My 12 Favorite Customer Bags EVER!


I just recently realized that we had a significant anniversary last month and it’s definitely worth observing AND celebrating! It actually was the NINTH anniversary of our “Handbag of the Month” contest. It’s hard to believe and its been such a fun ride. I truly enjoy seeing ALL the pictures we receive, so keep them coming. Everyday that we get a picture from a happy customer is a great day for ME! So here ya go….

Here’s my 12 favorites

(presented in order of the design release).

RoseMarie Nettles
Romulus, MI

This incredible Bellagio Bag was a contestant in our June ’09 and I love it as much today as I did then! Rose Marie did such a wonderful job choosing these fabrics and her construction appears to be flawless. It has a classic, timeless quality and it photographed SO great!

Anna Lankeshofer
Rochester, NY

I fell in love with this little Tandem Tote from the moment I saw it. Anna actually used her experience making this bag to write up a review for the website, Pattern Review, and it was part of our HOM lineup in January of 2014. She did a fantastic job on the fussy-cutting too!

MaryAnn Merryman
Canton, OH

It’s not secret that I am an ardent admirer of beautiful embroidery and from the first time I saw the photo of this Gadabout (in August of 2011) I totally won over. This is literally some of the best embroidery I’ve ever seen… by anyone… and that includes professionals!

I love the whole look that MaryAnn created… the denim, the red bias trim and to top it all off, she photographed it beautifully.

Pat Leask
Munster, ON, Canada

Pat did such a nice job of choosing the fabrications for this impressive Baggalista. The 3 prints combine for an unstated yet elegant exterior. She also did such a wonderful job photographing it!

This beauty was part of our December 2011 HOM contest.

Diane Rhodes
Monroeville, PA

Diane is a master of using color gradations as an embellishment technique and she definitely used it to best advantage in this Baggalista which was part of our April 2013 HOM contest. Diane is part of our testing team now and I always look forward to seeing the bags she makes!

Cheryl Maass
Goodyear, AZ

And here we have an entry by the “Queen of the
s”. I actually had a hard time choosing which of her Quattros I love the best and finally chose this one because of the unusual & brave fabrication combination.

Oddly enough, this is also one of the very few Quattros that Cheryl has created that does NOT have a butterfly somewhere in the print. It was part of our HOM contest in March of 2016.

Sylvia Gerber
New Holland, PA

I don’t know what kind of fabric this is but I’m ALL IN on the print AND the unique texture. It does wonders for our Uptown Saddlebag design and this little number was part of our November 2012 contest.Sylvia did a super job photographing it and I imagine she’s having a blast carrying it too!

Pat Leask
Munster, ON, Canada

Here’s Pat Leask again, but this time she created my favorite customer-made Porta-PocketsPLUS Purse Insert! Love the fabrics she chose and she did a GREAT job on the make and you know what? This bag actually was NOT in one of our contests (by Pat’s request).

Beth Revere
Council Grove, KS

This Cosmo Convertible was created as part of the very 1st testing round Beth took part in, (and therefore was not in a monthly contest). I loved the whole overall look Beth created here and she photographed it in such a unique and complimentary way!

Lies Bos-Varkovisser
NetherlandsI still love the classic look of this Wrapsody. The fabrication was an unusual pick and the binding Lies chose was just perfect for it! And the location she chose for the picture was just right as well.(This beauty was part of our February 2015 HOM contest.)

Suzie Tate
Millican, TX

And here’s a Triple Play that had it ALL in my book! The exterior is interesting and well-planned… the bag is expertly executed… and Suzie did a fantastic job photographing it! In a word, it embodies the perfect trifecta!

This bag was part of the April 2017 HOM contest.

Beth Revere
Council Grove, KS

And last but by all means not least, I loved Beth’s “newsprint” version of our Everyday Attache which she created during the testing phase for this design. As usual, Beth did a very excellent job on the make and the photo she took was thoughtfully planned and executed!

So there you have it!

These were my 12 all-time favorite customer-made bags! Did you see one of YOUR favorites here? Maybe, but maybe not, right? And that’s OK. It’s unlikely that all of us would have looked at all of the wonderful entries received over the course of the last 9 years in the same way!

And here’s the deal… as it turns out, some of these bags were the ultimate winner in the particular monthly contest they were involved in, but some were not. So how did I decide? Well let me tell you, it was HARD, but as you look thru these entries, I think you’ll notice a two commonalities!

1- They were impeccably made. Sure, beautiful fabrics were chosen, but each sewist also was sure to use the correct foundation materials to get a professional finished look!
2- They were photographed beautifully. Background, lighting and bag position were carefully considered in order to get a really great shot!

And now…. it’s YOUR turn!

Would YOU like to be involved in our Handbag of the Month contest? I know there’s some GREAT sewists out there who have yet to enter our monthly contest. And here’s the deal… did you know that EVERYONE who enters our contest gets a prize? That’s right! The winner of course gets the best prize, a $25 gift certificate, but ALL of the other entries get a 40% off discount coupon? How cool is that?

So what are you waiting for?

All you have to do is attach a picture to an email and send it to us at and we’ll do the rest! and remember, we love reading your comments and answering your questions too, so please feel free to leave either or both in the space provided below.

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