If it's any qualification, I have Lisa's first book and completed all but two of the projects listed. So it was with great interest I saw a followup title release. I wish Amazon let us do half star reviews, this would be 3.5 stars. These are my condensed thoughts:
- The layout, thank you for making it spiral bound this time! The presentation of information is concepts first, patterns second. I am neutral on this, further comments under Cons.
- The patterns are now printed in such a way that you can cut out the pieces, not overlapped like the first book. The paper is also pleasantly not flimsy so it appears the pieces can endure some level of wear.
- Some better clarification of techniques/concepts. When I did the messenger bag in her first book I gave myself brain damage trying to figure out how the adjustable strap worked. This is an instance in which step by step illustration would've really helped. Even though I figured it out it was the opposite way of which she instructed. This time around a few of the techniques have much better pics to help clearly define the text direction.
- Two of the patterns are dreamy and are on the top of my list to make (the new version of messenger bag and what's called a diaper bag but that can be just a regular bag). These styles are what she's known and greatly appreciated for worldwide. She creates high quality looking items with DYI moxy.
- I understand these kind of books are forced to limit the amount/length of information that appears for printing purposes. The concepts pages are taken from her first book. This is both smart and obnoxious. It's smart because resources can be allocated to other things like new patterns and a few new photographs. It's obnoxious because this time they really pared down on the intro information. What I liked about the first book is it seemed she took more time discussing the nuts and bolts: fabrics, hardware, how to use the patterns, how to adapt the patterns, etc. I do not like the assumption that the sewer who plans on using this book can afford all the resources. If using oilcloth no paragraph on what to do if you don't have a teflon foot (using wax or tissue paper), she just says get a non-stick foot.
- I am interested in maybe half of the patterns listed. A couple just seem unusually....filler like. The cover of the book is for a bike tote, like a saddle bag really. How practical is this, even for me, a city girl who has a bike? There is a clutch kisslock frame pattern. You can essentially get this, and much better instruction, for free on her blog.
- The patterns that I would make are definitely not for the beginner. She's upped the complexity for some of them, which is nice but not if this is your first foray into bag-making.