one based on the design of this one. Kind of gotten used to it.

  • Carolyn Rollberg

    Mostly, I carry a mid-size bag. I do like larger bags when traveling. However, the larger the bag, the heavier it gets! I have already ordered Designer Handbags!

  • Pam M

    Being small stature, large bags don’t figure in my wardrobe. I like a big petite purse – small in general size, but wide with multiple pockets for all my “stuff”. I like lots of pockets to keep things separate but most times I forget what is in which pocket and end up riffling through them all anway LOL. I don’t like shoulder bags – they always slip off my narrow shoulders – and I generally use a backpack type of bag (my friend and myself made co-ordinating bags) for going to craft shows. Thinking about it now though, I think an across the body sling would be more practical for shows.

  • starr

    I really love purses! Mostly mid size, but large ones for trips to sew shows, beach, etc. For all size ranges I find convertible ones that change from handles to long straps that fit across the body more practical and less tiring on my shoulders. I also use little purses inside my main purse according to use- ie: one for cosmetics, one for coupons, etc. Helps eliminate the “digging” for things that seem to get lost in the purse basement.

  • Cheryl

    I carry a small, crossbody organizer-type bag most of the time. I love the convenience but wish it were just a little bigger. I look at bags in every store I go into trying to find that “perfect”bag but no luck so far. Guess I’m just going to have to make my own . . . if I ever finish all my other projects!

  • Kathy Schmidt

    I usually use a midsize bag, on occassion I go for a small one or an extra large one, it all depends on the circumstances. I would love to start making my own bags, not just for myself but customize them for gifts. What a joy it would be to have the right size with all the proper compartments I need for everything, and in any color I want, with what ever embelishment I create…..oooooh now I’m excited just thinking about it.
    Thanks Eileen & Nancy….the dynamic sewing duo!

  • Martine

    I love leather bags and have them in small, midsized and large. The small one (black) has a removable shoulder strap and holds just the essentials: purse, driver’s license and passport, keys. I love to use that in my large bag (a lovely pastel greenish blue or a faux leather bright red one) that holds everything except the kitchen sink – and weighs a ton. So after a couple days I switch to a very sensible black midsized one with three compartments that holds everything I really need, but oh I love the big ones…

  • Darlene Jacolik

    Usually I carry a medium size purse. The larger it gets, the more I stuff into it. Right now I’m carrying a bag I made from a pattern called Tulip Pusre and I receive many compliments.

  • Nancy Weber

    I love bags as well. My purse is medium size with at least one zipper compartment to keep my wallet secure. I use large bags to carry things I need when we travel by car, such as one for my crocheting and one for my magazines and other reading materials. I have not attempted to make a purse as it just seems overwhelming to me.

  • Kathy

    I have a medium bag that is stuffed to the gills. I need to make a larger one which I will probably stuff it full too. Big thanks to you and Nancy for giving us more ideas and projects.

  • Barbara

    Like everyone else, I have a collection of bags in all sizes, although I tend to use medium-sized bags the most. The smaller the bag I use, the more likely I am to control the amount of “stuff” I put in it!

  • Nancy Nebeker

    I am small so a really big bag looks ridiculous. What I look for is something soft enough to cram in as much as possible with out looking too big. What really gets me is zippers. I have small dogs( strange) who like to check out my purse for contraband so zippers keep them out.

  • Jacque Lindsey

    I love the designer handbags! I carry a mid-size bag but I think I may need to go up to a big bag because I seem to carry everything but the kitchen sink!

  • Terri Vanden Bosch

    I use different bags for the seasons–or which ever one I have just made is my favorite at the moment. I would say it is a mid-size–but that could change with the next one I make:):)

  • Lynn Hursey

    I like a small cross over bag when I am shopping. For everyday use, I like a mid-size bag. Like so many others, I have not found my “perfect” bag. Hopefully, you will help me do so.

  • Sandi Voeltz

    Right now I’m using a “Fanny Pack” – it has several different zippered compartments, plus a place for my cell phone, but with the “Designer Handbag” I would be able to create my own unique bag! Love your blog – always learn something new.

  • Patty Happel

    I have to stick with mid size or I get it too heavy and it bothers my shoulder. I’d like to make purses to match the seasons.

  • Patricia Douglas

    I carry a mid-size bag, I like lots of compartments to keep things organized.

  • Bernice

    I use a mid size purse, but I have a zillion reusable totes for all the things I can’t fit in my purse, but they’re not very pretty. I would love to have coordinating purses and tote bags so I wouldn’t look so tacky when I’m going out, especially to work where I tend to take everything with me.

  • Betsy

    For everyday use, I carry a midsize bag with pockets. For times when I don’t want the weight of that purse to bother my neck/shoulders (shopping at the mall, standing at a sporting event), I put just the bare necessities into a small purse.

  • Jane

    I always carry a large bag with everything in it I could potentially use. Wouldn’t want to get caught without that small umbrella! I can see using your designs to make a really nice large knitting bag with lots of pockets on the inside to hold my current knitting project which is very slowly growing afghan. The gadget bag is also cute. This may end up on my list of Christmas suggestions.

  • Margaret Pepper

    I really like mid sized bags the best. Because I am so short, a large bag just looks ridiculous hanging off my shoulder! Right now I am carrying a mid sized hobo, it is the bag I use all the time.

  • Becky

    I generally try to stick to a medium size bag with lots of dividers and pockets. I like to keep everything organized. A big tote is great but mine get too heavy too fast, and a petite bag is cute but just won’t hold everything. I love your new ideas and can’t wait to try them. Just 3 seams sounds great to me!!

  • Phyllis (label Lady)

    I carry a medium size most of the time, but would love to have a large tote for travel and carrying material/accessories. Also like the small purse style for going out. I have been trying to make a tote with a removable medium size bag inside used as a organizer, then inside that a small purse. I hope you can come up with something like this. Looking forward to more of you Bags.

  • Carol Seavitt

    Medium size purse is my choice and remember don’t put your bag on the floor (my friend told me this is bad luck and you will stiffle your money making efforts) — too fun. And your purses are just beautiful.

  • JoAnn Ruby

    I carry a medium size fabric purse that I received as a gift (made by a famous designer). I have several purse patterns that I never get around to making, so maybe this new design will be one I can finish – especially since I love machine embroidery.
    Love your blog.

  • Evelyn Gonzalez

    I prefer a mid-size shoulder bag.

  • Cathie Paski

    I carry a midsize purse. I do not like to carry a really big purse, it gets too heavy and a petite purse does not have enough room for my stuff. Mid size shoulder bag is perfect for me.

  • Barb Miller

    I carry a mid sized purse. Any larger and it would be too heavy.

  • Lila W Smith

    I like ALL purses, large to little but it must hold my wallet. I have a few patterns and then I decide that they are too time consuming or there is some thing that I don’t like. I would like to win the bag templet and maybe I’ll get inspired to sew one. Sure do enjoy your magazine and I am saving them in a file cabinet drawer. Thanks for all you do! Lila

  • Bonita Harms

    I am currently carrying a hobo shaped bag that is medium in size–Walmart special–that is several years old–time for a new one. Have one of Nancy’s template purse patterns but have not used it yet. Hope Nancy and Eileen can present this new book and all their samples at Nancy’s Sewing Weekend 2012.



  • Cindy McCord

    Hi Eileen. I carry a medium sized purse every day. I also carry a tote to work to carry my important papers and computer backups.

  • LeAnne

    I use a mid-size purse and it has to have lots of pockets so I can find things easily like my keys, cell phone, and cash. The more pockets the better.

  • Penney Long

    Currently I carry a mid-sized bag with lots of pockets to keep me organized. I also carry many tote bags with projects. I like a purse that is organized and not too large, just large enough to carry all my stuff and look nice. It also needs a shoulder strap to help support the weight. My current purse weighs in at 8.5 lbs. so if you carry that on your forearm your arm rebels.

  • Martha Vogel

    I usualyy carry a medium size bag-large enough to carry a magazine or small project. I like many others want pockets on the inside as well as the outside. I enjoy trying new designs and never seem to make the same bag twice.

  • Ann H.

    I try to not carry anything larger than a medium size but tend to put
    have enough stuff in it to fill a large bag. I need to learn all those tips to organize so I can carry a smaller bag. 🙂

  • Donna

    I carry a large bag. I like to make bags too!

  • Kathy

    I love tote bags for all the “stuff” I need to carry, but when I go shopping, I like a small bag so my hands can be free to shop!!

  • Linda Arsement

    I am a purse finatic. I simply LOVE purses. Any size. My husband hates to go shopping with me because he knows we’ll end up in the handbag section. I have all sizes and shapes. Right now I am carrying a mid size bag I bought on a trip to Disney. My husband says I could almost carry a different purse everyday because I have so many.

  • Lorie Ehmer

    I prefer a midsized bag with lots of pockets and a divider on the inside and smaller pockets on the outside for my cell phone.

  • Doreen Linehan

    I like a mid-size bag. The bag I’m carrying now is a little to big.

  • Claudia

    I want to make a petite purse that can be used for shopping, etc. – The bag needs to accommodate a couple of debit cards, my driver’s license, an iPhone and my keys. My back problems will not allow me to carry a large purse around. Shoulder straps that can be adjusted to a shorter length, when needed, would be fabulous! Is there such a purse pattern around?

  • Hope H

    After 26 years in the military, I like a small bag, enough for bare essentials, in uniform I had only pockets and I still misplace a bag easily.

  • LKJones

    I prefer a smaller purse that is efficient with a built in organizer. Many times I can transfer my stuff from a midsized purse to a smaller one. My prefered style right now is about an 8 x 10 messenger style. My cell would fit on the strap. Lots of zippers for security and easy to get to, as well. Crossbody which converts to over the shoulder. Front compartment gusseted so it can expand, easy to reach my hands in to get cards etc. Main compartment open with big zipper compartment on large flap, pockets big enough for glass case,my Kindle(ipad), pens, keys on strap with clip. Sturdy fabric or leatherlike, to keep lightweight. I want to carry as little weight as possible, have style, but be durable, too.

  • Marge Geraci

    I prefer a small purse. I guess because I’m handicaped and it is difficult to handle a big. However my purse must have compartments inside so I can at least think I’m organized. I have never attempted making a purse, but I would really like the challenge. My purse must be large enough to carry my glasses,cell phone, keys and wallet. Straps would have to be a must also, because I have to carry my purse on my shoulder, because of using a walker most of the time. I’ love to have a good pattern to make my own purse.

  • Brenda Pedersen

    I like a small to medium size bag with LOTS of pockets for organization. I’m always telling my husband I want to downsize and he laughs. I carry so much stuff that it’s difficult to fit everything I need (or want) into a small bag. I often purchase trial or smaller size items, i.e. tissues, hand lotion, brush, etc. so I don’t have to leave anything out. Can’t wait to check out the new “Designer Handbags” book. It sounds fun and fresh!

  • Susan Burns

    I carry a small to medium bag due to a bad back. Most are bags I have made. If I had choice I would choose to carry a MUCH larger bag. Keep up the good work of inspiring us all to create!

  • Laurie Dacus

    I generally use a medium sized bag – needs to be small enough for me to carry comfortably, but large enough for all of my diabetic supplies. I also need one with pockets for organizing. I prefer to sew my own, to make sure it meets ALL of my needs. Looking forward to seeing you newest book, and all the ideas you and Nancy have come up with. Thanks

  • Janice Beitz

    I just can’t seem to get away from a large handbag. I love making my own bags either sewing or crochet. I can put in pockets where I need them and make the handles any length I want.

  • Robbie Smith

    To my circle of friends I’m know as ” The Tote Lady”. I love to make handbags they are useful,cute,mix and match to any event. When I was young my Mother matched “EVER” outfit from head to toe. These is the omage to her..

  • Alice M

    I always carry a large tote, always have so much to go in it.

  • Jane Anderson

    I love making bags for others…but I have become a minimalist and just carry a folding wallet with a shoulder strap. When I travel even lighter, I use a credit card holder with the plastic essentials.

  • Whitney H

    I prefer medium sized bags. I would use a small one, but then I coudln’t keep my bag of shopping bags inside it! 🙂

  • Kari

    I prefer a petite bag – something that just holds the necessities for every day, but I love tote bags when I need to carry a lot of stuff. You’re embroideries look fabulous and I can’t wait to try them out!

  • Anna

    Hey, i prefer a midsize bsg. I really like credit card slots and a zippered pockets to keep change in ( then you don’t have to carry a billfold – keeps the weight down) and a few cosmetic essentials as well as a place to store some medications. The bag also should have an handy outside pocket to put grocery list or other papers you need to get out when shopping. An outside pocket to put sunglasses in and a place to store the cell phone. Its also essential to have a large zippered pocket inside. Its hard to find a handy bag ready made.

  • Clarissa Zanwood

    Hi Nancy & Eileen! Great job ladies creating these pretty blk and wht with fusia pink trim handbags in small, med., and large sizes. I just love what you made for your book with instructions to sew them with embroidery designs. I always have trouble with making the straps when I sew handbags. It looks like you have some helpful tips on this to help me out. Also Nancy, I see you have a new book for sewing from A-Z! I Must Buy this Book For Christmas!
    I was looking at my current everyday handbag which is a Medium size bag. When I go the the beach or out of town I carry a large bag or a small one with a larger tote. My mother just loves fabric bags with lots of colors like your samples. She likes them because their pretty, light weight and easy to wash if needed in the washer. I LOVE YOUR BAGS!!!

  • Peggy Schroeder

    I usually carry a mid-size purse with compartments, but I still have it stuffed with too much and that makes it heavy. I have enough bags and totes to practically use a different one everyday, but I don’t, of course, change them that often. I have made some of your purses from your Boatload of Bags designs, and I use those a lot. I put a piece of fabric covered cross-stitch plastic in the bottoms to make it more stable. Then I always add more pockets
    than necessary, but I find I use them all! The designs take a while to stitch out, but the finished product is always worth it. I love your your designs and CDs, and I finally realized I had enough of them to create a separate container to hold them. I would love to have your new purse designs, does that mean I really need therapy???

  • Desiree Kumpf

    Most of the time I like to carry a very large purse because I always have a knitting or crochet project with me. Fortunately I can pull it off as I am tall. I purchased Nancy’s Town and Country templates at the Meissner’s event in June, and have a picture of Nancy, my mom, and I! I haven’t had a chance to make one yet, but now I’m feeling the urge to put other projects on the back burner and give it a try.

  • Merrilee Jung

    I usually carry a medium size to a large bag. I like to carry my “Design in Machine Embroidery” magazine with me and look at it over and over. I just can’t get enough of the wonderful projects and ideas that you publish in the magazine. I show it to all my friends at work and they think it is beautiful. I have an embroidery group, called the “UnRavelers” and we all subscribe and talk about the projects and show each other the ones we make.


  • Linda Thompson

    Currently, I am carrying the smallest purse one can imagine that holds my cell phone, has it’s own built in wallet organizer. Holds comb, lipstick, notepad, pens, has room to squeeze my camera in and my weekly pill container. Will not hold my sun glasses or passport…I had been using one of those freebies from the cruise center for traveling as it has a aterrific organizer…but decided I must “Save” it for travel as it holds all the above mentioned.

    That small purse is perhaps 5 x 7 and a depth of three inches. Love the small narrow leather strap it has. The wider straps really shows off my larger voluptousness…so this is perfect, and will probably adapt a narrow strap for my travel purse. So much more attractive. The purse itself is hard sided, light weight, and just a plain black fabric. Lovely for any occasion.

  • Pat Fritze

    I am going to S. Africa next summer and fell that the airborne bag would be a great addition to my purse collection. I try to carry a med size bag, but always seems to be over flowing. This airborne bag should be just the right size to take on the trip.

  • Katie

    I love these bags!!!!

  • Mary

    I am using a purse I made in a class, but I hate it. Ironically, I am starting a small business selling classic, unique handbags and they are gorgeous. But I want to sell them, not use them.

    That is why I would love this set. It would add another touch of elegance to my custom bags. And being on disability I cannot afford to purchase it.

  • Diane

    I am a bag lady also. I just recently started making my own. I have approximately 10 at this – in all sizes small to Jumbo. I am not pickie. Because I have always been a bag lady, I have probably 50 purchased ones that I am donating to charity (gotta make room or my own creations). Why buy them when I can make cuter ones with just the options I want. Today I am carrying a Jumbo Bag. It is a fall floral design with a draw string type shoulder strap with a zipper pocket in the side seam to make finding keys or phone very easy.

  • Sharon Zalcman

    I have been making my own handbags for several years. I started by making bags from placemats and have used machine embroidery to enhance them. It is amazing how much “stuff” fits in these bags!Wherever I go I am always stopped due to the unique nature of my handbag. I also make matching tissue totes, checkbook covers and coin purses. I love laminated cotton fabric for the bag and accessories. I would love to add your book to my collection! It looks like a real winner!

  • Tammy

    I hav emady many bags for myself and for gifts over the years…personally I prefer a nice medium sized bag for daily use. Although I do have a few larger sized bags I do not use them that often only if traveling or as library or tote bags. Two of my most favorite bags I have ever made was: one was for a baby shower gift it was quilted and embroidered and was mad ein all pink & brown fabrics. The other was brown and aqua and made for a young lady going through ovarian cancer treatments. I embroidred awreness designs on it for her. She loved the bag and was very thankful.. Your new book looks absolutly wonderful. There are pictures of both bags in my face book albums.

  • Michele Adkins

    I carry a medium size bag that I can change the outside cover with my mood or the season.

  • Kathleen

    I carry different size handbags for different occassions. I have made a few different styles some wtih embroidery and others with embellishments that I have taken from old belts and bags. I created a teddy bear tote with I had my last child. I continue to create styles until I finally am satisfied with the final results.

  • Mitzi Barker

    I usually pack a petite purse….just the essentials – and then have a tote for my inside shoes, lunch and laptop. When I fly (which is frequently), the petite purse gets tossed into the tote so I can whiz thru security and with my rollaboard bag stay within the 2-carry-ons regulations. I find I often have trouble finding bags that are the right scale for me – would be nice to have the latitude to make it custom-sized

  • Linda Coleman

    I like a midsize bag, big enough to hold everything I want but not to big to get in the way

  • Cecilia

    I usually carry a mid size purse, but I also use a large bag when I carry my hand work with me. I would love to learn how to make custom bags.

  • judianne

    Well, I keep trying to downsize my purse but to no avail. I can’t seem to fit the wallet with the sewing store coupons and flyer and the “other necessary’ things for my shopping into those oh so cute darling little bags! Ultimately I have to go back to a large (not quite tote size) at least 3 pockets on the inside and another 3 on the outside and with only 1 ADJUSTABLE strap. This just seems to keep me organized enough so I can get my hands on all of the things I might need. Love to see all of the creative bags that people make and I really do enjoy making them.

  • karen miller

    I carry 2 bags. One medium for my personal stuff,and a large bag for all of my school stuff. I rarely carry just the one bag. I would love to make some of the neat bags shown here.

  • Cassie

    Always looking for bag designs to make especially if I can get them to look like some of those that are at specialty stores

  • Debbie J

    I love making bags, make them for others, but never for me. I carry a medium size bag. But also carry a large tote when going to Quilt/Sewing meetings or Church. I would love to have these bags. Thanks.

  • Marlene

    I love bags! any size and every day demands a different size for a different occasion! Sometimes it is a tiny one over the shoulder that holds keys, phone and credit card, but then that will drop in a bigger bag that holds a bit more can’t-leave-home-without-it stuff. Then it is off to a quilt meeting which requires room for samples! but I have to have zippers-the more the better! Grandmas have to have
    all kinds of essential keep-kids-happy stuff too! So each day is it’s own special purse day!

  • Beverly

    I also love bags!! I generally carry a small bag with lots of compartments to keep me organized and my stuff easy to find.But I have found that there is a special bag needed for special occassions and special purposes. I really like the drop in organizer so you can change your purse often without having to do a complete empty and reorganize. These bags that you have shown pique my interest and hopefully my creativity.

  • Charlotte

    I carry a mid size for every day and a small one when going to quilt shows or festivals.

  • Gail Biermann

    I carry a small purse for dress. I also have different size bags I have made for quilting, shopping, traveling etc. Can you ever have enough?

  • Lisa

    I carry a medium size organizer bag for everyday. I also carry a large tote that I made, when I need to take my projects with me. The tote will hook on to the roller case that holds my sewing machine. I’m hoping to find a pattern for an organizer bag that I can make for myself. I love making bags for my friends and family. I already have thefabric for the organizer bag, all I need is a good pattern.

  • rho

    I’m carrying a bought bag, my other bag is just worn out and haven’t had the time to create a new one but do have some good ideas.

  • Margaret

    If I could get away with it, it would be a small bag, but too much stuff to carry around. I wouldn’t dare go too big because it would just get filled up with who-knows-what! So, I usually carry a medium bag for everyday. These are the first bag patterns that I am just crazy about. Thank you Nancy and Eileen! I can’t wait to make some!

  • Margaret

    I use a medium bag. These are the first bag patterns that I am just crazy about. Can’t wait to make a few. Thank you Nancy and Eileen!

  • Susie Mackenberg

    I carry a medium to large bag but have found that the only ones that don’t hurt my shoulder and back are the ones I make. Leather bags are too heavy even before you start filling them up with all “essentials”. I always put in lots of pockets to try to keep myself organized. This rarely works!!

  • Lorna

    I like a large bag, because I carry just about the kitchen sink with me. I think of every eventuality and what I might need, like plasters, disinfectant, headache tablets, nail clipper and emery board, little packets of salt, vinegar and tomato sauce, wet wipes in packets, tissues, a little sewing kit in case I rip a seam or a button falls off, hair brush and make-up, empty shopping carriers, my personal documents, and then of course my purse … I am sure I have not listed everything here. So I need to win Designer Handbags so that I can make myself some beautiful bags. Living in South Africa, I am semi-retired and find the Dollar prices just too much for our ZA Rands.
    I love browsing your site. Kind regards. Lorna

  • Dale Fedor

    I like medium size purses but I tend to STUFF them. Eileen, I have your Contemporary Machine-Embroidered Accessories book/CD and I have a question: where do you get the red liner tape? Thanks

  • pam

    I carry a large bag. That way I have all the things I need including my Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine, especially when I go to the fabric store for supplies!

  • Joy

    I carry a mid-size bag to work. I would like to have some petite bags to carry when I go out with my husband. One that I could keep in my lap if need be at a restaurant and one with a shoulder strap for shopping. I like the straps that are just long enough to keep the bag under my arm.

  • Paule-Marie

    I carry a midsize ergonomic Ameribag. My umbrella fits in it, a bottle of water, wallet, I-Pod and phone, book sometimes. Works pretty well most of the time. I like to occasionally make purses, but I surely hate changing purses.

  • Carmi

    Right now I am using a tote given to me by MQX West. Before that it was a reuseable grocery bag. I would love to have a great bag to carry my everyday work “stuff” in. My purse is in dire need of being replaced but I can never find one I like that fits what I want to carry in it. So I revert back to my standby. Last week one of the shoulder straps broke so I sewed it back together. I NEED A NEW BAG. One of these days.

  • Kim Reid

    I carry a small bag every day but love bigger bags for all my projects, I knit, crochet and cross-stitch!
    Thanks 🙂

  • Lynda Whittemore

    I carry a medium sized bag with lots of pockets so I can find things. I don’t like to put too much in it,otherwise, it gets heavy and I can’t find things. My kids call it my Mary Poppins bag because I usually seem to have what they need.

  • Paulette McPherson

    Love bas of all sizes – right now my go to bag is a nid size with cross body strap. Great for travelling with, because it is just big enough to hold a passport and small camera. There is even a pocket on the back side that a boarding pass just peeks out of, so it can be found easily.

    PS: those are a couple good looking bags!

  • Rose

    For everyday, I tend to carry a medium sized bag, but there are times that I like a very small bag or a very large one, depending on what I’ll be doing. Fortunately, I like to make handbags and have a few to pick from.

  • maxine

    I have purchased all of the design sets you have put out except the purse one and I am so excited to give this a try. I am putting it on my Christmas list, now all I have to do is hope Santa reads it.
    I love all your products and have gone to a couple of classes they are a hoot! Keep up the great work, I look forward to what you come up with next.
    Thanks for all the joy you bring all year long.

  • Patricia

    One of my favorite purses is a Mary Mulari design that has a separating zipper in the strap. It’s a regular purse, but converts to a backpack for times when you need both hands free.

    I’m always looking for new ideas for purses. One can never have too many!!!

  • Gloria Gaines

    i love sewing bags no matter where I get the patterns.

  • Kay McKean

    I have several little organizers and bags. For make-up, cheque book, credit cards, medications and tissues, green shopping bags, etc, etc. I also have a small sized basic black purse that is easy to carry out with me whatever the occasion. I put all the organizers and bags and the black purse into one large “shoulder bag” and take that with me to the car. This way nothing gets left behind. When I am in the car, I pick out the small bag or organizer I need for that particular shopping spree, throw it into my basic black purse and go shopping. When I return to the car, I change out the stuff from my black purse into my shoulder bag and go on the next mission. When I get home, I have all my receipts and paperwork in one bag, ready to organize and put away. BTW the shoulder bag, also has an extra pair of sandals and a folding umbrella

  • Angela Stuart

    I carry a medium size bag.

    It has been a long time sence I have found a bag pattern that I liked.

    I Love your new pattern. It is very stylish!!

  • BJ Winstead

    Handbags BIG little or small…I love them all! Red White or Blue who knew I’d have them too! Make them, keep them, and give them to all…Wonderful Job, Nancy…you keep these ideas rolling on to use! You bring out the creavity in us all! Thank You

  • Judy K

    I’m not a handbag person, but after visiting your site, I think I could be tempted. Designs are just beautiful.

  • Gracia B

    I’m currently using a fairly large straw bag, but most of my bags are a variation on the hobo bag theme. I find that design to be so practical and useful! I make lots of handbags and most people have asked me to make tote bags for them. I would love to own Designer Handbags so that I can expand my repertoire! The designs look fun, exciting and simple enough to make in a hurry!

  • Angela Culpepper

    I usually get large bags to hold everything I “need”. Unfortunately, I have problems finding it in the abyss! I aspire to scale down to a medium bag!

  • Nancy H

    I love a large bag and usually carry a medium bag inside of the larger one esp when I go fabric shopping. I prefer the larger one because I have so much more space to BLING it up and add embroidery or change it to match any season or any mood or even a casual outfit or two–please pick me!

  • Karen

    I have the book written by Nancy and Eileen called “Contemporary Machine-Embroidered Accesories” and just LOVE it. I have made the purse that is in the book as a gift for my daughter and she uses it all the time. The instructions made it really easy to make, I would really LOVE to add this new book to my Library, I feel like you can never have too many purses. It is kind of funny because as a younger person, I never liked carrying a purse, now I couldn’t live with out them! AND the bag can make the outfit, I have gotten lots of compliments on some of the bags I have made!! I would really love to win this book!!

  • Mary Parker

    I love purses, I have been making then for a while now, but work gets in the way…not much time for the fun stuff! Would love to have some great tips and embroidery techniques to help make the process go smother anbd faster! I will see you @ Eddies on the 19, can’t wait!

  • Cheryl Brennan

    I love to make my own purses, and would love to try yours!
    Thank you!
    Cheryl B.

  • Larry

    can t wait for the instruction kit to arrive!!!Looking forward to making all the varieties with my wife then she will not need to use a plastic grocery bag anymore!!!It looks like they will be fun to make and exercise creativity.

  • Karen

    You mean I need to choose only 1 size??!!
    I carry all sizes – depending on the day.
    Truly a bag-a-holic I am 🙂
    Can’t have too many!!

  • Margaret B

    I love making purses and have made them in all sizes. My everyday purses are what I would call mid-size with lots of pockets around the inside. For evening, I try to downsize a bit, but still carry the necessities.

  • Barb

    I love this pattern.

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  • Valery

    I don’t think there is a bad size, I like them all! But right now I’m carrying a small purse.

  • Anya Joubert

    I order these and receive the book and cd but the video does not play so I do not got an idea how to make these… did send email nobody get back to me…Anyone know how I get the video to work I got a machine with windows 7 install and another with windows xp but not any of them will play the video.

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  • Lou Bush

    Right now I’m carrying a medium sized purse because it does hold more than just a wallet and checkbook and it is handy to tuck small things into. Unfortunately, I continue to ‘stuff’ it and it ends up heavy and giving me a stiff neck when carried over my shoulder. So, I try to carry more of a petite sized purse most of the time just to remove the temptation of being a pack rat!

  • Paula Hendrickson

    I like a med bag because if I use a jumbo bag ( like I really want to) I just fill it up and it gets heavier and heavier! Yes, I could clean it out, but how do I live with out all that stuff! lol

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