PPC8- Slick Redemption


a few posts ago I showed you the sewing disaster that occurred as I was working with some ultra-cool Marimekko fabric!

(And by the way, I REALLY appreciated all the encouraging remarks and suggestions that were offered! One of these days I’ll pick that debacle back up and try again, but time is of the essence right now and I just don’t have enough of it to devote to a bag that may not even be show-worthy when I’m done.)

So I hid the it in a drawer, and forced myself to quit thinking about it… but then a sale notice from marimekko showed up in my Inbox, and guess what? It appeared that they were having a sale on that very fabric… and at an unbelievable discounted price I might add!



It was almost like a sign from Heaven!

Of course I immediately placed my order and waited impatiently for it to arrive, anxious to negate the previous disaster.

So imagine my total shock and dismay when I opened my parcel a few days later only to find that it was different that I expected!

QUITE a bit different!

Oh the print was the same to be sure…but the fabric itself was most certainly not quilter’s cotton. It’s called “coated cotton” and it kinda reminded me of the shower curtains I once hung at my old house. Surely a mistake had been made!!! But when I dug out the packing list, I saw to my chagrin that the item I had received was PRECISELY …what ….I …had …ordered.    Oh my!



So what did I do???


Well… I fussed at myself for a few minutes, well maybe closer to an hour, and then it dawned on me…

this could be the PERFECT bag for ME to carry to Italy next month!

It ALSO could be a really great chance to test this pattern with an alternate, heavier weight fabric. And here’s the deal, once I made up my mind to go ahead with it, this was an incredibly exciting and fun project.



So… what was the verdict?

I’ll tell you in three words…


I’m crazy about the supple way this bag feels (a little bit like leather), and that this bag can just be wiped down with a damp rag if I get something on it, PLUS the fabric coating seems to add another dimension to  the color and print.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve gotta say that this fabric DID present some challenges, none of which would keep me from using it another time, but my guess is that it’s not for everyone!


Another thing I’m particularly proud of is the way I fussy-cut the bag pieces so that the print at both sets of side seams would somewhat match (you can observe this in the cross-body pic at right and the back pack shot below). This may not sound like too big a deal, but consider this: there was only ONE repeat included in the 1- 1/4 yards of fabric I received from Marimekko! It was literally the longest repeat I’ve ever worked with!

So…in conclusion,

This experiment was a resounding SUCCESS! This may just be one of the all-time favorite bags I’ve EVER made, and that’s really saying something!  I literally can’t wait to carry this bag on our trip next week!

So… now it’s YOUR turn

What questions or comments might you have for us concerning this unique fabric?

Do you think you might enjoy trying coated cotton for a bag exterior?

Please note: I’ll be glad to share a few tips for using coated cottons with this bag design if there’s enough interest. I can also share some pictures of how I fussy cut these exterior pieces if anyone thinks that could be helpful. Just let me know in the comments section below.

Above and beyond that we actually LOVE comments, so please feel free to leave any you might have in the space provided below and stay tuned for our next post in this series as our new design continues to develop!
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40 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. FABULOUS!!! LOVE YOUR BAG! I will be browsing for coated cotton fabric. Is it much different from a laminated cotton? It appears to have less sheen which I like. Interested??? YES!

    • You know… it really is a good deal different. I’ve used the laminated cottons and they’re kinda stiff.
      This has a thicker feel and its very pliable, not taking a crease at all. it has a more expensive feel, if that makes sense. I really like it.
      It doesnt have that luxurious feeling that leather has, but it has a substance that gives it a bit of a luxurious feel, all the same.

      Does that make sense?

  2. I really like this bag the way itn turned out. Coated cotton is something that I would like in a bag too

  3. Looks adorable. Love this print. Yes, some tips about coated cotton, please. Would like to know where to obtain it as well. I enjoy your posts.

  4. Oh, wow! Would this make the bigger version work? I have some leftover Oilcloth….

  5. This is my favorite! It’s so beautiful! I would also love to learn more about finding this coated cotton and tips for working with it. It looks perfect for this type of bag. Love it!

  6. beautiful! and so well done on the sides!

  7. Do you have some tips for working with coated cotton?

  8. I LOVE this version the fabric is great – what a perfect travel bag! I’m just sad the pattern ready for my trip next month! I’ve never seen coated cotton, wonder if anyplace else has it???

    • Now that I know what it is, it is available in quite a few places. It’s defintely worth checking out for bag-making. I’ll be using this material again, thats for sure! 🙂

  9. I love the way your bag turned out! I’m not sure if I would try it though. Not sure that I can explain why either! LOL

  10. Love the bag, can’t wait for the pattern release. Would love to try the coated cotton fabric so I would love some tips. Need to start looking for coated cotton fabric!

  11. I’m really glad to hear that there’s so much interest in this material! It’s definitely worth considering if you are into bag-making.
    I’ll try to work up a little post with some tips and tricks for you, so stay tuned for that. 🙂

  12. Love the look of the bag. I’d love to sew something with this material.

  13. I love the coated cotton fabric you used…it’s gorgeous! The large pattern seems perfect for the bag pattern and so nicely fussy-cut to boot! But then, all your patterns and bags are awesome, so I’m really not surprised! Can’t wait for the pattern to be available! Been working on a Quattro bag just tonight that I’m making out of some new Miss Stella fabric that recently came into the shop! I love all your patterns! I love the fact that when I’m done, the pattern details result in the kind of purse that some ladies would swoon over in the retail market! Thank you, thank you! And yes, I would love more info and tips on coated cotton!

  14. What did you use for the handles and the border on the pocket? I’m an interior decorator and I think a good drapery weight fabric would work for this bag! Can’t wait to make one!

    • I used quilters cotton for the Straps and the trim on the Flap and I really dont recommend anything else because of the tight turns. I did use the coated cotton on the Strap liner and that didnt cause a problem.

  15. I absolutely love this sample and would love to reproduce it for myself. I have a young daughter and I am one of the leaders of her Girl Scout troop. I could use this bag a lot and the fact it wipes down easily is a HUGE benefit to me. Unbelievably, one of the things I struggle with is teaching my daughter to maintain a neat and clean appearance as she leaves the house. LOL.

    I have sewing a few things and love using your patterns because the instructions are so clear. You have a real gift for describing in simple terms techniques that produce sophisticated results. I have made two lollapalosa purses now, both with the strips of fabric from your tutorial. In my second one, I inset a hear-shape for my dear friend. She loved the purse. That is my long-winded way of saying, “Yes! Please provide tips for working with the coated cotton as well as how you fussy cut this fabric. I love the fabric, your end result, and the very practical nature of this purse. It is perfect for me.
    Thank you! Cheryl G

    • You know what? My daughter was the same way, and even MORE unbelievable as it might sound,….. my daughter wont even CARRY a handbag.

  16. I love this version of this bag. What type of interfacing did you use? Did you use fabric that is heavier than quilting cotton for the straps? I would like some hints for working with this fabric and fussy cutting the pieces. How would this fabric work in some of your other pattern? I look forward to your posts.

    • So far the feedback has been overwhelming positive about this bag and the coated cotton material, so I’ll get to work on another post giving you the details and my recommendations concerning this material. Thanks ever so much! 🙂

  17. I would like to know what the challenges were working with the coated fabric, also those pictures of fussy cutting would be helpful.
    P.S. I love your site and your cats are adorable!

  18. I love this fabric, the colors, the sheen, and your fabulous matching! It has wonderful body to it. Love it.

  19. wisconsin dragonfly

    The bag is gorgeous and I can barely wait for your post on the details of making this stunner!

    Almost as important, where do I sign up so ” a sale notice from marimekko” will show up in my inbox too !?!? 🙂 Would love to use this type of coated fabric for my concealed carry bag!

  20. I LOVE the latest bag also!!! Your fussy cutting is awesome and the fabric looks fantastic! I’d love to make a bag with coated cotton sometime. When (or if) you give us some hints for working with this type of fabric, would you mind also providing a link to this company? I’d like to check out their fabrics.

    Have a wonderful time in Italy! I just know you will enjoy every moment there with your new bag–and your sweet hubby too!

  21. Love this bag! Soooo…. when is the pattern available, or did I miss something?

  22. I also like this bag much better this way. I’ve also used the coated fabric, it was an “experience” . The seams weren’t finished quite to my own satisfaction but it was a changing pad for a changing table that I didn’t think would get a lot of use. Then the mom had an emergency c section, so all things changed. They use it a lot, none of them realized how handy it would be. It was a giveaway from one of my friends, my daughter thought she’d be fine with just changing him on the bed. Wow did we save her back! And the pad has held up well.
    Have fun in Italy.
    Dee W

  23. I would love the tips on using coated cotton. I have made many purses using your patterns (love them, btw) and others. My biggest problem is that they don’t last very long for me. The quilters cotton starts fraying in spots especially on the handles. Coated cotton might be just what I need to use. I love the look of this new bag and that fact that it can become a back pack. I rode my bike to work a few weeks ago and decided I need a back pack for that. I also love the idea of the double strap, might stay on my shoulder better. Please share your sewing tips. They are always very informative!

  24. what is the coating? is it like PUL fabric?

  25. I picked up some samples of coated cotton recently, thinking they might work for tote bags, so any tips you can share would be welcome.

  26. Hi – Love the fabric. You are right, it is tricky to sew w/coated cotton but I have done it & will do it again. May I ask what the fabric line is called & where you purchased. Thx, Georgianne R

  27. Mistakes are just opportunities to get really creative. The bag looks terrific! Being able to wipe the bag clean is are real bonus. Do tell how you dealt with the construction challenges it presented.

  28. Love the bag and the size of it. Is there a pattern available? Please let me know.

    • This post was part of our Purse pattern Chronicles series (season 8), where we show what it takes to bring a bag pattern to market from inspiration to release. Eventually we called this bag the Cosmo Convertible, and you can get more info, see more pictures and purchase a copy by using this link- https://studiokatdesigns.com/products/cosmo