PPC15: With an Ethnic Flair

So in our last post in this series, I showed you the “Gorilla sample” for this our 15th cycle of Purse Pattern Chronicles, which means I not only carried it everywhere I went for a week or so, but that I was also ROUGH with it.

Did I stomp on it or sling it across the room (like was done in the old Samsonite commercials)? No, but I did try overloading it, and I let it roll off the passenger seat to the floor of the car, and I crushed it under some heavy grocery bags, and guess what? It held up beautifully!

But here’s the thing, even though I was pretty happy with our design at that point, there were a few areas that needed immediate attention. Here’s a few of the most obvious….

First of all, I switched from using 1.5″ wide D-rings to 1.5″ wide rectangle rings. I like this smooth look much more than the bunched-up look produced by using D-rings. I also switched from using Soft & Stable to fusible fleece inside the two front flaps. The result was less “life” in the flaps, that is to say the flaps lay flatter now against the body of the bag and that’s a good thing.
Additionally, I changed the shape of both the main flap and the Pocket flap in subtle ways. First, I made the Pocket flap longer and then I changed the design of the main flap so that it’s a little wider so that it conceals the top Pocket corners.

Next, I added a card holder with six slots to the inside wall of the Pocket. But you know what? I like this feature so much, that I think I’ll go ahead and add a DOUBLE row of card holders to my next sample! (Stay tuned for that change in our next update!)

Here’s a good shot of the back of the bag and the zippered exterior pocket. I actually made this pocketed area just a tad less wide this time, in order that our 10″ zippers (our most popular size) would more easily reach from end to end without the metallic zipper boxes becoming involved in the side seams. I hate broken needles, don’t you?
(Bag dimensions= 12″ wide X 9.5″ tall X 4.5″ side width)

And here’s a good look at the zippered main compartment. And there’s the thing, several of you have mentioned that you wished we would add some sort of twist lock to the bag flap, but I hope you can see from this exposed view of the bag front (sans flap in place) that there is no way to attach the twist lock to the bag area above the Pocket Flap (as it would seriously impact (and NOT in a good way) the drape of the Bag Flap. Furthermore, if the twist lock were attached the the Pocket Flap, it would mean that BOTH the twist lock AND the mag snap within the Pocket Flap would have to be disengaged in order to get inside the Pocket area, (and that would be a total pain).

So there’s the full tour!

Which means now its time to talk about this fabric, which I actually picked up at the AQS Daytona show from one of our neighbors!

When I saw Grace (of The Maasai International) folding up this fabulous green/blue print from across the aisle and I signaled her to set that aside for me, because the very second I saw it, I knew it would make a stunning bag exterior. (And just so you know… large prints are generally PERFECT for bag exteriors… worth remembering, right?)

And another tidbit worth noting…this particular remnant was a little heavier than typical quilting cottons, but the extra heft had absolutely no negative effect on construction!


And now…. it’s YOUR turn!

I’d love to know what you think of our new design at this point in the process? If you have questions or comments we’d be glad to entertain either or both in the space provided below. AND— if any of you have any names you’d like to suggest for this design, I’m all ears!  🙂

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30 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. Barbara Ballard

    Love this bag! It’s very similar to one I bought at a consignment store, which is heavy because of some of material used. This will be lighter to begin with, so I definite will make this bag. Can’t wait!

  2. Eileen Ostrowsky

    Thank you so much for adding double card holders. I am sure I could figure it out myself, but your instructions are always so impeccable.

    I love how fussy-cut fabrics could be show-cased.

    I am sew looking forward to ordering this pattern.

    • I don’t know about you but I have SO many random cards I have to carry and I really dont like digging for them, so I enjoy the card holders too! Twelve is about right for me, how about you?

  3. Oh I’ll be purchasing this bag for sure! LOVE it!

  4. I do like the D-rings! Would there be a way to add slip pockets to the sides of the bag? I like being able to slide my sunglasses into a spot that’s easy to reach.

    • That should be ” I do like the rectangles” I was trying too hard NOT to put D-rings 🙂

    • Thanks for commenting Ramona. I understand wanting your sunglasses close and easy to reach, but would there not be enough room in the front pocket. It’s really quite large (full purse width). As for the side slip pockets. It’s not something we would recommend, having not tried it ourselves. I’m afraid they could produce some bulky seam issues in the side seams of the bag.

  5. I’ve enjoyed seeing the progression of this bag from idea to finished product. Can I ask whether you decided to put the iPad pocket on the inside of the bag? I would love to have that division in there, even if not for my iPad. I like this bag very much and would buy it. I think it’s “Just About Perfect” and that’s what I would name it. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just everyone’s idea of perfect is different .

    • Good question Cheryl. I decided against the iPad seperator as it added a good deal of bulk to the back seam area which I didnt like and it actually took up a significant portion of space on the inside of the bag. If one was to use one of our bag inserts in addition, it would’ve seemed unnecessarily cramped on the interior. So sorry. 🙁

  6. Kat — How are you holding the flaps on the front and back closed? It doesn’t appear that there are any magnetic snaps anywhere….are they hidden (you sneaky devil). The purse looks lovely. I love your patterns as they always have the very best instructions of any that I have tried. It is a very professional looking bag. Can’t wait to give it a try.

    • Thanks for writing Barb- There are actually two flaps on the front (none on the back). The lower flap covers the front pocket area and is held in place by an invisible sew-in magnet. The flap covering the entry to the bag itself is in addition to a zippered closure, so I didnt think an additional closure on the flap was necessary. 🙂

  7. patricia crocker

    I love the bag but I also LOVE the fabric. Do you know how we can acquire some? The pattern is so cute. I think I might add some embroidery for my grand daughters with their college emblem. Mine will be in those colors in the sample theirs will be in school colors.Sure hope you can tell me where to acquire the fabric. Thanks for all you do.

    • Good question Patricia- in the body of this post I included a link to the website supplying this fabric. I actually purchased it in person at the AQS Daytona show, but if you email the company with a picture of this fabric, I’m hoping they’ll be able to help you with this. It was fun to work with! 🙂

  8. Nancy Blocker

    This is my dream bag. I have made several of your bags, but am waiting anxiously for this one to be released!

  9. Elizabeth Martell

    I think I would like to have the card holders inside the
    zippered area, rather than where they could be
    reached easily just under the flap, for security

    • Our sew-in magnets are VERY secure and generally take TWO hands to operate. I really dont think anyone would get in there undetected, and that flap is not flying open without your knowledge either, but I understand your concern and You can always leave that feature out if you prefer. 🙂

  10. Mary-Lou Wightman

    “Flip, flap, and go!”
    I love it. It looks like a great travel bag with nice secure pockets.
    I look forward to the pattern release!

  11. Hi I like this bag, but is there anyway you could put a 2 way purse zipper on the front pocket? Thats where your keeping your money and credit cards and a magnet just isn’t safe enough. I’m speaking from experience of being pickpocketed with a purse that only has a magnet holding it closed.

  12. More card holder slots would be great. Since I am on Medicare and have a secondary Insurance plus I need to show a driver’s license everytime I see a Dr., I need more slots.

  13. Well ,I will definitely be ordering this pattern. Wish I could find that same fantastic fabric. It just makes it perfect, but I will start hunting. How much would I need ? If I had that, I could get the rest later. I think I would like double card slots too. On our way north for the summer. I take my projects all cut out ready to sew. Two of your purses are in the case !! Marikyn Reid

    • Well… technically, you only need 1/2 yard for the exterior, BUT— you will definitely need more depending on the size of the repeat on the fabric you’ll be using. The bigger the repeat, the more fabric you’ll need. 🙂

  14. Kathleen Ulinski

    When can I buy updated pattern?

    • This blog series is devoted to the process of preparing this pattern for Market. It is not quite finished yet, but should be available for purchase (hopefully) in early August! I’m so glad you are interested! 🙂

  15. I love, love, love this purse! All the changes solved any issues I might have had with the gorilla bag. I really like the way that the front pocket is separate from the main bag since I always have my autistic grandson with me and he can have his necessary items in the front pocket and he doesn’t need to get into the main bag for them. I do love this latest fabric, being practical, it won’t show any little hand fingerprints as easily! A name, hmmm, maybe “The Kangaroo Bag” because of its pouch.

  16. I read your newsletter every month. Though I seldom carry a purse, I have enjoyed looking at the purses. But this is the first one that I really REALLY want to buy Can hardly wait till it comes out. The closures clinched it for me. Nothing will fall out. Very stylish and elegant. Sleek lines. Even Sturdy looking.
    August huh? sigh.
    Name? The Uptown Tote. Stylish Stacy.. Business Betsy. lol…..

    • Thanks Elizabeth and actually…. things have gone very smoothly so far and we’re actually a month or so ahead of schedule. Should be sometime in mid-July unless some goes terribly awry!