PPC19: The Gorilla Prototype Sample

So… in our last post I told you a bit of what I had in mind for our next pattern design and showed you the original sketches. And here’s the deal… if you’re a fan of our Purse Pattern Chronicles series, then you know that normally what’s next on our agenda is a sample “prototype”, which is generally unlined, uncomplicated by interior features and made with throwaway fabrics, followed closely by a “gorilla sample” that I actually carry for a week or so to evaluate the pro’s and con’s of the design.

But this time, I felt pretty certain I could save some time & resources by combining these two samples into one step and I was actually pretty happy with the result. And…since I knew up front I’d be carrying this sample for a while, I deliberately chose some fabrics that I liked and this actually might not have been too good of an idea because as it turns out, I LOVE this fabric for this design, so much in fact that I may actually make another sample out of it later on in the process because I think it could wind up on the cover…. you just never know! But first, let me give you a quick tour of this sample. (I’ll share more about this yummy fabric at the end of this post.)

First off- I would call this a medium sized bag featuring 2 completely separate, zippered storage compartments. It’s actually taller than it is wide and FYI, my wallet fits better when it stands upright on its side edge. I’ve included a long adjustable strap for use as a conventional shoulder strap or for cross-body wear for a hands-free option.

I’ve also included a “Grab n’ Go” handle which actually serves several purposes, both functional AND decorative!  Functionally, the D-ring that the shoulder strap snap to is held in place by this handle which is stitched in place on 3 sides of the bag, providing innovative and decorative impact!

I placed a zippered pocket on the back of this bag, but I’m not at ALL satisfied with the size or the placement. This horizontal pocket just barely holds my Samsung Galaxy 8, so I’ll be rethinking this pocket before I create the next sample. I spent very little time on the interior features for this sample. I did however add a few elastic pen holders since this is a feature I really enjoy. I haven’t thought too far ahead about other features I might include here, but its quite possible we’ll add a mesh pocket or two.  🙂

So… after carrying this bag for 2 weeks, what was the verdict about this sample?

Here’s what needs to be modified or changed entirely
1- This bag is just too big to suit me. It’s a little too tall (about 10%) but it’s a LOT too wide. It sticks out from my body too far and looks pretty much empty even with all of my stuff in it! I’ll change the size before I make the next sample.

2- That circular bag handle needs to be placed differently so that the bag will be more balanced. As it is, the bag pitches forward and I don’t like that. I may however need to change the width of the two storage units in order to make this possible.

3- As already mentioned, the exterior phone pocket needs to be resized and possibly relocated.

4- Add an interior mesh pocket or two.

And finally… here’s some info about this AMAZING fabric!

It’s called “Coin Flowers a Plenty” by Michael Miller and guess what? We’re carrying it on our website NOW!
Just click HERE to find out more information and to pick up some yardage for YOUR next project or to duplicate this look when the pattern is released!!

And now…
it’s YOUR turn!

I’d love to know what you think of our new design so far! Does this seem like a project you’d like to make for yourself or someone else? And if so, what features would YOU like to see us include!

And remember, we love reading your comments and answering your questions too, so please feel free to leave either or both in the space provided below.


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23 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. What a pretty bag! Just from your comments if I were to purchase this pattern I would eliminate the hand strap and just use the cross body strap. I probably would like shorter zippers to make the bag compartments deeper. Make sense? Maybe an outside pocket with just a snap at the top of the curve. ??

    • Thanks for commenting Dawne, but please note that the handstrap is how the shoulder strap is attached to the bag, so if you eliminate it, you’ll need to come up with an alternate attachment method. 🙂

  2. Darn…that size looks perfect for me. Can you post a picture with you holding it to better visualize the size as shown?

    • Well I agree that its easier to visualize with a person in the picture, but the size of this bag will definitely be getting a bit smaller, so I’ll wait to post a picture like that until we finalize the proportions, OK? 🙂

  3. Would a full size iPad fit in this version?

  4. Wow, this one is coming along! I love the fabric and the potential for the design.
    Looking forward to seeing your changes…

  5. You show one side unzipped. Is the other side the
    the same? It does not look wide enough to fit anything
    of width.

    • You are right that it isn’t particularly wide, but I plce my wallet inside it “on end” and it works great! And the zipper comes down on both sides the exact same amount. 🙂

  6. Yes, I would like it smaller. Still don’t care for the short strap but could probably work around it somehow. just make it really short, to lie against the top, in the same fabric so it isn’t very noticeable, or top stitch to the bag.

    On another note entirely: I’ve thought about this for a long time. Is there a flat, braided flat, or round type of something that could be put into the strap when it’s covered with fabric, so that someone could not come by and cut or slash the strap of any custom made bag, and steal it right off your shoulder? Flat would probably be best but if a round one wasn’t too thick, that might work. Something similar to how people padlock their bikes when they park them. It wouldn’t have to be the full width of the strap, but be inside, on the side that would touch the shoulder. Maybe between the fleece or foam interfacing and the fabric.

    Thank you…

    • Thanks for commenting Karol and as for the strap, why not just use thin wire of some sort. Off hand I’m thinking it could be zigzag stitched into place right onto the webbing. What do you think?

      • You being the bag expert, I was thinking there might possibly be something made for this purpose, as I’ve seen bags advertised with cut resistant (or whatever they called it) handles/straps.

        Yes, It could be done that way but weight of the wire would depend on the type of instrument trying to cut it, I suppose. Can’t be too heavy or the strap would ‘stand up’. Come to think of it, at home when I was growing up, we had clothes lines of a galvanized wire. That diameter would be too heavy. Maybe the hardware store is the place to start after all. Next time I’m in town I’ll check out a couple stores and see what I can find on a card. I won’t need a whole roll. 🙂

        Thanks, Kat!

  7. I love the shoulder strap. That’s what caught my attention other than the fabric.

  8. I’m really curious to see how this bag evolves. I’m glad you’re going smaller and flatter. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  9. Your sample is gorgeous! I love that fabric. Can’t wait to see the final version!

  10. Hi! I do like the grab and go strap. I have added one to other bags I have made. The fabric is lovely! Really liked the design. Liked the pen elastics and would it be possible to add credit card slots in the inside? Excited to see it progress. Thank you for letting us watch a bag created. I love to see the process. It is part of a journey and when the pattern is available I enjoy having a product so unique.

    • I’m really glad you’ve enjoyed seeing the process. Making a bag pattern is a lot more complicated than people think!

  11. I like this design very much. The grab and go handle could be shorter & still effective. I agree with sizing down a little bit, both height and depth. Can’t wait to see the next prototype!

  12. Anita Whitaker

    Please don’t make it smaller. I have been waiting for a new larger purse pattern from you.