So, as promised in our last post, we started the process of adding features to this particular sample, and we’ll go over what we like and also what we don’t like about each. Features added to this particular sample are as follows:
- an interesting Flap area secured with hidden, invisible sew-in magnets.
- a curved pocket to be placed behind the Flap area.
- a secure zippered pocket to back side of Bag.
But first, if you’re a fan of this series, you know that I never pull out my good fabric at this stage of the game, and this time was no exception. For this sample, I used some old suiting fabric I got on a discount table for next to nothing at Hancock’s last year. As it turned out, it wasn’t a particularly good choice for the long haul, but because of it, I discovered and was able to correct a potential design flaw. More about this later. 🙂
But before we go into the features of this bag, we need to share the REALLY big news concerning this particular sample, was our usage of Soft & Stable, a brand new stabilizing material which we used in place of our usual stabliizer of choice, fusible fleece, and the verdict is…
|Overall, we were pretty pleased with this,
our 1st complete sample
So… here’s my first true prototype for this design. Since its my practice to physically carry an early prototype for a week or so, and since the fabric I dragged out for this sample was pretty dull, I decided to jazz up the Flap of this particular sample with my creative piecing technique, outlined in our eBook; RockStar Piecework. It only took me 45 extra minutes to change this exterior from blah to wow. It’s EASY, believe me!
This Flap has a deep zippered pocket, maybe too deep for some of the items I like to carry here (I may have to rethink this). Additionally, we opted to use fusible fleece in the Flap instead of Soft & Stable as we were a bit concerned that it would cause bulk issues at the top of the bag. I regretted this decision though, because the Flap seemed flimsy & almost fragile in comparison to the rest of the Bag.
And here’s a look at the zippered main compartment. I still love the look of the curved zipper, but this installation proved to be VERY challenging. It looks fine, but I’m going to need to do some serious re-designing in this area for next time. There’s GOT to be an easier way to get this LOOK!
And here’s your first look at the exterior Phone pocket. There’s one on each side of this bag and they zip shut for extra security. As you can see, the pocket is plenty tall enough for my phone. FYI- I carry a Motorola Droid, which is one of the larger phones on the market right now, and this pocket easily holds it. I’ve used these pockets for my Sony camera, my Flip Video Camera, and even for my lipstick and eyedrops. All my items were held securely & at no time has anything fallen out.
The only thing is… that after carrying this bag for ~3 weeks, the bottom seam of our Phone Pockets pulled loose from the Bag Body. NOT GOOD! Admittedly, the loose weave of the fabric we chose was probably a contributing factor, but nevertheless, we will be making a modification in this area as well for next time.
And here’s one of my favorite things about this design. This curved pocket area is a terrific spot to store valuables like a Passport and plane tickets. The contents of this pocket are secured by the Flap AND by invisible sew-in magnetic snaps which are a breeze to install!
I did run into a little problem while carrying this prototype though, that being that the content of the curved pocket sometimes came between the magnets, interfering with the attraction, but I know how I’ll address that in our next sample.
And finally, here’s the bag interior, which is large enough to easily accomodate the smaller of the PortaPockets Purse Inserts.
You can’t tell from this picture, but I DO NOT like the way I installed the lining for this sample, which resulted in some bulk issues at the top of the bag, nor do I like the way I designed the interior pockets on the lining sidewall. These are easy fixes.
So, here’s what I know now…
I LOVE this bag.
I love the way it feels, and the way it looks.
It may be, even with the faults listed above, one of my absolute favorites!
And, here’s what’s left to fix…
1) add a short, flat pocket within the Flap pocket to make it easy to find important smaller items.
2) Add Soft & Stable to the Flap.
3) Redesign the interior pockets in lining wall.
4) Redesign the way the lining itself is to be installed.
5) Change the design and seam width at the bottom of both of those Phone Pockets.
6) And toughest of all- redesign the installation of the curved zipper area to reduce bulk and to make it easier to install.
7) On a lighter note- To my chagrin, I found that there were so many dad-blame different pockets in this design, that even I couldn’t keep track of them as I was sewing this sample up. They will all need to be renamed and labeled for the next sample.
So… how does this first prototype measure up to the sketches from our last post? What say you now? I would LOVE to hear your comments!
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 or StumbleUpon and stay tuned for our next post in this series, where we’ll unveil the next sample in Purse Pattern Chronicles 4.