Vintage bag - 1930s doris

I love making bags, and have made quite a few of my own design, but I found some books with more patterns and decided to try out someone else's design!

This is doris...

A 1030s inspired bag from Emma Brennan's book
Making Vintage Bags

There are 20 different bags to try in the book - inspired from the 20s to 50s.  The book as easy to follow instructions and pattens in the back.  She does assume you have basic sewing knowledge - but I think with the aid of Google and You Tube - even if you're a complete beginner, you could give these bags a go!
There are some basic techniques explained at the beginning of the book and she also suggests types of fabrics, handles and fasteners; as well as showing how to make various embellishments for your bags.

The patterns at the back of the book can be photocopied and enlarged to the necessary size; and the photos throughout the book provide a great addition to her clear explanations of the steps to make the bags.
I chose to try the doris bag - as it suited some pretty material my mum had sent me for my birthday a few months ago.  I also used velcro for the closure as I didn't have a magnetic snap!  Not very vintage - but simple and effective - and since you don't see the closure, it doesn't really matter!

I'm very pleased with how it turned out - a nice cute little handbag, which didn't take long at all to make!

What do you think?

Have you tried any sewing pattern books? Do you have any you would recommend?


  1. Oh, it's so sweet! I've got a bit of an addiction to craft books, I have so many but I have to admit I am yet to make anything from any of them!
    I think when I eventually get around to it I will make something from Lisa Lam's 'The Bag Making Bible' It's got lots of projects in it and she really knows what she's talking about. :)

  2. That's so cute and colorful! I'll have to take a peek at that book when I get up the gumption to sew again.

    Tracy Screaming Sardine

  3. Oh my I just love the bag and the iris material is beautiful.

    Great job on it.

    I love looking through old magazines to find vintage items to duplicate.


  4. i have looked at that book and lusted after it! And the fabric is just beautiful :)

  5. I'd like to recommend Amy Butler's Style Stitches. Now, Miss Butler is a freak about interfacing and Peltex, so be prepared! Her patterns are full-sized. I traced them on freezer paper--works great! I used my 40% off coupon and that made it about the price of one of her patterns. A great value since that book has 12 patterns.
    I love your vintage bag and I think that print suits it well.
    Rikka J
    Ricochet and Away!

  6. Beautiful - especially in that fabric.

    I also own this book and I have got as far as enlarging one of the patterns (Veronica, I think) on a photocopier ... but I've yet to find the right fabric. I was erring to finding something with a vintage feel, but I may try just making it up in a modern fabric and see what it looks like. Thanks for reminding me about the book - you've inspired me to revisit it soon!

  7. I love that book!!! I just made a purse roughly based on Dorthy and Lois and the directions for the lining were more than helpful... for a look you can see the purse here
    I found the book at the Half price bookstore


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