PPC3- Closing in on a Vision

(This post is part of a continuing series focusing on the development of a new handbag pattern from its initial conception to it’s release.)

So in our last post, we told you that for our next sample in this series, we would be working on fixing a few design issues from the last effort. In my estimation, the basic silhouette still needed some work, I wanted to try a curved flap embellishment to highlight the front pouch area, and I wanted to address the bulk issue in the strap area.  So let’s see how well this sample addressed those concerns.


First off, let’s talk about the materials we used in this bag. You might be surprised to find out that I purchased most of this fabric from our local JoAnn’s. The main fabric, (with the large love bird) is actually a block panel design by Susan Winget, manufactured exclusively for JoAnn’s. (I love using block-type prints for bags in case you haven’t noticed.) The complimentary fabric is called ‘Bird Floral, again by Susan Winget. (It’s not really new, but my local JoAnn’s still has it stock.) The red contrast is just a routine, run of the mill, red fabric, but the striped fabric is actually from the ‘Rio Grande’ Collection, designed by my friend, Terrie Mangat. I love how it looks against this folksy print. Another ‘Mondocized’ combination, don’t cha think?

I picked up mine here, but it’s pretty easy to find if you Google it. But let’s get on with the design critique!


I’m very pleased now, with the overall shape and silhouette of this bag. If you compare it to our last sample, you can see that the bag is deeper now, the front pouch area is wider, and the tri-colored side pockets ‘show’ more color. I like the balance and shape a LOT, and I doubt I’ll be tinkering with the shape any further except in the area of the strap attachment area, because the angle is still not quite right. One more adjustment in the next bag, and we should have it right I would think. 

Strap Attachment Area

Because we were concerned about bulk issues in the Strap attachment last time, we knew we had to make a change of some sort. I REALLY love the look of the three colors worked into the Strap area, so I wanted to give it one more try without interfacing this time, to see if that would reduce enough of the bulk, but no….it really didn’t. So… we ‘ll tweak the pattern in this area for our next sample. Perhaps only two colors in the fold-over area will reduce a sufficient amount of bulk so that most every sewing machine can handle it with ease.

Back of Bag

Here’s a closeup of the the back area with the zippered exterior storage pocket. I’m very pleased with how this area of the design looks and functions, so I can stop tinkering here as well. 🙂

Zippered Closure

Here’s your first glimpse of the zippered closure area. This went together pretty well for a first try. I’m happy with the length of the panel. Even if this bag is turned over, very little if anything would fall out.

The Pouch Flap

Now- let’s talk that problematic Pouch flap. If you remember from my last post, I really didn’t like the squarish flap at all, and I thought maybe that designing a curve into the flap might work, and if you try hard, you can see it pictured at right.

So…Let’s Sum it Up- 
     What do we Keep… 
          and What do we Chuck?

So obviously, we still have a few issues to resolve. This flap issue is still on the table. Even with these drastically different fabrics, it totally disappeared. But I’m STILL not willing at this point to give up on this train of thought, and of course I still need to resolve the bulk issue in the strap attachment area. While these two items are significant, we’re definitely getting closer to our vision.

So are you thinking the same things I’m thinking? It’s time for YOU to play designer now- what would be YOUR next move?

21 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. Despite the wicked weather and the fact that school is closed … I feel the urge to RUN to my Joanns ASAP!

  2. I love this design! What size will it be? When will the pattern be ready? I’m thinking it will be the perfect bag for the new study Bible I am purchasing next month.

  3. Thanks, it’s good to start the morning with a smile! The bag is roughly 12″ wide, 7.5″ tall and 6″ wide at the sides. 🙂

  4. I love the size of the bag. I made one with the straps coming from the bottom incase of weight. I like the idea that you put all the bottom parts through the buckle so the weight would not be a problem. Mine has zipper pockets inside – didn’t catch what pockets were inside. Are the straps long enough for over the shoulder? I love this design, need to know when it’s ready 🙂 Blessings, Janet

  5. I absolutely adore the fabric choice! I really thought this time it
    looked “right”, if you know what I mean. I’m not sure I see what you’re
    talking about with the pocket flap. The colors of the fabric interfere
    with my being able to tell what’s going on in that area. I can’t wait
    until you bring this model to the market (us)!

  6. Great bag!! I was thinking about the strap attachment area… Keep the arc of the three fabrics and modify it a little so the striped fabric is the only one going over the metal ring. Angle the other two colors just enough so the floral fabric ends at the edge just below the attachment area and the red would disappear beneath the floral just below that. I wish I could draw on here, since I don’t think I am making myself clear.
    You mentioned only having 2 fabrics go over the ring… Maybe the floral and the stripe with the red disappearing between them just before the attachment area. Just had those thoughts running around in my head. Take care. KBW

  7. Like the last post, I love the fabrics! Are they all from one group?

    This is a bag I would definitely use!

  8. Kathy, I love how this is evolving. The fabric panel you chose for the front and back center, has a square around it so in the pictures we are viewing, the curved shape doesn’t really show up. Our eye goes to the turquoise square and stops there. That is not a flaw in your design. It just makes it harder to see the curve, even in the closeup. I can see a half of a zipper as your piping on the center panel. I’d go plastic as a metal zipper might catch our clothes. I can see Mondo in this!

  9. Oooh. It will be a perfect size for that huge study Bible. I know it is a little premature, but when do you think the pattern will be ready for sale.

  10. I love it!! Can’t wait to get started!

  11. oh I love all of this feedback, and I’m so glad you like the direction we are headed! Right now I am thinking about a mid-March release, but that might be optimistic! Stay tuned for more!

  12. I am watching to see what the two color strap attachment looks like. You have put a lot of color into this fun purse

  13. I think that if you used the striped fabric for the outside and the small bird fabric for the inside that the pouch flap curve would show up better since it wuld be obvious where one fabric starts and the other ends. Just a thought.

  14. I am the ed. coordinator at a JoAnns in CT, and have seen some extremely gorgeous fabric on our shelves of late. Almost all of the StudioKat Designs I’ve made are from our shelves, and they’re beautiful. Bring on that new pattern!

  15. It seems like our JoAnns is starting to carry a little nicer fabric now. They are also making an effort to keep the store cleaner and better stocked. I guess maybe it’s because they have been bought out, haven’t they?

  16. I still love all 3 fabrics worked into the strap area, too. So, is there
    any hope of including this in the instructions (with, perhaps, a warning of
    its difficulties in stitching) in the final pattern?

  17. HI Lynn
    Thanks for commenting.
    I’m afraid that would be a nightmare, because that options totally changes the pattern templates. We would have to include almost a complete duplicate set of templates.
    One of the hardest parts of this job is writing a pattern that most everyone can use and understand AND will work on most everyone’s machine.
    My advice- please hand with us a bit longer- I think you’ll be pleased with how we resolve this issue. 🙂

  18. I really like this design. And I love the bag with the Susan Winget
    panel. Why not make the flap optional?
    Thanks for the “play by play”!

  19. Thanks for commenting.
    That would be one way to handle it. I normally try to keep my instructions as short and concise as possible, but still end up with 6-8 pages. (I get some complaints about the length of the instructions) So I kinda hate to take up even MORE instruction space for a feature that I’m not sold on,,,, but I’m still thinking, so you never know

  20. You could add a gradual curve to the pouch flap and add to two other fabric to the outside edges. making each addition a little more curved to show off all the beautiful colors. Roseanna

  21. Believe it or not, we got this fabric at JoAnn’s
    You can get the fabric line info by looking at the 1st full paragraph of this post which references “a previous post”.

    I’m so glad you like the Quattro and thanks so much for commenting!