PPC11: Cats are for Cuddling



I felt pretty good about our new design by the time I finished our last post because even though there were a few adjustments that still needed to be made, they were mostly minor details…

Things like nudging a notch a bit here and there, or changing the construction details a bit for better clarity. So when I chose the fabrics for this next sample, I knew that it was time to get serious about my fabric choices, because after all, from here on out every sample that gets made has the potential to eventually wind up on the pattern cover, so I need to be mindful of that as I choose the fabrications.    🙂

I’ve actually had this particular “cat fabric” in my stash for a LONG time now. I bought it from an Etsy vendor in the form of four fat quarters. It’s really not the typical colorations that I gravitate to, but that’s good in a way. The only  problem was that I needed just the right coordinating fabrics to go with it and nothing to date felt quite right. Nothing that is, until Ellen Mickelson of Shannon Fabrics contacted me about trying out their new product, “Cuddle Suede“, and well… there ya go! I’ll tell you much more about these fabrics at the close of this post, but for now let’s talk design.
smppc11.catcuddleBACKHere’s how the back looks. This fabric combination seems as though it was tailor-made for the gold-trimmed zippers and I’m finally satisfied with the proportions of this back packet area. The strap holder completely conceals the seam area on either side of the zipper while providing a perfect guide for the strap holders themselves.
smppc11.catcuddleRimAnd here’s a closeup of the top edge. As you can see I’m once again using the new center-post buckles which I think provide just the right amount of pizazz. They’re 1″ wide though, so our customers could opt instead to use a D-ring or an O-ring instead, if they chose to.
smppc11.catcuddleSIDE1Here’s a sideview shot. I always install a purse zipper (closed on BOTH ends with 2 zipperheads) for the inner core pocket area because it simplifies the whole process of accessing stored items.
But you know what? It wasn’t until my husband pointed it out that I realized how easily this bag would function as a “concealed carry” bag.


After all, all one would have to do is unzip ONE side of the purse zipper (as pictured at left) to provide easy and convenient access to the inner “core” pocket. Configured in this way, it would be very easy (and pretty much unnoticeable to the casual passerby) to have one hand inside the inner Core area while carrying this bag as a shoulder bag.

Of course you can probably think of several other ways to put the zippered inner Core pocket to good use, can’t you? I for one prefer storing my wallet in this area, but it really is an ideal place to store sensitive, personal info such as passports and credit & debit cards.

smppc11.catcuddleINSIDEAnd as you see in this photograph, there’s plenty of room in this hidden pocket for most anything you think needs to be protected with the additional security of a zipper.
smppc11.catcuddleIpad And I have to admit that I’ve grown fond of always having my iPad with me away from the house and since it fits so easily in one of the side pocket areas, there’s just no need of leaving it at home now.

So where does that leave us now? Well I’m satisfied enough with this design now that I’m going to start writing my instructions in Publisher, which inevitably means roughly 2 weeks of monk-like seclusion (and that’s not far from the truth).

ppc11fabric4But before I go, I promised to give you some details about the fabrics used in this particular model.

The main exterior print–  “Whiskers & Tails” by Linda June Smith for Robert Kaufman

The suede-like contrast– “Cuddle Suede” in Capuccino by Shannon Fabrics

And both the lining and the gold chevron fabric were found in my stash.

And finally just a word about the Cuddle Suede fabric which I LOVED working with.

It honestly looks and feels very much like the real deal with some notable advantages.
a) You can place your pins anywhere without worrying about pinholes.
b) It’s very pliable and much lighter weight
c) You press it on the wrong side but use a pressing cloth on the right side. I also used a slightly cooler iron.

And now…. it’s YOUR turn!

I’d love to know what you think of our new design at this point in the process? And you know what? since the design elements are pretty much set at this point, I need to get serious about a name, so I’m all ears if you have any suggestions (just leave any ideas in the space provided below?).  And remember, we love reading your comments and answering your questions too, so please feel free to leave your comments about these and any other aspects of this new design as well.

Check out the best sewing pins with me on Pinterest, join our Facebook discussions, get your daily sewing fix and behind the scenes scoops on Instagram, and be the 1st to know about new patterns, discount codes and sample sales by signing up for our monthly newsletter.



27 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. Love it!!!

  2. Sherry Sheggrud

    Love the fabric and the purse is awesome. Sorry, no inspiration for a name yet.

  3. I like this design. I thought early on that the center section could be used as a “concealer.” I’m not sure that I like the ruffled edge, though. Will you make any samples without it, do you think?
    You always find the most interesting fabrics. I love the cats!

    • Thanks Jan. I’m not sure I’ll be making any samples without the edging. I like the pop of color at the top of the bag, but it could easily be make without the ruffly edging if you desire. 🙂

  4. I love this bag. It’s fun and neutral at the same time.

    How about “ElectroLife Carry”, “ElectroCarry” or just “ElectroLife”?

    I’m betting I can get all of my portable electronics in there with room to spare.

  5. I’ve watched the various fabrics for this bag and this is my favorite. Not just because it has cats, but because it’s a much cleaner look. Well done!

  6. How is this different from the trifecta purse.

    • Hi Agnes. Good question. This bag is MUCh more versatile than the Trifecta. For one thing its a good deal larger, enough to easily carry a full-sized iPad and much more. The closure is MUCH more secure and utilizes the sew-in invisible magnets and the straps are way more functional.

  7. I love the design and actually have some of the cat fabric.

  8. I love this tote!!! So versatile!
    How about calling it “Conceal a Tote”

  9. Today was a lucky day – I got to see and touch one of these prototypes and I was very surprised! I’m a gal who throws her purse ‘around and down’, so I’ve never felt safe carrying a bag that didn’t zip shut – though I’ve often wished I could. But I handled this bag and the double magnet closures at the top were amazing. They held the top together flush and firmly enough that I’d feel comfortable carrying this bag. Never thought I’d say that. And the second surprise was the look of the bag. I don’t carry large purses, but this one doesn’t have that ‘big bag’ look. It’s very svelte for its generous volume. Mikey likey 🙂 

  10. I love your fabrics and also like the way the sides of the bag are so slim at the top when it’s closed. It’s a graceful look for a larger bag. The Cuddle Suede looks good too. I think I’ll have to try some one of these days!

  11. What about using the word “triple” in the title…since there are three main sections

  12. I love this bag. I love the choice of fabrics and the ruffle adds so much to it. Can’t wait to buy the pattern and make the bag.

  13. Went looking for this cat fabric as soon as I read this issue and it has sold out of every place I could think of to look. Fabric.com was sold out almost immediately. You have a lot of influence… just mention a fabric and your followers act!

  14. Very pretty. Did you get the idea from the Trifecta? Will you be carrying the buckles?

    • Thanks for writing Donna. This new pattern is a much more modern “take” on our Trifecta pattern which is close to retirement. I loved the trifecta then, but I love this new pattern even MORE.
      And as for the buckles, we probably wont be carrying them as they haven’t had a very good reception, sad to say. 🙁

  15. I cant WAIT to buy this pattern ! I have that cat fabric how fun 🙂

  16. Kathy please consider this pattern is pre-sold and add it to my collection. I personally think the ruffles add a new aspect to the top of the bag and love it!
    You have done good again!
    NAME- Kat’s ruffle tote
    Icon ic ruffle tote
    Kats are ruffled tote

    What’s wrong with your name as part of it as it is your favorite bag so far?
    What about calling it Whiskers Tote

  17. I have this same cat fabric. Love the design of the purse!