Designer Handbags by Nancy Zieman and Eileen Roche



Handbags are one of the most popular projects to sew. Embroidery expert Eileen Roche and I present the 2-part series, Designer Handbags, on Sewing With Nancy. Click here to watch Designer Handbags Episode One and Episode Two.

We designed and stitched literally a hundred or more bags. Through experimenting, lessons were learned and steps streamlined. Here’s a preview of how you, too, will be able to create handbags with ease!


eileen roche and nancy zieman



We have taken an “out of the box” approach to making handbags, with Smart Embroidery accents at the corners, novel ways of attaching the straps, and even an embroider-in-the hoop tab closure. The end product is Designer Handbags.

Embroidered Strap Details

Here’s a preview of how the embroidery design helps you create perfect strap placement.

  • The first thread color stitches the placement stitching line for the appliqué and the strap.


Designer Handbags by nancy zieman and eileen roche



  • You’ll know exactly where to place the strap—right in the stitched box. The thread color of the design secures the strap in place.


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  • Then comes the decorative part—beautiful appliqués.


Designer Handbags by nancy zieman and eileen roche



Embroidered Corners

Another feature of this first episode is Embroidered Corner Appliqués. The appliqué designs create the shaping plus add style to the bag—another Smart Embroidery!

  • Placement lines are stitched on the stabilizer and fabric for no-guesswork positioning of the fabric.


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  • Fast forward to the embroidered corner, which also shapes the bag. Notice the stitches at the corner. That’s where you cut and ultimately sew perfect corners. Smart!


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Watch Sewing With Nancy Online


Sewing With Nancy Designer Handbags Nancy Zieman and Eileen Roche



I didn’t share all the steps with you, simply because you can watch and learn on PBS or online! All of the embroideries and instructions are found in Designer Handbags. I know you’ll be impressed with the way the embroideries shape the handbags. Speaking of handbags, I used the Trace ’n Create Florida Tote and the City Bag templates to create my bags. 


Designer Handbags Eileen Roche & Nancy Zieman



Bye for now,

Nancy Zieman The Blog

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