Announcing… The Big, Big Bag Month Contest!

on June 27 | in Contests & Giveaways | by | with 20 Comments

We’re kicking Bag Month off in style here on the Sew,Mama,Sew! blog with a big, fantastic, grab-your-scissors-and-start-designing Bag Month Contest!  You’ll find all of the details in this post, so read, bookmark, and get ready for some Bag Month fun.  You’ll be amazed with our judges and you’ll be thrilled, we’re sure, with the fantastic prizes!

Bag Month



  • Bags must be started and completed between June 22nd and July 23rd.  (We’re looking for freshly-constructed bags.)
  • Bags must be submitted by July 23rd.
  • We’ll announce the winners on July 31st.


  • Shoulder Bag
  • Tote
  • Handbag
  • Other (Messenger, Backpack, Makeup Case, etc.) 


  • Design Creativity
  • Fantastic Use of Fabric specific to Design
  • Overall Appeal/Aesthetics
  • Utility/Practicality
  • Interesting/Good Discussion about Bag in Entry

There will be three winners in each category, with a prize for each winner (that’s twelve lucky winners if you’re already too dazed with excitement to do the multiplication).

  • Four $50 Gift Certificates to Sew,Mama,Sew! 
  • Four Fabric Packs of 10 half yards from one of four beautiful fabric groups: Joel Dewberry, Mod Girls, Alexander Henry and Katie Jump Rope.
  • Four Amy Butler sewing patterns courtesy of Amy Butler Design. 

The following are our talented, illustrious and ever so knowledgeable judges.  Be sure to keep reading (below) for profiles on our wonderful judges.  All of these ladies will be looking at your bag!

Submission How-To:

  • You may submit up to three bags.
  • Send an email to, subject line: Contest Entry. 
  • Include your name and note how we can find a picture of your bag and your associated, written discussion.  You can choose to post the picture and discussion on your blog, on Flickr or you can email the picture and discussion with your entry. 
  • If you used a pattern, please let us know which one.
  • It would be fantastic to include the Bag Month Badge (above) if you post on your blog and it would be lovely to include your entry in the Bag Month Flickr Group (but these two elements are not a requirement).
  • We want the world to see your gorgeous bags, so we may be using the photos on our blog, our newsletter, or our store website.  By submitting your work, you are granting us permission to use the photo in association with our Bag Month promotions.  Of course we will always give you full credit for your work. 
  • Edited to add:  We would love more than one photo of the bag.  A detail shot would be nice.
  • Edited to clarify:  We just want a few sentences about the process of making the bag.  How’d you choose the fabric?  What inspired you?  How did the construction process go?  What kind of life will this bag lead?  Anything that you have to say about the bag, but it doesn’t have to be long.  If you posted on your blog about the bag, obviously we can use what your wrote there.  If you are posting only on Flickr, then you should write in the comments of the photo.

Check out more details about the judging criteria and our judge profiles below.

Meet the Judges

Carrie Sommer came to accessories design in a roundabout, advertising to paralegal to web design route that ended (or really just started to begin) when she made a bag for a friend. This bag led to orders for more and soon bags developed exponentially; Carrie now has five immensely popular handbags in her Sommer Designs line. In 2005 Carrie added housewares and accessories (aprons, lingerie bags and belts) to her line. She uses beautiful fabrics in her work and sells her creations through Sommer Designs and at fairs and markets. Carrie keeps us all posted on the growth of her thriving business (and other touches of her busy life with three sons) through her blog. It’s an exciting time for Sommer Designs, and there are big things in store for Carrie.

Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom and Mod Girls fame is one of our favorite fabric designers. You can easily see her love of color and design in her Sis Boom products, and now you can also enjoy more of Jennifer’s process and inspiration via her blog. Jennifer’s working on several new designs for the next quilt market and has many new products in the works (like some beautiful scrapbook paper). She has two children and a “wonderful, hands-on husband” who gives lots of support. Be sure to enjoy the amazing array of Jennifer’s work at Sis Boom; as an added bonus for inspiration Jennifer loves to highlight the work of people who use Sis Boom Fabrics on her site.

Linda consistently provides smiles, tips and inspiration on her popular Craft Apple blog. She has an extensive collection of well-received patterns she sells via her Etsy shop and her new Craft Apple Creations site (currently in development and off to a great start!). She writes on her blog: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It’s what I do to maintain my sanity.” Linda has three children and a full, busy and crafty life. A self-labeled “purse-aholic” she recently counted all of her bags (current grand total: 11, 10 handmade!). Linda also moderates the Bagaholics Anonymous blog for all things bag-related. For a “Wow!” example of one of Linda’s own designs check out The Diaper Bag by Craft Apple.

You likely know of Liesl Gibson through her Disdressed blog. She teaches sewing at Purl Patchwork and wrote a backpack pattern for a class she taught this spring. The Day in the Park Backpack Tote pattern is taking the crafty world by storm and Liesl is currently reprinting the pattern due to its overwhelming popularity. Before her daughter was born Liesl worked as a clothing designer for Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, specializing in cotton shirtings (fabric and print designs) and outerwear (very technical designs). She grew up influenced by her mother (who sewed designs based on Liesl’s ideas) and her grandmother who was also a clothing designer. Liesl attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and has been a resident of NYC for almost 16 years now. Be sure to check out the new A Day In the Park Backpack Tote Flickr Group for some of Liesl’s design influence!

Sara Piaseczynski curates the immensely popular Bag Blog and spends, as she writes, “a large amount of time thinking, researching and looking at pocketbooks.” The Bag Blog is a fantastic resource for anyone looking for more information about bags, pocketbooks and purses. The site helps you easily sort out which bags really are beautiful, useful and worthy of your bag love and which bags are just a lot of hype. Sara loves bags! She also hosts the Bag Blog Flickr Group and has an incredible photoblog (supporting her other obsession: cameras). Many of Sara’s photos give amazing glimpses of New York City, where Sara currently lives (she loves it!).

Judging Criteria:
We want you to win! Here’s what you want the judges to think when they look at your bag:

Design Creativity: Wow! Incredible! I wish I’d done this. It’s a uniquely creative approach to the category. I never thought of approaching it this way. I never/don’t usually see it done like this.

Fantastic Use of Fabric specific to Design: Wow! Incredible! It looks like the fabric was designed specifically for this purpose. It’s amazing how the design and fabric complement one another.

Overall Appeal/Aesthetics: Wow! Incredible! I’d pay money for this bag and I’d show it off!

Utility/Practicality: Wow! Incredible! This is a fantastic approach for the intended purpose.

Interesting/Good Discussion about Bag in Entry: Wow! Incredible! This shows thought and intention. When I read it, the discussion provides a connection to the person who created the bag, to the process or to the bag itself.

Ready, Set… Sew!

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20 Responses to Announcing… The Big, Big Bag Month Contest!

  1. Oficina4 says:

    Great idea!

  2. Cecilia says:

    Is it too late to join?

  3. Diana says:

    i am from Italy,my bags are on my blog..i want to be in this contest.can i??thanks!

  4. Kristin says:

    Aneesah Says:
    Wow, this is lovely! It’s open to everybody, right? No restrictions on country or region?

    Right! No restrictions.

  5. Aneesah says:

    Wow, this is lovely! It’s open to everybody, right? No restrictions on country or region?

  6. supa says:

    oh man, this is exciting!

  7. Lisa says:

    I’m on it…my head is spinning.

  8. rhembein says:

    Yippee!! FUN FUN FUN, here I come!!


  9. Laurie says:

    Yay, can’t wait to get started! I have one to share so far!

  10. Ruth says:

    I think I’m going to do this! Thanks for the motivation.

  11. Karen says:

    This may be the contest I need to try to make my first bag! I look forward to participating!

  12. Rashida says:

    So excited to do this! ^_^ Yay! Can’t wait to see the entries.

  13. Addie says:

    okay! thanks..

  14. Kristin says:

    Addie Says:
    June 28th, 2007 at 5:09 am e
    Can someone tell me how to get the button on my site??

    Kristin Says:
    You can either right click and save the image to your computer and then load it to your blog like you would any of your images, or you can right click on the image and view Properties. This will give you the url for the image hosted on our server.

  15. Hope says:

    Fun! Must get working….

  16. Addie says:

    Can someone tell me how to get the button on my site??

  17. Candlestring says:

    Wow! This is incredible!

  18. Mary says:

    Oh, this sounds like so much fun!

  19. Megan Young says:

    I’m in like Flynn.

  20. beki says:

    How exciting – I’m all over this!!

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