PPC13: The Test Drive Sample


in the last post in this series I showed you the basic  “shell” for the new bag pattern we’re designing for Fall 2016 and since then we’ve drafted the rest of our pattern pieces for the lining and the various interior & exterior storage areas and we’re ready to make a complete bag from start to finish.

smppc13gorilla1This will of course be my “gorilla sample”. I know we’ve talked about these before.  🙂  It’s the bag that I take out for a test drive. I’ll carry it for a couple of weeks to see what I like about it, and what I’ll want to improve and I’ll be deliberately rough on it (like the Samsonite gorilla) to make sure it will stand up to that type of treatment.

At left you can see how the front exterior treatment will look. There’s a seam stitched between these two pockets providing 2 great storage areas for items you want quick access too, like your phone, keys or sunglasses.

AND… if you flip the bag over to the other side, you’ll see that I’ve included a THIRD exterior pocket that’s lengthy and roomy enough for…. wait for it, an iPhone6+. AND—-with my LG G4  phone laid out alongside it, it’s pretty obvious that there’s actually a LOT of room to spare even with an iPhone6+ in place! I’ve gotta run down some friends who have Kindles and mini iPads and the like to see exactly which devices will fit into this area and I’ll keep you up-to-date on that!

But back to the assessment… I’m not particularly happy with the placement of this pocket. It seems to be riding a bit “low”, so I’ll raise it a bit in the next sample I make and then appropriately shorten the snap strap.


Moving along to the interior, I’m very excited to show you the dividers that elevate this little bag to more than just a purse. There’s actually FOUR separate storage slots. I’ve added a 3-slot credit card caddy to one of the divider walls but as usual, one could easily add additional caddys to one or more of the others dividers if desired.


Here’s another view of the interior where you might notice that I’ve also placed a zippered coin pocket to the inside wall of this bag along with a slot for paper money. There’s also two pen holders and some special elastic holders to the front divider to allow quick access to metro cards and the like.

One thing I’m dissatisfied with and will be changing in the next round is what i think is an inadequate amount of free space between the outside bag walls and the closest dividers.  It’s kind of a tight fit on either side and the coin/cash area would be much easier to access with a little wider slot.

So… do stay tuned for our next post in this series when we’ll let you know how our “gorilla sample” held up to the scrutiny and we’ll show you our next sample bag as we work toward the completion of another new design.


And now…. it’s YOUR turn!

I’d love to know what you think of our new design at this point in the process? Remember, we love reading your comments and answering your questions too, so please feel free to leave this in the space provided below.


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.

39 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. Christine Chappell

    I love the decisions to originize my stuff. Size doesn’t look to big either. Just what I like zips up and has front pocket also. Classy looking!

  2. I really like the lines and the functionality of the double pockets on the front.

    • Thanks Mary. I have to tweek the size of these a bit. The pocket in this sample really werent big enough to hold my wad of keys and thats a must for me. 🙂

  3. Overall great size not too big not too small love the storage. Can’t wait to make it for myself.

  4. Love, love, love this design. It’s exactly my favorite sized purse. The fact that I won’t need a wallet is a big plus too.

    I’m already planning, what sized zipper are you using on the outside?

  5. I use a small purse, I just don’t like to carry anything big and heavy. So this bag looks really inviting to me. I shall be watching for the perfect materials as you continue your testing. That is one of the nice things about your sharing of the process. Thankyou!!

  6. Looks great to me also! Kind of a combo of organizer insert/ wallet all in the bag itself! I think you have a winner!

  7. What is the approximate dimension on those two center areas? Long enough for a checkbook?

    My smallish purse holds a small brush, credit card wallet, pens, phone/iPod case, pens, tiny notebook, and occasionally my husband’s glasses and checkbook case. And debris, of course. I have house and car keys plus lip stuff in an outside pocket with a snap strap to keep them secure.

    I want a Tardis purse. Tiny on the outside, big on the inside.

  8. I love the concept but not loving that long flap closure piece. Sorry. It kind of looks heavy to me on the small bag. Maybe it looks that way to me because it’s bound in the light color.

  9. Sharon Arnold

    Love it! The dividers are perfect. I can’t wait to make it. Your patterns are always great!!

  10. Linda Machado

    I like the look of this and the concept. I agree with you in the space on the inside where the coin/paper money section is could be a bit larger. Love that the handles are long to be a cross body style or not. Look forward to see how the improvements come along. Keep up the great work!

  11. Hi, I love it! and i agree that the changes you are going to make will make it a super bag. Just what I’ve been looking for. Can’t wait for the pattern to come out.

  12. Love it…just the right size. And looks fairly easy to sew, that’s the best part!

  13. LOVE all of the options in a small package. My only concern would be that the zippered coin might be hard to accually get into being inside. Maybe an outside option?

    • Well…. thats kinda why I create a bag I can carry for a while to find out about problems. If this turns out to be an issue, we’ll make some changes.

  14. I’m really liking the way this one is going! Can’t wait to see the next installment. Do you really need the flap to hold the phone pocket closed or could there just be a hidden magnet at the top of the pocket?

    • Yes the magnet COULD go there and the flap could be avoided, BUT, you would be sacrificing a good deal of room within the pocket in so doing. I would rather not sacrifice this space but it would be your choice.

      • I believe you did some testing regarding the use of magnets around credit cards. It seems to me that the longer a credit card is exposed to a magnet, however strong, it could have an adverse effect on the strip on the card. Are the new chipped cards safe from magnets?

        Anyway, I also like the idea of not carrying a wallet. I had mine stolen out of my purse many years ago, and my credit cards were in a pocket in my purse not in my wallet. The wallet had no money just pictures and rewards cards.

  15. If I were making it, I would probably move the two pen holders to the left of the coin purse/dollar slot. And probably zip up the dollar slot. Then on the blank side where the pens were, I’d be a longer zipper pocket…a bit larger than the coin one perhaps. I’m personally not as comfortable as most with credit cards hanging out in plain sight….but I was at a concert once and the man behind me managed to unzip the outer pocket of my purse and just as I felt it he was pulling out my wallet….so my money and credit cards are now double zipped in any purse I carry. I love the look, am curious about the finished size, and looking forward to seeing your next sample of it, but since you asked, here’s my 1.5 cents (economic times we’re in, lol).

  16. Hi Kat – you have a winner in this one. Please tell me what fabric you used for this sample – I love it!

    • Thanks so much for writing Lois. You know….I’ve had this fabric for quite some time. I just don’t remember what the name of it is.
      I’m so sorry.

  17. Nice looking bag. Looking forward to the pattern release.

  18. Kat,

    I love it without the flap, I always love a bag with keys handy on an open area for ease of access and the phone of course. As this would be worn across the body I don’t think it needs the flap for security as you would have in front of you. Love all the compartments. Would love one now for an upcoming trip in Sept. p.s. In Australia very few people use a cheque book…only C C’ds. Cheers from Down under….Irene Taylor

    • Hmmmm…. I love to think i could have it ready for you by then but i kinda doubt it. Right now we’re aiming for an early September release. 🙂

  19. Wow, this looks like a great design. Much more utilitarian than the little bags. Besides you can make it in your favorite color or one for every season.

  20. Can’t wait for the pattern to come out. I love it!!

  21. This looks so perfect! I love having specific areas for my things but do not like that I have to open each area to see what is in it. I forget what item is in which area so I spend a lot of time searching. This design keeps things separate but visible. Perfect! Also like that all the areas are secure under a zipper.