PPC7: Stash-tacular!

(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 in this series we showed you our first working sample of our new design and I’ve been carrying it for several weeks now, in order to discover what I like and what I do not like about the way it carries and functions. And I’ve gotta tell ya, so far I’m very pleased with BOTH!

I would term this a medium-sized bag which is the size I most like to carry. 
It’s taller than our Baggalista and slightly wider as well and easily accomodates everything I normally carry on a daily basis.

The Bag Front
The credit card feature on the front of the bag is probably my favorite feature. I’ve generally been keeping my loyalty cards out here because there’s never enough room in my wallet for all of them and I can’t stand digging around the bottom of my bag for them!

But you know what? With the double zippers and the invisible magnetic snap closure, I would totally feel secure keeping my major credit cards out here instead.  🙂

The Bag Top

Here’s the zippered closure for the main storage area and it was the object of some MAJOR modifications in this round. As you can see, it’s located much closer in proximity to the top of the bag now, and not only does this look better in my estimation, but it frees up more space on the inside of the bag too.

The Bag Back
I went back to a one piece back which I feel is a much better look. I stitched two divider lines in the back to make this pocket a more manageable size. (I need to check and see if this pocket can accomodate an iPad w/o the stitched dividers.)

I like carrying my phone in this location and the invisible magnetic snap closure renders my phone TOTALLY secure here.

The “Concealed Carry” Pocket

At this angle and with the use of these two fabrics, you can see how the bag is now color-blocked. The zippered side panels and the front and back pocketed areas are all the same height.

I’m think that this should provide for some interesting fabrication opportunities and that should be fun. 

The side zippers of course allow entry from either side of the bag to the separate inner core lining. I made some major changes in the installation of this lining so that it will hold up as an option for those that want to use it for “concealed carry”.

The Verdict
I’m much more satisfied with this installation over the last sample. The process we used this time was easier and it has a better finished look on the inside. I still think I need to provide further support for this lining so it can hold up under the potential additional weight of a concealed weapon. I’ll work on that in the next sample.

As you can see, there’s plenty of room in this area for virtually anything you want to conceal, be it a weapon of some sort or other personal items.

The Holster 
I realize that the “concealed carry” option will not be of interest to all customers, but for those who would like to use it this way, they will certainly need a lightweight option for holstering their weapon and securing it within the confines of the core lining.
At left is our first attempt at a working holster design for a small handgun.

The Verdict
First of all, in the next sample I plan on “rounding-off” the bias-taped corner at the front. I think that’ll look better and be easier to finish-off with bias tape.
I need to work on how I want to secure the weapon within the Core Lining. This time I did so with Velcro and I liked the way I placed it on the little holster, but I wasn’t pleased with where I placed the Velcro on the lining within the bag. I plan on improving this next time.

And of course this is the part of the post where I normally pass along information about the fabrications I have used in this sample, but that’s quite impossible this time, sorry.

That’s because this time I used fabrics that have  been in my stash for a long, LONG time because I knew I had quite a few changes to make on this sample and didn’t want to waste any of my cool, newly released fabrics on an unusable sample. My sewing assistant however was quite taken with them, even if there were outdated!     🙂

So… now it’s YOUR turn! What are YOUR thoughts, and…
I NEED to come up with a name for this bag, got any ideas?

If so, please feel free to leave them (or any other questions you might have) 
 in the space provided below and stay tuned for our next post in this series when our new design continues to develop!
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46 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. The Annie Oakley Bag. Something in there about women and the west.

  2. How about “The Drop Pocket Bag”? BTW I love the fabric you used for this sample 🙂

  3. I’m really looking forward to playing with this one. I got some of the “Slicker” and I think I’ll use it to line the concealed pocket, since I’m thinking about stowing snacks or a sandwich in there from time to time.

    As for the name, what about naming it after a place or a person that was a source of inspiration? Like “The Tahiti Tote and Carry” or some such thing?

  4. I appreciate these suggestions! I’m having trouble with a name for this one and I’ll make note of all these until I decide!

  5. I was thinking the Bonnie and Clyde bag or the Ma Barker bag. Not being a gun person, I’m finding this bag strange.

  6. great bag, versatile & great looking. Teh challenge has brought out great creativity

  7. Bootlegger bag because you can hide stuff you carry?

  8. I LOVE this bag. This is one I will buy when you finish. Why not name it “The Secure Woman Bag”?

  9. I have a license to carry a weapon and have been looking for a bag that has a concealed compartment. I love this design. I would like to see the inside of the main part of the bag. How about the “stash” bag for a name?

  10. Thanks so much for the kind comments. I’m having more fun with this bag than I thought I might! 😉
    And keep those ideas coming. I’m making note of them all! 🙂

  11. “Stash and Carry” how about?

  12. I have some commercial bags with credit card areas on the outside that have a zipper all around and little gussets at the bottom to keep the flap from falling all the way down which is much preferred to your current look with no gussets. You have plenty of room for a double row of cards and much more vertically. You really need gussets, in my opinion.

    I carry an iPad and an iPhone so space for that is far more important than a GUN! My goodness I’m not sure I want to buy a pattern for people who go around carrying a GUN!!! What do people say they want a side access concealed section for other than a GUN?

    Perhaps you could have a version without all that wasted space and work to make a section that I can’t picture a need for.

    • I own many of your patterns and find them well thought out and useful. I would be interested in the current bag without that outside side access section that goes all the way through. Perhaps in the pattern you could include a more conventional version without the lower area for the gun? It seems to take up a lot of space that could be devoted to toting things inside the bag from the top.

      I bought a purse pattern locally that has an outside credit card flap that is very dangerous and the flap is thin and has nothing but a magnet at the top

    • Thanks again for the comments and actually, the concealed area is good or concealing Much MORE than just a weapon and it only takes up room inside your bag if you actually put something in there. I’ve been carrying it this way for weeks with no problem, however, having said that, the bag can easily be made up with out this feature and it would save you two zippers as well.

      As for the credit card section, I have used gussets in several of my other bag patterns and I find they CAN be a bit of a pain, getting caught in zippers and the like. I LOVE this credit card section just the way it is. I have had zero problems with and to me, its the most convenient feature of its kind that we’re ever designed! The cards are totally secure and the invisible sew-in magnetic snap REALLY snaps tight without any fumbling to make the connection. I can’t imagine changing it one bit and I love this feature better than any similar feature with a gusset that I have ever designed. I realize not everyone will agree and that is really OK with us. Like my Dad said, that’s why there’s Fords AND Chevys!

      Thanks again for sharing. I love hearing from customers an many of ideas I receive this way are springboards for future work.

    • I have to agree with the original post by “anonymous” [being concerned about a company that offers a pattern for gun-owners]. Almost all women use purses. It is a much smaller percentage that use guns. I’m really surprised that you are going after this type of demographic by even bringing it up. Why not go after the sexual addicts community by saying the pocket is great for bondage straps? Makes about as much sense.

  13. I really love this pattern!! Being someone that has my CCL I have been looking for a nice reasonably priced purse and now you have come up with one! Thank you so much! As for those asking why we carry… we do it because who else is going to protect me and my daughter? Cops.. only after the fact. Don’t judge us for carrying.. our family is the most important thing!

    • Thanks for commenting Nicole. And you’re right, since this bag can be used in so many other ways than just for concealing a gun, I’m a little puzzled at why some folks might react so negatively.

  14. Since I’m a fan of Janet Evanovich, I think a good name would be the Stephanie Plum Special. You might need to check with her,though. She might like the idea, since Stephanie can never find her gun (when she remembers to carry it!)

  15. I am really enjoying your posts on how you develop your bag patterns. If I were going to name this I would go with something like The I Have a Secret Bag. I can’t wait for you to offer the pattern I want to try and make one. Not that I have a gun to secure or anything but I like bags with lots of little special places for my stuff.

    • Thanks for commenting Margaret and I’m with you. I would never carry a weapon myself, but there’s plenty of other stuff I like to keep separate from my main purse compartment!

  16. I love that you’ve come up with a CC Bag. I’ve been looking for a reasonably priced bag for several years now. Most of the CC Bags are so ugly!!!! I would really like it thought if I could carry my ipad too. Will this bag include enough room for one?

    Thanks and LOVE your blog!

  17. OH i love this! at first I didnt like the drop pocket on front but now you mention the loyalty cards is a super idea! All I can say hurry and get this pattern finished! haha! I can’t wait to have this.. I’m lost of a name for it.. all I can think of is the clandestine bag!

  18. LOVE this…how/ when can I get the pattern?
    Will it come different widths, to accompdate different barrel lengths? Little taller for those of us who like little bigger bags?
    What about the “DON’T MESS WITH MY BAG” bag?
    The (“Are You) Feeling Lucky ” bag?
    The “Serious” bag?
    Rge “It’s all here” bag?
    The “Persuit of Happiness” bag…pack your lunch, Ipad, store cards, protection..
    Is the holster going to be sewn(option)/ velcroe’d to the inside of the pocket, so God forbid you have to use the concealed weapon quickly, you can just shoot through your purse…
    Gosh,instructions then should call for twice as much fabric so it can be made twice? LOL.
    Need testers?
    Looking forward…KathyB

    • WOW! So many great questions and thanks for the name suggestions.
      So sorry but I won’t be including different widths or heights, that would make the pattern package itself too thick and expensive to be priced reasonably, however, unless your Dirty Harry, this bag should accomodate most any small weapon you would normally conceal in a bag. (I figure the larger ones should probably be carried on your hip anyway.)

      And yes it will be held in place within the bag in such a way that you COULD in fact fire thru the bag if you needed to.
      So stay tuned for further info, we;re about a month or so away from the release and thanks again for the good questions! 🙂

  19. Although this is a lovely bag, if feel it is quite disturbing that in the climate discussion around gun control you are advocating to your readers that this bag can cater to this need.
    Thankfully living in the UK the carrying of arms is not an option, and long may it be so.
    Kind regards

    • Hi Jane

      Thanks for sharing your viewpoint, and first of all I must say that you are fortunate indeed to feel so safe in the area where you live. Congrats on that.
      On the other hand I really don’t think we are advocating for carrying a gun at all. I myself do not carry now, and probably never will. I do however realize that many women feel they need to do so for safety reasons and I do feel that if a woman must carry a weapon, whatever kind that might be, that she should do so in the safest possible way.
      Along those lines, this new design of ours has been designed to safely store a wide variety of items in a VERY safe way, only one of which could be some type of weapon. Some of these other items include credit cards, loyalty cards, passports, currency, self-defense items like mace or a whistle, as well as phones, ipads, and ipods

  20. I love this pattern!!!! I will be purchasing it as soon as it is ready. Thanks so much for sharing your creativity!


  21. I have a similar (but smaller) bag with a “conceal” slot. It is fabulous for carrying a small camera without worrying about anything scratching it! it’s easy to pull out the camera without digging inside the bag.

    • Thanks for sharing this and I agree. There’s LOTS of ways to use this special pocket. I’ve carried it for several weeks now and even though I am not a weapons-carrier I have REALLY enjoyed being able to segregate certain items into this sequestered place for safe-keeping and easy access! 🙂

  22. Great bag and what a hoot to have a spot for a concealed weapon. When I first read that comment, I thought you were referring to a small handheld sewing machine. “Sew” you can whip it out and be at the ready for any emergency stitching situation.

  23. How ’bout the Pistol Packin’ Momma?

  24. Thanks sew much for this design! I am one of those women who feels the need to carry a weapon for protection and look forward to getting this pattern. Will the holster be an optional part of the pattern?

    Thanks again.


  25. Number one, I like the look of this bag. I don’t have a gun either but some of my friends do and I’m sure they would love this. I really like the comment about carrying a camera in the concealed pocket, that would really work for me. BTW, if it makes anyone feel better, citizens of Switzerland are required to have a gun in their home.

  26. How about the safe & secure bag….that way it covers whatever you want to protect. Hey maybe it’s the protector.;)

  27. I love this !! First I”ve seen that features a Concealed Carry are and Holster ! I’ve had my CCL for over 20 years….. Proud supporter of the Second Amendment !

  28. I find this new bag incredible. I can always find my appointment cards, my loyalty cards, any gift cards, and insurance cards. Since I only use a debit card and keep it in my checkbook, I have no credit cards to lose (This gives me great peace and I stay within my budget.).

    Next, since heavier items settle to the bottom, what a pleasure to easily slip my camera out from a zippered side. I can see that a narrow gusset would be helpful on the back, although, I won’t miss the tight seams it requires.

    Let’s be real here – some women need the added security of a handgun. Many of us are single mothers living in questionable areas, or we travel with our jobs, or any one of multiple situations that can effect our security and that of our children. The goal is to never need to use one.

    I like all of your designs, Kat, and have stitched almost every one. Your ingenious patterns have challenged my sewing and it has felt great!

    As for a name for your bag, my mind is seeing “Rosie the Riveter” from WWII. She was a tough cookie who took care of it all – home, family, finance, and built airplanes. She “brought home the bacon and fried it in a pan.”

    Thanks and God bless you,


  29. I just saw this bag and I love it. I really like the conceal area. I also have my ccw license and been looking for a purse for my gun. I love the way it looks and seems to hold a lot. Would be interested in it. I would just call it my “Everything” purse! Whatever you call it, it will be great.

  30. I love this bag also! Although I would never carry a gun, I too like the idea of using the pocket for my camera or my tablet! And the front slots for the loyalty cards – great idea! I have made and use wallets and purses that use magnets and have not had any problems with credit cards or cell phone. Looking forward to the pattern release!

  31. I really like this bag and am glad you took on the project of having an option for a conceal carry weapon. I do carry a handgun and do plan to make this so that I have something fashionable to carry and “conceal”.

    My comment has to do with the holster. I would prefer to not have a separate holster that is loose from the bag. I think that just Velcro straps inside the conceal pocket area so that you only have one buckle/strap to undo to release the handgun would work better. It would be fine to have the holster Velcro into the pocket and just one strap to release the handgun.

    Looking forward to getting the pattern!

    • Thanks for writing. and just so you know, if you’ll check a few of the posts tat came after THIS Post, that pretty much what we’ve decided too!
      Thanks for the words of encouragement! They are much needed!

  32. Thank you for the wonderful purse pattern. I’ve been searching everywhere for a concealed carry purse I could make myself. We need more options out there for ccw. Keep up the good work.

  33. WOW! What a great purse idea! I love it and can not wait to get it ordered and start using it. I like the “Rosie the Riveter” name has it says exactly what the bag does, although most will not get the history of the name. How about “Fingertip Fancy”. It seems to me everything you could want is literally at your fingertips!

    Great work and how wonderful to see how you go about creating ideas into a reality!