PPC11: The Gorilla Response


in our last post in this series, I showed you what turned out to be our 2nd “Samsonite Gorilla” sample for this design round and I can’t reiterate enough how glad I am that I took this bag on our trip because as it turns out, there were SO many things that needed tweeking and changing.

The primary problem in my estimation was the droopy bag opening area. Admittedly this saggy-ness could have been exacerbated by getting it soaking wet on “Splash Mountain” (thanks to my grandson!) not once but TWICE! Nevertheless, I wanted to correct it, and it was relatively easy to do so by raising the strap attachment point which can be seen at right.

I also narrowed the back exterior pocket (as you can see at left), so it would fit nicely between the two strap holders. The pocket is still roomy enough and this sizing allows for unencumbered use of the zipper.

Here’s the hit list of remaining areas that I “tweeked” during this round (in no particular order).
1) Even though it’s not easily discernable, the top corners of the bag opening area were rounded off just a bit.

2) I made the contrasting ruffles at the top of the bag a little bit taller and fuller. I’m happy with their sizing now.

3) I interfaced the lining of the “Core” area this time (at right) and shortened the Rim another smidge and I’m more more satisfied with the way this pocket looks and feels now. The rippling effect is gone and the zipper operates very smoothly.


You might also have noticed that I added the contrasting trim at the bottom of the bag to the Base and also to the back area and I have to say… I like this look. I’m not normally wedded to the idea that elements have to be absolutely symmetrical, but I’m happy with this. What I was NOT happy with was the faux leather I chose as my contrast fabrication. Oh it LOOKS good. It looks fabulous in fact, but WOW was it hard to work with!

Of course the order in which I chose to sew this area together didn’t help matters any and I’ll take steps to make that a bit easier in our next sample, but the primary problem was the lack of “give” in the faux product. I might try using a different type of stabilizer in the Base area to see if it improves the flexibility here. If it does I may pull this material and give it one more try because I LOVE this dressy yet flashy look!

And now– let’s talk about fabric!

The green bubble fabric used for this sample is called “Robie” and it’s by the DeLeon Design group for Alexander Henry. (I got mine here at eQuilter.com and it comes in three colorways.) I wasn’t particularly crazy about this fabric when I received it, but I’m very happy with how this bag turned out! The faux leather and the black & white blender I used for the lining was picked up inexpensively at JoAnn’s.

And now, it’s YOUR turn!

I’d love to know what you think of our new design at this point in the process? Do you favor the trim being on both the front AND the back of this bag for this round? Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the space provided below.

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25 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. I’m enjoying your adventure! Question – what pleather are you using? It looks like it was thin enough you were able to turn it under. I’ve worked with Marine vinyl, bonded leather, leather and pul and they each have their own quirks.

    • Thanks Barbara, and actually, the edge of the pleather was turned under with a facing. I’m not sure what kind of pleather it is though. I got it on the cheap at JoAnn’s. 🙂

  2. Despite your issues with the pleather, i think this is a stunning combination!

    • Thanks Linda. I love the look of the pleather too… so much that i may take one more stab at it with different foundation material in the base area. 🙂

  3. Love the look of this sample! Yes, I like the symmetrical leather on both the front & back. Based on looks alone, I think this will be one of your best bags. The changes you’ve made so far make perfect sense. I can’t wait to get the pattern.

  4. Marilyn Blanford

    So far I like everything you are doing with this bag except for the ruffle. It just seems to take something away from the overall bag. Hopefully there will be an alternative finish for the top because the rest of the bag is great. Love the look of the leather.

    • Thanks for writing Marilyn, but as i am sure you are aware, ruffles are ALWAYS optional. They can easily be omitted. 🙂

  5. I love your design , The ruffle adds to it and we could easily add it or leave it off if we chose to. This purse is definitely different and that’s what I love bout it

  6. Progressing nicely. I especially like the center zip pocket design concept. Numerous pockets are essential for me in a bag. As for the trim on both sides, I like the balanced look; however sometimes it’s nice to have a distinctive front and back to a bag. So, either way works for me. It is very likely that I will purchase this pattern when it becomes available.

    • I agree with you kathy. I like the front and the back of a bag to look a bit different so I keep my orientation the same. The zipper seems like enough of a differentiation in this case, no? 🙂

  7. I like the trim on the front and the back, and the ‘pop’ of green ruffle at the top looks great!

  8. Looking good!
    Still not a fan of the ruffles, especially with the cool, modern fabric choice for this sample (love the fabric). This design looks like it is comfortable next to your body because it doesn’t stick out to the front & back.

    • Yes I realize that ruffles are not everyone’s cup of tea, but remember, the ruffles are an optional trim and can be omitted. 🙂
      Thanks for commenting and have a nice Sunday.

      • Yes, I am completely aware that the ruffles are just an option! And options are why so many of us sew.
        I love your design chronicles.
        Yes, nice Sunday here…sewing away.

  9. I want! Is it for sale?

    • The pattern will be published sometime in late summer. 🙂
      As long as we dont hit any snags that is. (fingers crossed)

  10. I LOVE the look of that bag!

  11. I just Love Love Love this*❤*¯`°º•❤ℒℴѵℯ it is pretty & feminine, roomy. yet it seems to sit fairly flat against your side. It opens nicely to be able to get at things-like a nice big ~smile~It has straps that are just the `right’ length :0) .. Love the wee buckles, makes it look just posh & strong.

  12. I love this pattern, I want to add a zipper closure. I just saw the pattern and fell in love.

  13. As many of us are now in a position to feel unsafe, and feel it necessary to carry a small gun, the zippered compartment on the back might just work.

  14. So I’ve been getting Kat Bytes for over a year now. I’ve never made a bag. I’m a quilter. I almost ordered a Quattro pattern…. I have ordered zippers and stabilizer, etc…. working up the courage. But THIS IS IT !! This is the bag I want to make! Can’t wait for the pattern!!!