PPC12: The Prototype


In our last post in this series we showed you the original sketches for our new design for Spring 2016 and here we go with the first REAL sample of our new design and if you’ve enjoyed any of our previous “Purse Pattern Chronicles” episodes, then you know that our first sample is usually incomplete and generally doesn’t even have a lining, but…

That’s NOT the case
THIS time!

Since this bag has a relatively smallish size and an uncomplicated silhouette, it was pretty easy to make changes and adjustments along the way to the completion of this first sample without wasting lots of resources, so the result is, a finished bag to take out for a few test runs on our very first try.

So… let me give you a quick tour!


First the exterior… As you can see both in our opening picture and the one above, there’s a very roomy exterior slot pocket for a phone and considering how LARGE mobile phones have become of late, I wanted to make sure this pocket would hold the largest phone I could get my hands on! I carry an LG G4, (in picture above), which is as big as any I know of, but just in case, I purposely tested it for size with every large cell phone I could find amongst my friends, including the iPhone6, and the Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge and they all fit, even with protective cases in place. You might also note that there’s a security strap included (with an invisible sew-in magnetic closure), just in case this pocket is a little TOO roomy.   🙂

And now, here’s a look at the INSIDE!


Here’s the features we’ve included in this roomy interior!

  • a secure 2-headed zippered closure
  • 8 slots for credit/debit/loyalty cards
  • 4 elastic loops for pens/lipstick/gloss
  • a nice deep zippered pocket for change or other items
  • a slot pocket for paper money, a checkbook or coupons
  • PLUS- bonus room for a few other small items such as keys or glasses (as shown)
  • interior side welts to keep the wallet/bag from dumping the contents out.
  • optional tab rings so that the wallet/bag can be carried shoulder or crossbody style.

So, in conclusion…

This bag has met or exceeded ALL of the objectives I normally have for a first round effort.  It yielded a functional bag that I can carry for a couple of weeks and based on that experience, I’ll be tweeking or adding the following features to our next effort.

  1. add an exterior zipper pocket on the backside of the bag/wallet.
  2. the phone closure strap needs to be designed with a little more “slack” to offset phone width.
  3. PLUS… it was more difficult than I like to turn the Closure Strap right side out.
  4. I might add a 2nd slot pocket on the other side of the Zip Pocket.
  5. I may reduce the number of penholders to two in order to allow more inner space for other miscellaneous items.
  6. PLUS… I may relocate the elastic more to one side of the interior for the same reason.
  7. the tabs for the little D-rings are too bulky and need to be redesigned.


And now…. it’s YOUR turn!

I’d love to know what you think of our new design at this point in the process? Have I left out a feature that really should be added? And maybe most importantly… How should we be referring to this new design?

  • As a wallet that can be carried as a bag???
  • Or a bag that can be utilized as a wallet???

And remember, we love reading your comments and answering your questions too, so please feel free to leave them in the space provided below.
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69 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. Love the idea of a bag that can be also a wallet- enough slots in there and I think only one elastic pen holder is sufficient. Looks like a winner already!!

    • Thanks for commenting Margie! For many I would agree, but i have lots of customers who like to put their lipstick or gloss in one of the penholders as well. 🙂

  2. Just LOVE this – I would use it as a wallet and have been wanting a pattern like this for ages. It is a winner for me !!

  3. Oh, I love this! I’ve been looking for a pattern like this! I would like the additional outside zip pocket; the rest of your design fits me perfectly! Can’t wait..

  4. I love the prototype just as it is. Should it look for a home later, I volunteer. I can not wait to see how you refine this one – voting for a wallet that can be carried as a purse but any name will do as long as it works as beautifully as your other patterns.

  5. I love this pattern. I have been looking for a pattern for a wallet that could be carried as a purse when I don’t want my big purse. I like the idea of the extra zipper pocket outside and the extra pocket on the other side of the zipped one inside. The only thing I would suggest adding is an optional wrist strap for when you just want to grab it as a wallet to go. My college age daughter carries her wallet/purse like that all the time. She can hold onto it, but still have hands free and not feel like she’s carrying a purse with a big strap.

  6. Wallet that can be carried as a bag gets my vote. My first instinct is to say off set the elastic straps to avoid possible bulk in the middle, but also thinking that done that way, you’re not able to utilize a continuous piece of elastic. Love this ‘wallet’.

  7. Really excited about this design. Would use mostly as a wallet, but love the option of grab it with strap of choice & go! I would prefer shoulder or crossbows rather than wristlet.

  8. I love it, exactly what I’m looking for. I prefer 2 pen holders.

    I would think of it as a wallet that can be carried as a purse (not bag).

  9. I see it as a wallet that can double as a crossbody. I have a small black one from Vera Bradley and I love it. I can toss it in a bigger bag if I’m carrying a bit of stuff, or I can clip the strap on and just go hands free. I see this design the same way, just a little larger. Love, love, love it!

  10. You mentioned the phone area was big enough for an iPhone 6, but I carry a 6S Plus. Will it fit?

    • Well… I dont know if I’ve checked it against an Iphone 6+, but if you give me the dimensions I can see how it compares to my LG G4 which is huge. 🙂

  11. This is great, as others have said, just what I’ve been looking for. I really expect to use it when I travel. I’ve successfully used my HipBag Hybrid on many trips. As you’re designing please think about a pocket with a foil interlining that can be used for a passport.

  12. Fabulous! My thoughts for enhancements:
    1. Like the idea of more slots on the side of the zipper pocket, could it also include a slip pocket behind the slots for receipts similar to the pocket you have for bills. I like to keep my receipts separate from bills/coupons.
    2. Would agree one less penholder for space for items AND offset for the same reason although wonder if offset would affect being able to slip a pen in.
    3. Agree with Pauline that a wristlet option might be very popular-especially with the younger set.
    4. I would consider this a wallet with option to carry it hands-free whether that be wristlet or shoulder or cross-body. You might remember I mentioned in your first post that I had received a wallet for Christmas similar to what you were describing. It had the option for both wristlet and longer strap and I do wish my sister had included that but it was her first and she was time-crunched to get at least one more completed.I love it anyway because the fabric she used is so me it trumps not having that option!!

  13. Love this! I can’t wait to get this pattern. I would use as a wallet. I carry large bags so this will be perfect.

  14. Could the outside zipper pocket be roomy enough to carry ‘women’s monthly stuff’?

    • well— that would depend on what type of monthly women’s stuff you were wanting to place there…..There’s a huge variety of sizes and shapes. 🙂

  15. What about adding the fabric as part of the lining that blocks snoopers
    Amazon carries it and if you put it in a kit, I am sure it would really be a draw.

    • I always recommend using just plain aluminum foil instead of spending the extra $$$ for special fabric and adding additional bulk. 🙂

  16. I really like this design. But, is there a way for it to be RFID protection. Big concern for a lot of people.

  17. I would carry this as a bag. I carry very little when I am out so this bag will be purrfect! I look forward to the pattern release. 🙂

  18. Great design. The fabric you used for this one is also great for it. I’ll say is a wallet that can be used as a bag. I think the options for the sewers are already there; like using one strap for shoulder or just one wristlet strap since they are removable. One pen elastic I think is enough since the wallet closes with a zipper anyway. The additional slot and zipper pocket can also be optional to the sewer since some (me) might like the sleek and simple outside.

  19. This looks great!!! To cut down on the stuff I lug to work everyday I just toss my wallet into my brief case with my other “purse-y” stuff. What a pain if I leave the office during the day for something, eg lunch, meetings. Usually, if I know I’m going out I’ll fold a purse up and put it in my case. If I leave without prior plans to do so I’m shoving stuff in my pockets and have even been known to use a plastic bag to keep my junk corralled. Very professional!!!

    I say that it is a wallet that doubles as a bag and I can’t wait for the roll-out!

  20. That looks very promising-I like “a wallet that can be carried as a bag”.
    Will you be adding a how-to for a cross body strap?
    I agree that you probably only need 2 elastic holders.
    Looking forward to your final design!

  21. This would be a perfect wallet/purse for motorcycle riding. Small enough to stow in a compartment. With a crossbody strap it can be worn on the bike. You have everything secure enough that contents won’t be lost. I like the pen holder and maybe one other for glosss. I will be buying this pattern.

  22. Sheryle Augustine

    I love the design but my phone is also an iPhone 6+. So I would need assurances that it would work for my phone before I purchased the pattern. Also I agree that room for two pens is enough – I just carry one.

    Hope the design will work for me.

  23. Really like this. Can see using with wrist strap and cross body

  24. I like the wrislet option and I currently use a carbinger (not sure that is what it is called) to attach the one I have now to my larger purse. The carbinger is a little awkward as it doesn’t slide easily through the hole in the zipper pull so perhaps a loop or a D ring that one could use a carbinger or some type of hook to attach to a larger bag would be an option I would like. I also have my car keys on this carbinger, so maybe even two D ring attachments? The problem with my current set up attaching through the zipper pull is that it some times unzips the pocket! Not good. I have an iPhone 6 but it also has a lifelock case which makes it a little bigger so the wristlet I bought (for $40) does not work and I have a rubber band around it to keep my phone from falling out! I am not sure about the strength of a magnetic security strap, so could a heavy duty external snap be an option?

  25. Could you post the approximate dimensions? I could get a better feel for the bag. I like how compact everything is and the built-in convertibility is great!

  26. I really like this concept. Having at least 2 elastic holders is nice, and I like the idea of a zip pocket on the outside. This would be really handy for those times when you need both hands free but don’t want to carry a large bag.

  27. Will it hold large sunglasses? I wear prescription sunglasses so would want to be able to carry them when not wearing.
    I’m hoping to go to Paris with a group of women in August and I’m thinking this would be great. I’d be able to carry everything in a small cross body bag even my passport. Can’t wait to see the final one!

    • The passport will definitely fit. Glasses will fit as well, but it depend on how large your “large sunglasses are”. if by large you mean the kiind that wrap around and are wide, then maybe not. Time will tell.

  28. I have something very similar to which l have made several modifications recently. The most important modifications l have made are placing a small pocket on the outside front for my chapstick! The other modification l’ve made that this one needs, is somewhere to hang or store those bulky key fobs all of our cars have nowadays. Other than that, it looks great & l will probably give it a try. Keep up the good work.

  29. Absolutely love it! Just what I’ve been looking for. Would mostly carry as a wallet van outside zipper pocket would be great to carry checkbook in.

  30. What. A. Super. Little. Bag!!!! I love it!

  31. Catherine Rosebud

    Love it! Perfect!

  32. This would be great for my teenage daughter who doesn’t carry much. A cross body strap would make this awesome.

  33. Jennifer garcia

    I would love a pattern for this wallet/purse. Very very very nice. Love it.

  34. My first thought was “I love it and would love to try to make it!”

  35. I love this design. It would work great for those times you don’t want to take along your large purse. I was wondering if you had considered the option of Velcro to hold in the phone instead of a magnet. Would that give you the added flexibility for the different sized phones.

    • Thanks for commenting Pam, but Velcro is always an inferior choice to me. It gets gummed up and then it doesn’t work quite right. Out invisible sew-in magnets are totally reliable and just as easy to install as velcro, so for me its a no-brainer. 🙂

  36. I’m excited, perhaps Grosgrain ribbon for the tabs?
    Hazel D

    • hmmmm.. Thanks for commenting Hazel, but I’m not so sure grosgrain is a good option, because I just dont think it would hold up to the wear and tear!

  37. It’s perfect, and I do like your ideas for improvements. A wallet that’s a bag is my first thought. I like this when going to quilt shows, etc. easy access with little bulk. The cross body strap is a must for me! Can’t wait for the patten to release.

  38. I love it.. and I love the multi elastic holders as you said above I keep my lip gloss In one and I have a small tube for my ibuprofen.. works perfect. I love the style etc. ❤

  39. I love this design and cannot wait for the pattern! Room for my glasses or pill case in the middle is perfect. I think 2 pen/lipstick holders are the right amount. How thick is it from side to side with all the items you have in it right now?

    • It all depends on what kind of items you carry. The sides are very soft so it can expand a LOT. When I carry it as a wallet its very thin, (because it has no glasses in it, etc), but when i carry it as a bag, its about1.5″ thick. But you may carry entirely different stuff. 🙂

  40. I can’t wait for the pattern to come out. I also would only use 1 pen holder and need more card slots, but love it

  41. This looks fantastic! This is something I could use when I’m out on my Harley or when I’m babysitting my granddaughter. Because let’s face it… as women, we are known for shoving just about everything you can imagine into our purses for the “you never know” situations in life!! It’s nice to have a “grab ‘n go” bag! Love it!

  42. I love the look of it, it looks really sturdy and secure ! Can’t wait for the pattern to be released

  43. Love it and would go with the original but just one or two pen loops. I love the idea of a smallish wallet/crossbody bag for a grab and go hand bag if you don’t want to take a larger bag with you.

  44. I like the concept. To keep the design in proportion to
    The size of the bag I’d like to see thinner carry straps, 3/4 to 1/2 ” wide., adjustable with small spring snaps.
    That way a smaller D ring can reduce the bulk.
    And if one were to use a wrist strap it could be part of the zipper construction being one end into the seam at the top of the zip and the other end attached at the ring on the zip pull. When closed it makes a loop for a wrist strap.

    • Thanks for the comments Alma Lou. We probably will go with a thinner strap at some point. Nothing is final at this stage of the design so I just kind of stick with the hardware and notions that we have on hand until the design solidifies. As for the wrist strap…. I’ve seen straps like you’ve described, but if we were to incorporate it as youve described into this design, then the wallet would be carried upside down and that wouldnt be advisable for long. Do stay tuned and we’ll keep you posted on the changes we make ! 🙂

  45. I love it! I am using my friend’s crossover to make a better one. I think she and my daughter will like this. Might I suggest to use nylon webbing for the tabs or maybe twill tape? I don’t know if they would be strong enough but it might work. I can’t wait for the pattern to come out! I think it would be perfect for my daughter in law to carry in the diaper bag after my grandson makes his arrival next month!

  46. Of all of the wallet/wristlet bag patterns that I have looked at, this one seems like a very comprehensive and complete. I like the idea of it functioning as a wallet, and without any pains at all, snap the crossbody strap on and go.
    Kat, if you need any volunteers for testing, I have my hand up.

  47. Yippee! I am so glad that you are going to make a bag pattern for a smaller purse. Can’t wait for the pattern.

  48. Love this pattern. Can’t wait for it to be released. It’s just the size I like to carry.