Wednesday, October 31, 2012

a visit with Lisa Lam and a giveaway!



I'm so excited to be sharing a fun interview with Lisa Lam today. Lisa is one of the most talented designers I know, not to mention one of the kindest as well,  and she has written two amazing books on making bags, The Bag Making Bible and her new book A Bag for All Reasons.  I seriously think both belong in the library of any crafter because they are full of information on everything you'll ever need to know to make any kind of bag. Lisa's instructions are well written and easy to follow and her bag patterns are simply amazing. She is also the genius behind the U-Handbag shop and blog. I don't know how she does it all!!




 A Bag for All Reasons includes 12 new projects with full pull-out patterns and full-color, step-by -step images for each technique and each project. There are also great tips and techniques including how to choose fabric for bag making, attaching zippers and snaps, and much more. 


So, with out further adieu, let's get started with my interview with Lisa. My questions to her are italicized. 


When did you start sewing? Did you start making bags right away or did you begin by making other things?

I started sewing at a very tender age. I began with a child's cross stitch kit, when I was a very little one. I finished the kit in record time (mistakes and all) and an addiction to craft was born...   It was a little while longer before my mum let me loose on her grown sewing machine.  In the meantime I had fun trying my hand at all sorts of other crafts like: knitting, crotchet, making jewellery, playing with clay, making pasta pictures etc.  I was never any good at drawing though, it's still pretty bad to this day! 


Who taught you how to sew? When did you decide to turn your passion for making bags into your profession?

My mum was the first person to teach me to sew, and at one of my schools I had a slightly scary, but also inspiring textiles teacher and for the rest, I'm self taught.  To solve my sewing conundrums I like to experiment before looking up solutions in books or on the internet (I guess this does make more work for me sometimes, but I've found it a good way of expanding my skills and it helps keep me (reasonably) relaxed when I make mistakes.  I decided that my future lay in bag making in 2004.  I was successfully selling my hand made bags in my own craft market stall.  I couldn't keep up with demand (and that began to affect my income) so I thought that selling bag making supplies would be a good way to supplement my income and give me a little respite from the constant sewing.  I haven't look back since!


All of your projects in "A Bag for All Reasons" are great, and I'd seriously like to make each one of them. Do you have a favorite project from the book?

Thanks! I do actually have 2 faves: the Too Cool for School satchel and the Fashionista Baby Bag.  If forced to choose between the 2 I'd say it's the Baby bag.  The reason it's my fave is because, the bag was totally designed around feedback from my facebook pals.  I asked them what a baby bag should feature and they told me (in very exacting detail too!).  Now that I'm a mum myself I do find the bag is very, very useful indeed :)


You recently had an addition to your family, your sweet little Mabel! How has having a child changed the way you craft or sew, or your day to day work on U-Handbag?  

Thanks!  Oh yes, I now have no time to sew at all!  I feel that because a baby is a baby for such a short amount of time, I want to enjoy and experience that time as fully as I can, whilst it lasts. I do think about craft daily and I still check out crafty goings on the web, so I don't feel totally divorced from craft.  I do get pangs of jealously that I can't simply have a whole afternoon to eat a bar of choccy and craft to my hearts content, but hey, I'm a mum, Mabel is awesome and my sewing skills and sewing machine will still be there when Mabel is a little older.


I saw that you taught a workshop at  Liberty  this summer. Do you have any plans for more workshops in the future? 

Yep, it was great fun too, in very luxurious surroundings.  Heather, I bet if you were based in the UK you could definitely teach a workshop in  Liberty, they'd love you!   Yes, as it happens I am teaching the same workshop (cos the first one was super oversubscribed) next summer.  



Thank you so much, Lisa! I just love hearing how people got their start and how they work, don't you? And as I said, Lisa is seriously one of the most kind and generous people I've met, and I was so lucky to spend a day with her when she was visiting Cincinnati last year. I hope she comes back soon! Or, I'll just have to make my way to the UK to visit her one of these days.

And now on to the giveaway!!! F&W is generously providing a copy of Lisa's newest book A Bag for All Reasons, to give away to one of my readers. To enter, please leave a comment below, between now and Nov. 8, 2012. One winner will be chosen randomly; the contest is only open to residents of the US, Canada, the UK, or Europe, please. 

If you just can't wait to see if you'll be the winner, F&W is sharing some discounts and previews with my readers as well, in their Martha Pullen store.


  • Save 33% off of A Bag for All Reasons and more on all Lisa Lam products in the Martha Pullen shop with coupon code: “BAGS2012”



Pretty perfect since the holidays are right around the corner, right? Good luck and happy shopping! And thank you again to Lisa Lam and everyone at F&W.




72 comments:

Anna said...

I love making bags and would love a copy of the book! Thanks for the give away!

Amys Crafty Shenanigans said...

Great looking book!! I am a bag making beginner - have only made three handbag/totes so far but am totally addicted!! Fingers crossed! amycav at hotmail dot com

Patti said...

I have never made a bag but I am going to soon and I would so love this book please. Thanks for the GREAT giveaway.
Patti xxx

jac. said...

Oh, I'd love a book! Not sure if such a low number ever wins:).

Diane said...

The preview looks terrific! Thanks for the giveaway!

thecalicocorner said...

I just made my daughter a diaper bag using Lisa's 'Multi-Tasking Tote' pattern....she loved it!! Now I would love give Lisa's new book a good home!!

Gill said...

A great giveaway - thank you!

mtnquiltr said...

I've made a couple of bags now, and am looking to improve my skills. Lisa's book would be a great help, and the bags look lovely!

Jenny said...

I JUST got the Bible last week and I love it. I would be so excited to add this one!

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

I would use this so much...thank you for the chance.

Lisa Marie said...

I would love to improve my bag-making skills and try some new styles as well. Thanks for the chance to win!

stitchingandbacon said...

I would love this book. It is so pretty!

awalker said...

I would like to learn more about zipper and snaps! This book would be great.

Jane S. said...

I'm a big chicken when it comes to making bags! I love seeing what others have done but so far it just seems quite daunting to make one myself. Maybe this book would help. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

Marla's Crafts said...

BAYS ARE ALWAYS SO NICE TO MAKE. WE HAD A DAY LAST WINTER THAT THREE OF MY FRIENDS AND I GOT TOGEATER TO MAKE A PURSE AND THEN HAD SUPPER. WHAT A FUN DAY. THE BOOK LOOKS GREAT.

rainjerette said...

I would love a book too! Thanks for offering such a great give-away :)

barbara woods said...

i would love to win this book thanks for the chance

Norma's Clay said...

Will love to win. I make bags and I'm sure there's always lots to learn. Thanks!

Diane said...

I haven't tried a bag yet, but it might be time. Thanks for the give away!

Becky (My Fabric Obsession) said...

oh fun! I love making bags and this looks like an inspiring book!

SewLindaAnn said...

How funny, I was just reading thru her first book this morning to get some tips on zippers. Love to win the 2nd one!

Pat Converse said...

The preview looks amazing. Thanks for the giveaway.

Hilachas said...

I've made a couple of bags and just loved it so I'm ready to continue. I'd love to win this book and thank you for the opportunitiy.

Cecilia said...

I'm just starting to make bags and I could really use her book. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

Taryn said...

I am just starting to make bags and this book sounds like it would be a great help. Thanks for the giveaway!

babiesdoc said...

Looks like a Great book.
I have Lisa's first book and the patterns are great.
I think that a bunch of bags as christmas presents or wallets with gift cards would be great!

beanie g said...

I love making bags and already have the Bag Making Bible, which it truly is. I need to be more adventurous in my fabrics tho ... looking to use some laminated fabrics.

Lis said...

I have never made a bag so this would be a great book to STUDY and learn from. Thanks for the chance. PS love your blog!
lisamcgriff (at) hotmail (dot) com

free indeed said...

I've just entered the world of bag making...one of my daughters just loves bags. I'd love to win one!

Judy in OKC said...

I have been wanting to make a new bag, so this would be a perfect time for me to win your lovely book! Thank you for the chance to win.

Judy in Oklahoma
mygreenapple@aol.com

Carla Bynum said...

Hi!!! I would love this book!!! Thanks for the fun give away!!!

Christina said...

I've tried making bags before without a pattern or any idea what I was doing and could really use some help! christina112358 at gmail dot com

Jodi - usairdoll said...

I'm with a few others and have not yet tried making a bag. I'd really love to try though. Lisa's books look amazing.

Thank you, Lisa and F&W for an awesome giveaway and a chance to win.

usairdoll(at)gmail(dot)com

Carla G said...

I like to make bags & would love to try some of Lisa's bags! Thanks for a chance to win! :)

Carla G said...

I like to make bags & would love to try some of Lisa's bags! Thanks for a chance to win! :)

DanaK ~ WaterPenny said...

I adore the Bag Making Bible, I recommend it to folks all the time!

Tamie said...

My daughter and I have this book checked out from our library right now. I'd love to have this in my personal collection.

sguday said...

I've never made any bags except for simple totes, these look great. Thanks for the chance!

Donna Joy said...

I would love to make some bags, so this book would be full of expert advice and more patterns to try, yeah.

Margaret said...

I have her first book and I use it all the time. I would love to own her newest book. Thanks for a chance to win it. Love your silo quilt. I admire anyone who can see something like that and is inspired to design a quilt from the picture. Thanks for sharing your amazing talents with us little people.

Mishka said...

Love the photo of the bag on the bicycle. I'm lost since my messenger bag broke a few weeks ago. Going to try and fix it this weekend.

Fiona said...

Please count me in! Love Lisa's style and clear instructions.

Sally said...

I love making bags, and this book would be a wonderful addition for my library!

robin said...

I'd love to win the book! Thank you!

Tara said...

I'd love to read her book! Great bags! :)

the girlfriend gap said...

very nice to meet you Lisa, you are a new designer to me. Your book looks wonderful I have not made many bags and would love to give it a try. You are right ,hug and snuggle with your little one... they do grow quickly. Thanks for a chance to win . Janita

Linda said...

Enjoyed the post and the interview. I have "to make a bag" on my bucket list, one of these books would be a great help in getting that done. Thanks for the great giveaway.

Nancy in IN said...

Bags were one of the last thing I sewed, starting at about 8 or 9 and then 4-H at 10. Great books

Beth said...

Thanks for the giveaway, Heather. One of my nieces would love this, and I'd love to "plump up" her Christmas box.

freakadoodles said...

I love The Bag Making Bible and will definitely be getting this new book. Thanks for the chance to win it!

Jen B said...

I have her first book and love it. Her new book is on my Christmas list.

Karrie S said...

This is such an awesome book!! It will be so fun to use AND look great in my special Sewing Book Shelf!

PlumLeaf 李葉 said...

Oh WOW! Her second book up for grabs?
That would be FAB! I got a new bike earlier this year - I can see Paniers being REALLY COOL on it!
We now have a new baby on it's way and a customised baby bag will be soo useful too!
Great interview! Enjoyed it a lot! :)

Maggie Christie said...

Lisa's Bag Making Bible is amazing - I'm so proud of the bags I have made from it (especially the Great Getaway Bag). Thanks for the chance to win her new book!

Fadila said...

I have made every bag from "The Bag Making Bible" and Im so much looking forward to making every bag from her new book! Thanks for the giveaway!

Ursa said...

I find Lisa's Bag Making Bible really useful ... i have not used any of the patters, but i've loved all the advice making my own bags. Would love to own the new one ...

jacqui said...

I use the Bag Making Bible all the time - it gives me the techniques I need to make my own bags. I would love a copy of A bag for all reasons - and I NEEEEED panniers for my bike!

Suvi said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I love Lisa's bag patterns!

~J said...

Huge thanks for the giveaway, I love her books, her site...everything. Lisa really does a great job of explaining the bag making process. Would love to win, so I can share the book with a friend!

Water Lily Wishes said...

Would love this book to add to the bag making bible, Lisa's designs have resparked my love for sewing x

Jos said...

Would love to have her second book!

Jasna Pišlar said...

I just discovered the amazing world of crafting and sewing - now I can't get away from my sewing machine :) so... I would realy love to win this book :)

Lisa said...

Lisa has been my biggest inspiration in bag making. I've not bought her new boom yet but have been looking forward to it. It would be lovely to win a copy. Thanks for the comp.

resi said...

i started making bags just a few months ago but now i'm addicted :)
I'm exited to see the new book!

Mrs L said...

I have Lisa's first book and would love to give 2nd a new home!

Bflymommy said...

Great interview! I'd love to have that book!! :-)

Kelly said...

Sweet! I love a good giveaway.

Carey ~ Gypsy Thread said...

Love Lisa's blog. Would love to own one of her books!

Jacklynn said...

Oooo - this book is on my wish list - hope I win, or I'll have to wait for Santa. Thanks for the give away!

Jane Coombs said...

One can never have too many quality sewing books.

Two Wednesdays said...

I've been eying this one up as I have Lisa's first book - she has lovely clear instructions about how to create all those really important details

Purpleali said...

I have Lisa's frst book The Bag Makers Bible and it is brilliant. Her instructions are so clear. I would love to have her second book and think it will have to go on my Christmas wish list

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...