PPC2 – Purse with a Purpose

So, I was working on the 3rd draft of the instructions for the DittyRoo a while back, and all of a sudden, it just hit me! What if I took some digital pictures of a few of the newer techniques involved in making this new bag, and posted them on my website in the form of a downloadable pdf? That way, if folks (particularly the newer sewists among us) were a bit perplexed about a particular step, they could simply go on line, and see some color pictures detailing the technique. Do you think this would be of interest to folks?
I’m thinking maybe it might, but that meant I needed to whip up another sample so I could take some pictures of some of the more complicated steps. I really didn’t feel much like driving all the way into town to shop for fabric, (with that dumb old cast on my foot), so I started digging thru my stash and found this cool canvas print. It’s much stiffer than quilting cotton, but I usually like to test a new bag out with heavier, fabric a few times anyway (so I’ll know what to recommend), so I combined it with some leftover cotton from StudioE and started sewing and clicking.
The end result was actually much cuter than I thought it was going to be, (the bag that is) and since the bottom and both sides were made up in the canvas, it might actually be a good bag for me to keep for myself.
(I’m as tough on a bag as the Samsonite gorilla!, remember him?) 
So now that I’m done, do I recommend fabric other than quilter’s cottons? Well yes… but with qualifications. I’m going to say yes to lightweight denims, canvases and such, but only for 3 of the pattern components, and only with modification to the way fleece and interfacing is normally applied, (when using cottons). I’ve included the details in the fabric recommendations section of the instructions. 
And as for the pictures I took,  I’ve organized them into a few tutorials which you will be able to download for free on the DittyRoo page of my website.

It’ll be easy to tell which steps have pictorial support available, because there will be a little camera graphic to the side.

It’ll be interesting to see how this new feature is received. It was pretty labor intensive, so if you think this is a terrific idea, or if you think it’s just plain dumb, it would be very helpful if you let me know. We can either try to expand this type of service with the next pattern, or we can totally dumpit, if it’s not worth the effort. We’ll let the feedback we receive, be our guide! 

15 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. I love this bag! The fabrics are bold and wow-worthy. I think pictures are a great idea. Even though, I’m not exactly a newbie to sewing bags, I appreciate the pictures when I get stuck. Some of us are just visual types. Thanks for putting all the hard work into it for us!

  2. This is AWESOME!! Found your site while my husband is admitted in hospital. He’s going home today, and I will be ordering this pattern for sure in a day or 2. I can’t wait to make this bag!!! Keep up the awesome work! I’ve only been sewing for 8-9 months, since my husband’s illness progressed, and I needed something to do. I really appreciate the tips!!! THANK YOU!

  3. Great idea. Very helpful in case one gets stuck in a “corner.” Love the b/w fabric — where in the world did it come from? Catskins?

  4. Great idea. The pictures will be so helpful. There were a couple of places I could have used pictures like these when I was making the Trifecta and the Gadabout. Thank you so much for always thinking of us and not getting complacent!

  5. IMHO I would say a definite yes!! I think seeing actual pictures would be helpful to most especially if they haven’t sewn garments and been exposed to some of these techniques.

    Thanks for taking the extra time to do that for your customers!

  6. Since I’m a visual person,I like the idea of putting the tips/hints on the net. Sometimes it is just easier to see the actual activity, rather than reading instructions. I found this to be true in making the Encore Insert. There was 1 step I just could not visualize. I’ve been sewing for almost 60 years, but there is always something new to learn, & I’m enjoying it. Keep up the good work. I’ve seen a couple of your bags in sewing/quilting magazines I subscribe to.
    I think my favorites are the Lalapaloosa & the Dittyroo. They are really neat. When I get a little extra cash I plan to order them from you.

    a A Sewing Friend from Concord,NC


  8. Great Idea! The photos are excellent and will be very helpful ~ especially to those of us who are newbies at making bags! I love the look of this DittyRoo Bag. Thanks for all the helpful tips and info.

  9. I think it’s a great idea!!!

  10. Hi there,

    Thank you so much for the pictures as instructions on the tricky parts. I was in an Encore class and we were having fits about how to do a couple of things. The insert is awesome. I will be making it or parts of it again. I do want a smaller insert so will get one that is a bit smaller.
    Your ideas are excellent.

  11. Love your bags. Step-by-step pdfs are very helpful, especially for someone who might not have a lot of experience. Keep up the good work.

    I have a list of bags I keep planning to order…time, time, time. But since I was here and viewing the pdfs, if I don’t write this now, it will go on my to do list. Thanks again.

  12. Love the idea of pictures. As I get older it is more difficult to read and visualize the written instructions. Would really like to see the encore and porta pocket patterns. Thanks. Yvonne

  13. My Encore Purse Insert for my friend was my first attempt at such a complex project, so I cut out fabric pieces for two inserts. The first one was my “trial” insert. I was having trouble visualizing how everything fit together, so I first sewed a step on the trial insert, and then sewed it on the “final” insert. When I got finished I had two inserts… the final insert for my friend and the trial insert for me! How lucky for me!

  14. Actually… if I’d had photos of the steps in making the Encore Purse Insert, it probably would not have been such a “head-scratcher” for me – Yes, photo-tutorials would be a great additon to the website!

  15. Yes, I think the photo tutorials are a fantastic idea.