PPC17: Choosing the “Sling Along” Cover Model


with yet another pattern almost in the books, it’s time to choose the ONE bag sample that best represents the Sling Along design for the pattern cover! In order to do this, I like thinking about which of our samples would most appeal to our customers… which one would gather the most attention at shows… and especially, which one would be the one most likely to compel a customer to pick up our pattern to give it a 2nd look!

But here’s the thing… before I make this decision, I REALLY love hearing which bag YOU would choose to be on the cover if you were ME. Maybe its because pattern design is such solitary business and I like the interactions… who knows? At any rate, I get a kick out of hearing your reasoning so let’s get started!

You’ll find all 6 of our Sling Along cover candidates pictured below in the order in which they were introduced to you in this series, (just click the link under each individual picture to see the original post associated with each sample).   And oh yeah don’t forget to keep scrolling down to read up about the criteria you’ll need to consider before putting on your “designer hat” and choosing which bag YOU would place on the cover if you were ME!

So let’s get started!

Travelin Bone – 5/10/18

Southwest – 5/15/18

Uncorked – 5/23/18

Mystique – 5/28/18

Skylines – 6/5/18

Purple Paisley – 6/10/18


now that you’ve seen the choices, here’s the criteria you should be keeping in mind as you make YOUR choice!

1. Consider MORE than just your personal favorite. Of course the sample you choose should be appealing to you, but always consider how much “universal appeal” a bag has. Would it appeal to MOST people?

2. Will it turn heads? Ideally, a cover sample should “stand out in a crowd”! By definition it’s a show bag. It’s not meant to fade into the background or look good with your entire wardrobe.

3. Do the fabrics used draw attention to the design’s key features? Some prints are so “busy” that all you can see is the print. I want interesting fabric, that’s for sure, but I want the design to shine thru unimpeded, because after all, I’m not selling fabric!

4. Does the sample include ALL the design features promised in the verbiage on the cover. Here’s the thing… the model that is chosen for the cover is the model that will MOST be associated with the design… it’ll be the “spokesmodel” so to speak. But if it’s missing a promised exterior pocket for example, then every single person who picks up that bag at the shows we travel to, will want to know why it doesn’t, or worse still, they’ll think that the design DOESN’T include an exterior pocket at all.

5. Is it photogenic? Sometimes, for reasons that I’ll never understand, (probably because of MY photography skills), certain samples just don’t photograph well. No matter the lighting…. no matter the background….no matter… what… I…. do! But here’s the deal, no matter how pretty and ideal it is in person, if it doesn’t photograph well, or if I cannot seem to get a decent photograph of it, then it’s just NOT a good candidate for our cover model!

6. Does it actually LOOK like “our brand”? Our goal is for our customers to be able to identify a pattern as belonging to our line without even seeing the title or our logo on the front cover of the pattern. We would be doing ourselves no favors for example, if we suddenly departed from a “formula” that’s worked for us for 14+ years and placed a model on the cover that just doesn’t look like something we would put forward!

7. Is it created with a special pieced exterior? As most of you know, I LOVE piecing my way to a unique exterior, but I’ve learned from bitter experience and quite a few scoldings (reference the Lollapalooza) that placing a model with such an exterior on our pattern cover is just NOT a good idea. BUT– if there are actual pattern pieces for this special exterior, and those pieces can be included in the pattern package itself (reference the Uptown Saddlebag or the Triple Play, then it CAN in fact be placed on the front cover.

So…Are you ready to have a little FUN?

Because now it’s time for YOU to put on YOUR “designer hat”! … after reconsidering all six of these samples with the seven criteria above in mind, I’d love to know which one YOU would choose to grace the cover of our Sling Along pattern.

But don’t forget—I would also enjoy hearing the reasoning behind your choice. 🙂 And do stay tuned for the next post in this series to see how closely your choice mirrored ours when I reveal which model really will actually be on the cover of the Sling Along pattern. I’m SO looking forward to seeing your comments! You probably don’t know this, but this is one of my two favorite posts of the whole year!

And guess what? We have a brand new private FaceBook Group page  just for StudioKat Designs customers?  It’s the perfect place for you to post pictures, comments or questions about our patterns! How cool is that, right? And don’t forget to check out the best sewing pins with me on Pinterest, 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 “Kat Bytes”, our monthly newsletter.

84 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. I vote for Skylines. The contrast between the day and night sections clearly shows the different sections of the bag. Plus there is a “patriotic’ emotional response.

  2. Skylines. Besides featuring my favorite colors, it’s really stands out in a crowd, and I think the bag features show up nicely, too.

  3. Well my favorite is Purple Paisley (hence I purchased the fabric), but I think Skylines. It shows the bag features a little better than Purple Paisley.

  4. My favorite is the Purple Paisley, but I will vote for Skyline as it showcases all the features.

  5. I love love love Skylines, but to me the one that reads brand identifiable is Purple Paisley.

  6. I love the Skylines one, as well. I think it does showcase the design features of the pattern, and would also appeal to most everyone. The others are beautiful, but Purple Paisley, Mistique and Southwest would only appeal to those who like those colors and styles of fabric. I also think Skyline highlights that using a special fabric and carefully placing it can really spotlight that fabric.

  7. Uncorked. Of all these beautiful bags, if it would occur to me to make one for the male members of my family, it would be this one that would encourage me to think “male.” My personal favorite to look at is Skylines, but I don’t believe it would trigger “male” in my mind. Another attraction to Uncorked, for me, is that it doesn’t speak so boldly that it would always outshine every outfit I wore. It’s a tad more subdued and conservative and wouldn’t hog all the attention. I could “wear it” over and over, blending with and complementing my wardrobe.

  8. Definitely love the Skylines and Purple Paisley…but also like the Traveling Bone, how it shows more contrast between the sections. Maybe the Purple Paisley for the cover as a tribute to Prince.

  9. Even though it is not my favorite sample, I think Southwest shows the features of the pattern best. I referred to the group profile photo and the white shows up more than the others.
    Skylines is wonderful but not sure how long that particular fabric will be available.

  10. I do love the Skyline. The colors really appeal to me and the placement of the tall building is perfect

  11. Hi from Wales, I just love all the bags but my favourite has got to be New York skyline. I’ve only been to NY once but the Chrysler Building was my number one like. As a disabled person a back pack is too difficult to get on and off but this pattern with it’s wearability options I’m excited about and Can’t wait to make it.

  12. Skylines definitely! Magnificent colours highlight the curves and shape of this beautiful bag. The lighter fabric shows off the topstitching echoing the patterns of the fabric . It’s a bag that one can relate to any place in the world and easily recognizable as a Studio Kat Design.

  13. I vote for the skylines. I live the colorful print!

  14. These are such excellent and well-thought out responses! I’m having such a fun time reading them! THANK YOU!

  15. They are all so gorgeous, very hard to pick, but, I narrowed it down to 3!! Taking into consideration of what you said are the things we’re to look for, these are my 3 picks, not my favorites, I love them all, but here we go.
    Travelin Bone
    I picked these 3 because I think they best show off all that you mentioned, but there are 2 others that I really love as well, purple paisley and mystique, they just are a little too matchey matchey and don’t show all of the units the best. Purple paisley and Sky line are my 2 favs!!!

  16. Your last four bags are all great, but for me, the show stopper is Mystique! It catches the eye with its colors and design, but the design is more universal than some of the others which tend to appeal to a more specific interest – and this bag shows off all the unique features. Will be interesting to see which bag design you – and your readers – feel would make the best cover!

  17. I agree with several, Skyline!

  18. My choice would be Mystique or Skylines.

  19. Carol Anderson

    Love Skylines ❣️ It is really has me
    thinking about making the Sling Bag.
    Have to get some of this fabric !

  20. I’m going with the Southwest. It shows the design features extremely well, including the red/white stripe zipper. It also should attract the attention of someone looking for a unisex pattern. Plus, on the website page that features all your bags this one would really stand out.

  21. For reason #6 alone, I would have to go with purple paisley. To me, that is so YOU. But since I can’t ever make up my mind, I’ll say skylines would also work!!

  22. Skylines – the fabrics chosen really delineate the pockets from the front piece, not so much with some of the other bags. Also, the fabric is not so busy, the building centered on the front is striking. Purple Paisley and Mystique are nice but they are SO yesterday as far as the prints IMHO! Another great bag! >^,,^< KittyAnn

  23. Bernice Ramsey

    Southwest. It is different than any other bag you have. The skyline is nice but busy. Might not age well.

  24. Barbara Ballard

    I love Purple Paisley, but I think the front pocket area tends to disappear. I think Southwest really shows off the design features.

  25. I love Skylines and Purple Paisley. But for some reason I am seriously attracted to Travelin Bones.

  26. Skylines is my first choice with uncorked being second. Both showcase the different sections.

  27. The Skyline bag distinguishes each pocket area. And, the different fabrics help with showcasing those too. I love the Purple Paisley fabric, but it appears to seem like it’s a one piece front.

  28. Jan Pickinpaugh

    I have to go with the Southwest. It shows off all compartments and the red/white zipper clinches it. Second choice would be the Uncorked with the duck to show this could be made for males, too. Skylines just did not punch any buttons for me.

  29. I vote Skylines because it is more the type of bag I would use for traveling and the fabric fits it perfectly. Traveling Bone also because of the travel theme.

  30. Sylvia Trimble

    This is so hard because they’re all beautiful! I think the Skylines – I love the colors plus this looks like a bag that would be great for traveling so the city scene fits!
    On a personal side note, Kathy, my daughter and family are moving from Clemmons! Going to Belmont which is great for me because my mom lives there. I’ll make sure to see you before they leave that area!

  31. Ann McWilliams

    Purple Paisley should be on the cover. The fabric is clear that the difference between the front flap fabric and the other pieces are clear. I do like Skylines, but as you mentioned it was fussy cut from a single piece of fabric which was unusual for Studio Kat Designs.

  32. Definitely Skylines. They are all gorgeous, but the tab on top of the first two is longer than what you settled on later, so they won’t qualify. Uncorked is very nice, but it’s a little too subtle and I don’t think it has the broad appeal or the “brand” look. Purple Paisley and Mystique don’t have enough contrast to show off the lines of the front pocket. I really think that Skylines hits all the buttons!

  33. I like Traveling Bone. It really shows off the features of the bag because the fabric is not too busy..I have trouble seeing past fabric and this fabric lets me see the bag. I also really like Skylines because I am from New York and it speaks to me personally.

  34. i’m voting for Purple Paisley. I love the way you have used the fabric even around the strap closure and with the contrasting fabric you can delineate where the pockets are in the front. The use of fabric was well thought out. I love it because with this fabric it looks more feminine. My second choice is Mystique. Great work.

  35. I am a fan of the Purple Paisley, This looks like a bag you could make and give to anyone. The other ones are nice, but are to specific looking, like they are made for one person’s taste. You need a sample that will show the lines but not try to focus someone’s ideas one way.

  36. Skylines. It is beautiful fabric and shows the different compartments.

  37. Mystique.

    Traveling Bone and Southwest both have the longer strap piece and might cause confusion since you changed the pattern to make that smaller. I think uncorked shows off separate parts of the bag best but isn’t as eye catching as Mystique. Paisley blends great but you loose the separate parts of the bag in the beautifully matched fabrics. Skylines is the happiest fabric but Mystique keeps drawing me back for another look.

  38. Of all of them, Southwest is the one I would most want to make, but I think Travelin Bone shows the layers of compartments best. Looking forward to seeing what ends up on the front and what I end up making!

  39. Mary Dettmers

    I think the simplicity of “Southwest” shows off the various features to their best advantage. These are ALL winner in my book.

  40. I think they’re all beautiful, but I think the patterns and light/dark contrasts in Skylines follow and highlight the lines of the bag the best. And even if you didn’t recognize the specific skyline, I think the print is something most people can instantly relate to – even us country girls.

  41. The Southwest and Travelin Bone are my choices, simply because in your last live video the whole time you were talking those 2 bags in the background, kept calling my name, I just wanted to reach in and grab them and say wow I would love to make this. So as you stated, several things to consider when choosing they to me out powered the noise around them and drew my attention, No matter which one is picked, I will definitely be making one .

  42. You certainly have a great selection of choices and lots of great opinions so far. My vote would be the Skyline for the 3D effect of the depth of the bag’s front showcasing all the different components of it. I liked the Paisley for the attention grabbing design and bright colors, and the Mystique for the timeless classiness of it and the brand look. I think you have a winner with any of them though!

  43. Mystic… because the zipper and hardware look great together.

  44. Well, it is Skyline for me. All are striking in their own way, but when you look back at all the pictures of the bags together…the one that stands out id Skyline!

  45. Skyline first, as it really pops! It looks like one of your bags right off the bath, and at first glance you can see all the detail of the bag. The Purple Paisley gets my vote for second place; it has great color, and makes it easy to envision the bag in different fabrics (in my opinion, the only downside to using Skyline fabric). They’re all gorgeous though!

  46. Carol A Hansen

    Purple Paisley seems logical, however, I pick Skyline, mainly because it defines the areas of the bag and encourages the consumer to
    “imagine” the use of a beautiful fabric thus making a bag that is personally designed, and still recognized as a “Kat” bag.

  47. Kathy Schrank

    While I also love skyline, it’s too city specific. So traveling bone is my choice because it mimics what I want to do with the bag. I love Paisley but am afraid the color combinations would limit some with their chioce of wearing apparel. But if I was inspired to make this bag for my younger folks – then it’s paisley. I am anxious for the release of the pattern so I can begin.

  48. I’m going to pick Travlin Bone because it shows off the different elements and it shows the bag could work for male or female. My favorite is the Skylines but I don’t think it shows the front detail as clearly as the Travlin Bone.

  49. Susan galasso

    I livet skyline the most, it just grabbed my attention. Second is Rome, because I think this will make an awesome travel bag. Can’t wait to order mine!

  50. I vote Skyline. It definitely stands out over the others with colors that pop. Has definite contrast to feature zippered area. Skyline and Purple Paisley definitely caught my attention.

  51. Skyline. I like the colors it shows off the bag.

  52. For showing off the features of the bag, I would have to say Skyline. The details show up more clearly, at least for me. They get lost in some of the others because of the busy-ness of the fabrics. They are all beautiful but I think this one would catch my eye as a pattern cover.

  53. I lile Travelin Bone. The pockets show up nicely.

  54. Skylines
    Because the fabric design fits the bag front perfectly. It highlights the unique shape of the bag which is what this pattern is all about. An added bonus is the bright happy colors.

  55. I’ve had such a wonderful time reading these comments today. Thank you so much to everyone for taking part! I can’t wait to share this pattern with you!

  56. My vote is for Travelin’ Bone. I think the fabric contrast shows the different aspects of the bag and is still visually appealing. I absolutely adore the skyline fabric and hope to get my hands on some, but for me, Bone shows the bag well.

  57. My vote is for Skylines because the fabric colors and design highlight the features. It is very appealing and does bring an emotional response.

  58. I think that mystic best for the criteria that your are looking for.

  59. Skylines is my favorite, but I have to say my second pick. It is vibrant, shows off the features of the bag well, and has the shortened strap above the buckle. However, it may be too bright for some to want to make the bag. I would pick the Italy bag as my first choice, but I think it has the longer strap above the buckle which was changed through your pattern making process. That leaves me with the duck bag. It shows off the features and is true to the final pattern (I think). The colors are also more subdued which may attract more people.

  60. They’re all fabulous, and it does depend on individual taste but to grab ones attention to look further, the beautiful colours of Skyline do attract your eye, then Purple Paisley is more refined but the Mystique has the feel of sophistication.

  61. I think a large picture of Southwest for the cover. It would catch the eye hanging on a stall and if a small picture of Uncorked could be in one of the bottom corners it would show it is ideal for young and old, both women and men. Other designs are beautiful but don’t show how practical the bag is as well.

  62. Purple Paisley – can’t resist it.

  63. Skyline is the one I would choose. It’s bright and colorful that is your trademark but with enough contrast that the side pockets show without being in your face. Mystique fabric is beautiful but not enough contrast same with the Purple Paisley.

  64. For me it is a toss up between Skylines and Travelin Bone. Both show up parts of the bag to their best without any explanations required. The kaleidoscope is too predictable for the brand, sometimes a bit of change is good. I don’t even know if I would make it using the Skyline fabric, though beautiful and eye catching I am more neutral in choices. There is something so special about New York City whether you have been there, want to go or don’t care to go. Every one knows it for the city it is, what it has gone through and how it has survived. It is iconic and then so appealing which the bag suggests as a travel bag.

  65. I looked, I pondered, I chose. Then I read the criteria out loud, and I asked my son’s opinion for a guy’s take on the choices. He looked them over then said, said he wanted me to make him one with the skyline fabric. His remarks were… It’s bright, it’s bold, it’s cool. I want one. I agree with that. It is very eye catching, with enough contrast to show the features and details of the bag. Skyline also says I am a StudioKat Design.

  66. I watched your video today and the Skyline Bag just made me gasp. They were all beautiful and deserve to be on the cover, but that one was just special. In fact, I have already ordered the fabric so I am ready when the pattern is. In fact I will start looking for fabric to make several as gifts if I can bear to give them away

  67. Lugene Fernald

    While I really love Skylines and Purple Paisley, I’m not sure of the universal appeal of those fabrics. No doubt they are beautiful, and they do show how you can highlight a particular feature in the fabric. That said, I think the details of the bag get lost in the uniqueess of the fabric. However, with the Southwest, I feel like I can quickly see…and want to study farther…the actual design details of the bag. While it’s not my favorite of all the bags, the pic makes one want to pick it up and look at it.

  68. I also vote Skylines, for all of the reasons already stated in the responses. The fabric alone would warrant a second look and the way it shows off each detail of the design is incredible. To me Skylines seems both playful and sophisticated all at the same time.

  69. The exterior front pocket is ideal as the focal point for themed fabrics. However, I love the overall vertical silhouette of the bag, so “Southwest” and “Skyline” are my favorites. But, as I can only choose one……drumroll, please “Skyline” is the one. It has the strong visual appeal of promising opportunities for the masses, yet suggests intimate tales of individual pursuit.

  70. Nancy Bennett

    Skylines calls out to buy this pattern and make my own. This catches my eyes more than any of the others. In fact , I want to buy the pattern now and lay it out on a panel I have in my stash.

  71. They are all lovely. I think Skylines shows off the bag’s features best and is a great example of how to use a focal point to showcase a pattern. I also love Purple Paisley. However, I think the fabric camouflages the front features too much to use on the pattern cover. When will the pattern be available? I would love to have it made and with me for the Houston show this year. Backpacks are tough for me. This looks like a great alternative!

  72. Kristin Rohan

    Based on your criteria I would select Skylines. However I really like the Purple Paisley.

  73. My pick is Skylines. I think the fabric really shows off the pieces of the bag and it shows that the front piece is an excellent canvas to spotlight a feature fabric. The skyline fabric also looks like it has a texture, which adds another design element, as well as the color gradations. Can’t wait until the pattern comes out!

  74. I’m voting for ‘Travellin Bone’ as I have been to Italy twice, LOVE the colours (the blue and salmon) especially and think it epitomises a backpack!!
    If I could get hold of that fabric here in South Australia, I’d definitely make it!!

  75. Stephenie Walker

    I vote for the Uncorked. Is this pattern available?

  76. Michelle Liedtke

    I love this bag and cannot wait for the pattern to be released. With that being said, as much as I love the Skyline bag, my vote is for purple paisley. I think this would be a nice, “neutral” design for someone looking for a bag but maybe doesn’t do a lot of traveling. I also think it compliments the bag features really well.

  77. Uncorked. It shows me what I can do with my cat fabrics. It also shows the different sections better. More contrast.