PPC4- Kaleida-FUN

(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 revealed the first working prototype of our new design , and even though we were pretty happy with it, there were quite a few items that needed redesigning & tweaking, most notably in the Flap and Zipper Panel area.

I know from experience that it’s unlikely that this sample is going to solve all of our ‘design issues’, but  it’s still very probable that I’ll be carrying this bag at least for a little while to test it out, so even though I’m not using my best fabrics on this one, I’m not using junk either. After all, I have my reputation to consider! LOL

So here’s the front of the bag. The fabric is nothing special, but I did jazz it up just a bit by piecing together the flap area with a little Rockstar Peacework (more on that later).

You can’t see it, but I added a short flat slot pocket INSIDE the Flap pocket, because I don’t always want to dig to the bottom of a deep pocket for things. I also beefed the Flap up with a layer of Soft & Stable. I’m satisfied with both of these changes. 


What I’m STILL not particularly satisfied with, is the zipper area for the main compartment. Oh I love the look of these zippers running way up into the Strap area, but it was just wicked to put together. I’ll be redesigning this area to make the installation easier and to reduce some of the bulk in the next round.

Also in this shot, you can get a good look at one of the two Phone Pockets, with my Phone in place. I have a Motorola Droid 2, which is a pretty tall phone, but as you can see, this pocket accommodates it easily .

If you lift up the Flap you’ll see that it conceals a very convenient curved pocket, a great place to store your travel credentials, like your Passport, boarding passes or anything you need quick access to.

But it’s not the curved pocket that makes this feature so special. It’s the sew-in magnetic snaps that make this area such a secure storage zone. What? You can’t see the sew-in snaps? That’s because we’re using a brand new type of snap that’s machine sewn right to the Soft & Stable of the Flap and the Purse. They’re easy to install, and they work like a charm. I really think you’ll love ’em… unless of course you just like the ‘look’ of the clamp-in style snaps.

Turning the bag around to the back side, you can see that these exterior Phone pockets are unlike any others we’ve had to date. The zippers we’ve added to these pockets are easy to operate and really enhance the security. I’ve carried my phone as well as my camera or my Flip video camera at times and nothing has ever come close to falling out of these pockets. I love ’em.

You’ll also find a generously-sized zippered pocket on the back side of this bag. Plenty big enough for large flat items, even a rain slicker. 

Here’s closeup of the Phone Pocket with it’s zippered closure. I changed the design of the bottom area of these Pockets just a tad with this sample & increased the seam width just a tad for strength and durability.

And speaking of zippers, there are 5 zippers in this bag and I can actually HEAR the zipper-phobic among you clucking in disapproval, but I promise you that it’s not hard to put them in. I still really love my black and white zippers too, and don’t they look just fabulous with this print. And after all, what color could we possibly have found in all of these sizes: 7″, 9″, and 12″ nylon PLUS 16″ separating, that would have also blended with this color scheme?

And what you see here is a closeup of the bottom of the Front Flap. I’m not particularly liking how the Flap almost reaches to the very bottom of the bag. I thought I’d like this but as it turns out, I’m not crazy about the fact that the bottom of the bag is not visible below the Flap. It makes it look like the Flap goes under the bag.  I’ll fix this on the next sample.  🙂

About the fabric…
And now let’s talk a bit about this fabric, which is part of the Legacy Studio line available at JoAnn’s and called ‘Asian Butterly Floral Mix’.

It really wasn’t a good candidate for Rock Star Peacework, and because of that, the center is NOT perfect, (as you can note in the picture below), but I’ve enjoyed carrying this bag, and as a rule, I’ve found that I am generally WAY pickier about my own work than most everyone else is. Do you find that to be true for you as well?

So… let’s summarize where we stand in the process now. At this point, we’re happy enough with our final look, that starting with out next bag, we’ll start using our best fabrics and begin the process of making up our show samples for the Fall Market. In addition, we’ll be addressing the following areas:

  • an almost total redesign of the zipper attachment area for the main compartment.
  • reduce the height of the Zipper Cap area (between the zipper and the Strap)
  • shorten the bottom edge of the Flap which I feel hangs down a bit too far.

    And I guess the only thing left to do now, is to ask…
    What do YOU think?
    Are we headed in the right direction?
              Can you already see ways in which you can fabricate a great exterior for this bag?
                        And what do you think about the idea of the hidden sew-in magnetic snaps?
    And CONGRATULATIONS to Connie C and to Barbara G. They were the lucky winners in the Annie Unrein Meet & Greet Giveaway! They are the lucky winners of a free pattern and Soft & Stable!


    Do you know someone who would enjoy this series? If so, please feel free to re-tweet it, or pass it on to others via Facebook, Twitter or StumbleUpon and stay tuned for our next post in this series, where we’ll unveil the next sample in Purse Pattern Chronicles 4.

    34 Comments So Far, You're Next!

    1. I love the idea of the new snaps – such a professional detail to include in a pattern for home sewists. I also like all the pockets. Having my phone accessible on the outside of a bag is important to me. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished pattern!

    2. I LOVE it! Can we pre-order the pattern? Does the interior have dividers and pockets, etc?

    3. Thanks for the comments and Kathy, I havent set up the pre-order function just yet, because we haven’t set a date for release just yet, but stay tuned for more PPC4 posts for that info!
      Also, this is a relatively deep bag, so he have set up two shallow pouch type pockets inside the bag and of course we have designed this bag under the premise that it can be used in conjunction with our Portapockets Purse Insert, the ultimate purse organizer! 🙂

    4. I like the design. Are you absolutely sure that the magnetism from what I assume are rather strong magnets won’t affect the electronics within the cell phone? If the bag goes upside down, the phone REALLY doesn’t slip out? I agree with making the outer flap shorter. I do like how the zipper is attached in theory because you can just hold onto the handle to open or close it.

    5. Good question Anne! I have carried a prototype of this bag for well over 6 weeks now, with NO ill effects on my phone or my credit/debit cards. The magnet really are not positioned near the phone, since the phone is isolated and secure in its own special area.
      Keep those questions coming, I love it!

    6. Am loving this pattern – it will especially lend itself well to fabric or embroidery on the front. How big is it – like will I be able to fit my Ipad into it?! You seem to take everything into consideration – organization yet still looks stylish. Can see this will be on my next order when you release the pattern. Anytime I use a purse I’ve done from your other patterns , I always get compliments!

    7. Love the way it’s coming together so far!

    8. This bag is 9.5 “W X 9″ tall X 3.75” in breadth. I’m not really sure if that will accommodate an IPad or not?

    9. oooh – I’m really liking this one!! It has pretty much everything I want to have in a bag and is a great size too. Great way for me to use up some of my recycled denim stash too!!

    10. Love the magnetic snaps… Overall the designs a sure fire winner. My only question is with the zippered phone pockets. I like the idea, but want to be sure that I wont’ accidentally unzip the zipper and loose my pocket contents. I’m pretty hard on a bag, often bumping it into things as I shop, etc. I can almost see the zipper pull getting caught on something and pulling down. Maybe putting the zipper behind a small fabric flap (think lapped zipper insertion) to protect the accidental catching??
      Lynn B.

    11. Much younger design, nice, don’t like the use of just webbing for the handle, be nice with the same purse fabric instead. why a zipper for the phone pocket? very nice bag.

    12. It’s looking wonderful! I like your fabric choice; it gives me ideas! Your zippers are very cool, too.

      Sharon A.

    13. Looks like it is coming together for you, love the magnetic snaps. Thanks for the great giveaway last week!

    14. High Street Lady

      I gree with Anne M; I love the way the zipper works. At the grocery checkout it would be so easy to hold the strap & pull the zipper open or closed. Looking good!

    15. I love all the zippers! And the curved, concealed pocket. Am anxious to know about the magnets; I’d like to try them out. The zippered pockets are unusual and a nice design feature.

    16. Here is what I know, your designs and your prototypes are better than most finished bags I see. Your styling of these is also really great and gives us all ideas for our own bags.

    17. I love it so far! Can’t wait to be able to try this pattern!

    18. Thanks for all the comments.
      I read each and every one and i find the feedback VERY useful

    19. Looking good and I agree – the flap needs to shortened. Love the idea of
      sew-in magnetic snaps and love those zippers! Like how the bag does
      not “sag” very neat looking.

    20. The bag doesn’t sag ONE BIT and it is all thanks to the new stabilizer I am using called Soft and Stable. It’s Fabulous.
      Thanks for commenting and have a fun day!

    21. I love the purse! I was just wondering if the secret pocket on the front or
      the zippered pocket on the back would be big enough for an ipad,

    22. well- i dont have an Ipad, so I am not sure… how big IS an Ipad?

    23. Sally in Saudi

      I’m loving this design. I travel internationally at least 2 or 3 times a year and I can’t wait for this design to be finished!

      Where do I find the sew in magnetic snaps?

    24. I really like this bag, when will you sell a pattern with all the new changes? Thanks. Kay

    25. First of all- Thanks- I’m so glad you’re liking the progression.
      Sally- I am so excited to be able to tell you that we will be marketing the sew-in snaps under our OWN label. I’m so PUMPED about it.
      And Kay- We haven’t established a release date yet. It takes a REAL-Ly long time to take a pattern from the initial inspiration to the final product. Having said that though, we’re thinking it should be sometime in September, but stay tuned because we’ll keep you apprised of our progress here.
      Thanks, these were GREAT questions!

    26. Kat, as usual I love your work. And your attention to detail is amazing! This is the first time I have been in on the designing, and I am intrigued. I am just dying to see the end result. You ARE more critical of your own work, as am I, but this is good.


    27. This is probably a really stupid question but I was wondering how the TSA in airports is going to react to the hidden magnetic snaps? From my experience if they see something on xray and can’t “see” it in reality they can reject it or make you go through the extra security searches, etc. Do you have any idea if this could be a problem or not? I would not want to have to put up with this problem when traveling… especially since this is going to be such a great travel bag. Other than that I think this could be your best design so far!

    28. I have used those snaps already so am prepared for them. Love them so it is an added bonus to the design! I already have my fabric all planned out for the bag. I do somewhat like the flap long like it is so will be interesting to see what it will look like shorter. In a way, long makes it look almost as if there is no flap. At least in the picture it appears that way. But of course you would know better. (-;
      I am waiting (im)patiently for the pattern.

    29. Good question Sue, but i wold be surprised if TSA has a problem with these snaps, since they so obviously are magnets, BUT, I plan on carry my prototype thru security in a couple of weeks on a flight to Canada, so we shall see…..

      And I think you’ll still be please with the Flap Donna, I just raised is up 1/2″ in the next sample and was much happier with it. (It still kinda looks like it has no flap, which is good for security, no?
      Thanks again for commenting!

    30. I love it. I want it NOW! LOL

    31. Thanks for the reply re: magnets in the purse. Not often you actually hear back from a query…. I commend you for your customer service!

    32. I really like the look of this bag too. Lots of great features!

    33. I can imagine lots of decorative finishes for the outside. My signature 16-point compass design would work very well there. I think you’re right about the zipper– it does look like a beast to install.

      I’m not terribly fond of webbing handles, so I just make my own. I like the straps for the Boho, and make them that way.

    34. I’m excited about the magnets- will be on the lookout for them. This will be my go to pattern for pocketbooks.