PPC9: Slicked-up & Ready to Shine

smAH2 - CopySo…

at the conclusion of our last post in this series, we told you that even though there were still had a few “issues” to address in this design, we were ready to move forward and start making show-worthy samples.

I had this great-looking contemporary floral from Alexander Henry in my stash so I thought I’d commission it for this round. I’ve also had a hankering to see how an exterior that’s at least a partially laminated would turn out. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it out, since I can easily get away with only laminating the rolled, flat exterior. But more on how this worked out later, let’s do a “design-talk” first!

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First things first… the big news as you can see, is that I added a zippered pocket to the back side of our design. It’s obviously not a deep pocket, but it’s plenty deep enough to accommodate most all cell phones on the market today.

FYI- I have a Samsung Galaxy 3 with one of those “sticky” rubberized protectors (which adds to it’s size), and it zips up just fine.

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All-in-all it was an easy change to make and I like the way it looks and the functionality it adds to this design, so thanks to everyone who pushed so hard for it! It was a good add-on.

What do YOU think of this look?    🙂

In addition to adding this zipper to the back I’m still monkeying around with the inner construction of these interior zipper pockets.


I’m still working to find the perfect balance that gives the interior pockets the firmness and support I’m looking for without adding any more bulkiness than necessary to those outside folded seams.  I realize that not everyone has a sewing machine that can handle layers of fabric as well as mine can so there ya go!)


For this round, I attacked the issue by addressing the stiffness within the layers of the Zippered Pockets themselves, and you know what? It worked great, BUT–it made the pockets a little floppy and hard-to-work-with until I actually got them stitched within the Bag Wall and then they were fine.
However, that floppiness I told you about… it was SO annoying to work with, that I actually consider it to be a WORSE problem than the bulkiness issue it was meant to solve! SO… next time I’ll reverse my thinking and attempt to reduce the bulkiness by making some changes to the Side Walls themselves!

Something to look forward to, no?

And finally… I promised to give you the low-down on fabrications involved with this bag, so here we go. I’ve had this exterior fabric for quite sometime now, but as much as I liked it, it never seem quite right for any of my previous projects. It worked well for this bag though, probably because I balanced the business of the print with the black side walls. It’s called “Olympia” by Alexander Henry and its out of print now,  but I did find 8 yards available on eBay, believe it or not.

AND- I laminated this fabric with Slicker by Sew Lazy. I’ve love the results produced with this material. It’s the perfect add-on for handbags because it adds water-resistance and protects the exterior from dirt and grime. For this design I only added Slicker to the flat exterior and the strap wrapper. It came out beautifully, but please be advised that Slicker does add another dimension of difficulty to the process of bag-making because the fabric will automatically be stiffer, (it eliminates ALL stretch and give), AND you can’t place a hot iron directly on it. But none of these issues are insurmountable as long as you take your time.

So– There you have it!

And now… it’s YOUR turn!

I’m ready to hear your reaction to this sample in particular and this design in general  because here’s the deal… we actually LOVE comments & questions too! 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! ************************************************************************************************************************  We actually LOVE comments and questions too, so if you’d like to share yours, please feel free to do so the section provided below!  Did you enjoy this post? If so, please feel free to share it via FaceBook or Twitter!



56 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. Not knowing the actual construction of the sides, this may not be appropriate, but here goes. What if instead of using binding at the top of the sides you used a technique where your outside fabric is longer than the lining piece. Sew the two together at the top and fold the outside fabric over the seam allowance to the outside leaving a small amount of the outside fabric showing on the inside, but a finished edge at the top. I hope I’m making sense. From what I can see on the pictures, the rest of the edges would be covered with the binding. It doesn’t look like the binding at the top of the sides shows too much anyway in the profile. This would remove all the layers of the binding on the folds of the pockets. Just a thought. I really enjoy watching your design process.

    • I understand what you mean Pat and that would be a beautiful look, but first and foremost, that could be a VERY complicated thing to do for the average person. I can’t even imagine doing it well myself with the entire exterior. I’m not sure how the zipperends on the back would get covered either and that would be a BIG problem.
      Here’s the thing, there’s a trick to applying bias tape smooth and wrinkle free and if you’ll notice, there are absolutely no folds in the bias tape for this bag, but due to the curve involved in this bag, I’m pretty sure if we extended the exterior fabric as you are suggesting, it would be ANYTHING but smooth in the curved areas because the exterior fabric could not be stretched like the bias tape is during the process.
      So, it’s a lovely idea, but I don’t think it’s a practical one for this particular bag. Thanks for putting it out there though. 🙂

      • I was thinking of only using the fold over on the side pieces. Not the whole bag.

        • Hmmm… well since you don’t have the pattern pieces in front of you then you are unaware that the top edge of the side walls are actually VERY curvy and this would be VERY tough to accomplish in a smooth way. If you get the pattern you’ll understand when you see it.

          It’s a lovely idea, but not practical in my estimation. Thanks for the suggestion though! 🙂

  2. AH is my absolute all time fav fabric design house – love this! I’d so love to test this bag and am itching to make 1 or 2 or 10! Love the additional zip pocket on the back. Love zips!!!

    • I would have to agree with you Kylie. I think AH has some of the most innovative and contemporary fabric on the Market today! Although I love the Free Spirit fabric lines too. 🙂

  3. I so need to make this bag! I love the overall design, and concept. Will be wonderful once I get the pattern so I can start making it! Thanks for coming up with this idea!

  4. I have been fascinated watching the process of designing this purse and am looking forward to the release of the pattern. I will definitely buy the pattern and will most likely make the purse. (Patterns are like books – you can’t have too many and they are enjoyable to read.)

    I am learning a lot from reading your notes on the process.

  5. Each and every version is better than the last! In regards to Pat’s comment above — its a lovely way to finish straight-lined edges (or soft curves) but not sure it would give enough to finish this one. Also, I kind of like the contrasting binding — it adds character to the bag. Love the back pocket!
    Waiting for the final version! I have some fabric in mind for this and holding off to see what the requirements will be. Another gold star for Studio Kat!

    • Once we finalize the components and size of this design we’ll release the fabric requirements so you can be on point for the release! 🙂 I like to have my fabric all on hand and ready for several projects in advance as well! 🙂

  6. WOW!!! Absolutely love all the changes and can’t wait fir the pattern!!!!

  7. I have watched from the beginning and I’m just in love with this design. I love the organization that is possible, and I can see so many different fabric choices, from a daytime/shopping mode to evening formality (clutch version – no strap) as being possible! I would probably omit the binding on those end panels and simply do a RST, turn and press application of them to eliminate bulk even though my Bernina can handle whatever I throw at it. I would also put all the card pockets inside a zippered pouch for discretion and safety if I used them, but I carry a card case instead, which I often put in my pocket in case of purse-snatching, which is not unheard of in our area. I intend to make a vest with secret pockets for such things, too. Cute, but functional. My son’s mother-in-law was held up at gunpoint last year in broad daylight at the same grocery store where I shop!

  8. I design basketmaking patterns and we are required to have someone test out the pattern by making it from scratch – checking for any mistakes, inconsistencies, etc. I have always wished that quilting/sewing pattern designers were required to do the same because there are some very badly written patterns out there! It is so wonderful to read about the changes you are making in revising your design – it shows how much you care…not only about the design of the bag but also taking into account that not everyone has large, heavy duty machines. I, for one, really appreciate all of your efforts and the fact that you are not just in a rush to just get a new pattern out on the market for sale. THANK YOU! I am anxious for your pattern to be released.

  9. OH.MY.GOODNESS. I Love, Love, Love this bag! Ok, I am ready to make it. My daughters birthday is May 23rd, will the pattern be ready so I can get it made?!?!?!

  10. I have to totally agree with Chrystal. I love watching the steps you take in creating a pattern. And the care with which the steps are written out in the pattern. As a first time StudioKat Design user, when I opened the Baggalista pattern it was overwhelming. So many pieces! So many instructions! But as I took my time and worked it out exactly step by step as instructed, voila!! There it was! Perfect! Being so specific in your pattern writing is very refreshing, after years of “big company” patterns that often leave you guessing as to just what they mean. The tutorials are a huge help also. So now SK patterens are the only ones I want to use! And yes I LOVE the new one, and can’t wait until it’s available!

    • This is music to my ears Marilyn! We do spend a LOT of time with the instructions and its gratifying to know the work is appreciated! Thanks for tooting our horn! 🙂

  11. I love this design and cannot wait for this pattern to become available. It is so versatile and compact. My granddaughters have been asking for smaller purses and this is exactly what I have been looking for. I’m a big bag lady but this sure catches my eye.

  12. I love the way this design is coming together, and especially like your choice of fabric. I can hardly wait to purchase this pattern.

  13. I’m glad you added an outside pocket. I cannot wait to get my hands on this pattern. I have a bolt (yes a whole bolt) of Slicker in my stash. I used it on a project a few months ago and I have mixed thoughts. Do you think the outside would be doable in a heavier upholstery weight or will it make the bulk issue you’re talking about even worse?

    • In regards to my last reply, not so much an upholstery weight but a home dec weight for the outside?

    • Good question Jackie- but its really not the bulkiness that’s the primary problem. As mentioned, the Slicker added an issue with stiffness that made the sewing difficult. This bag needs to be manipulated during sewing and the Slicker fought against that. For the same reason, my guess is that the heavy upholstery fabric would do the same. haven’t tried it though…..

  14. The pictures on Facebook caught my eye this morning. This is the kind of purse that I like with organization and no need of a separate wallet. But, having said that, I might leave off some of the card slots. I only use 6 in my current bag. The other cards go into a zippered section. If you left off some of the card slots, could you add some lightweight interfacing to make the pockets less floppy?
    Also, I like the contrasting trim at the top, but it looks bulky. Could you try a single weight trim rather than the double weight? It might take care of the bulky problem, but I’m not sure.

    • Good comments Jeanne. And actually, the card slots are all optional. make 1, or make 6… its your choice. There already is interfacing inside the Pocket layers, and I recommend that whether or not you make card slots.
      As per the contrasting trim at the top, I don’t know how to answer your question, since I’m not sure what top your talking about? at the top of the pockets? at the top of the side walls? And what does that mean… single weight versus double weight? What does that refer to?
      I’ll be glad to give you an answer if you want to be more specific.

  15. Loving this bag. Now that we’re retired (and loving it), we are traveling more. I got a Bagallini bag as an emergency purchase when the straps of a bag failed on a trip. It’s made of a tough nylon with strong webbing for the adjustable straps. That bag has been pretty good for traveling, because of the handiness of the outside pockets and the bright interior. BUT, I really like the organization of this new bag, and may just have to order it and the “accessory kit” when you are ready to release!!!!

    • Thanks Anna- I do think this would be a really good travel bag, because the compartments are plenty big for a camera and some of the other things one carries on a trip! 🙂

  16. Hi Kat, I love this one! Fabric selection can make or break and this one really pops. It would be too busy for a large bag. Also, thanks for considering the bulk. I bought a new Singer and am very disappointed in its ability to manage bulky seams.
    I’m looking forward to the release of this pattern.

  17. I just love the bag and can not wait until you will sell the pattern. It there room enough in the bag for a purse to put my money and other stuff in?? it seems that the first pocket is not that wide..
    think i want to givee this one a try !!! and love the fabrics you used.. (i once made a gadabout and i loved it !!! it was from thin jeans with little hexagons)

    • Good question Ingrid. All three zippered pockets are the same width. The center pocket is about 3/4″ taller than the front and back pocket. There’s plenty enough room for a major size wallet and most anything else you normally carry. 🙂

  18. JULY! (Whine) just too long to wait! Seriously -I am looking forward to this pattern.

    I am looking at trying thIs with leather for the outside of the bag and the strap. Fabric everywhere else. I have a nice stash of several different weights (thicknesses) and suspect the more pliable the leather and the less bulky, the better. Any advice?

    • It would have to be VERY pliable and very lightweight to work. I generally avoid giving advice if I haven’t tried a material myself. Hope you understand. Do let me know what works for you though- as others would be interested I am sure!

  19. I love love love this bag!! It’s a bit smaller than the bags I usually carry, but it looks so well designed that I think I could fit everything I need into it and not have to dig for things. The fabric in this particular bag is wonderful. I’m always a sucker for black, red, & white, it looks so classy. Oh, and I love the added zipper on the back of this bag, too. I have just one question. When will the pattern be ready for purchase? 😉 I know you have things to iron out, but I’m just really excited about making this bag! 🙂

  20. I, like everyone else, am anxious for the pattern and can hardly wait for it to be released. I previously ewrote about this – but apparently my message went to the “black hole in the sky” – it happens!

    How does one sign up to be a “test” sewer?

    thanks for the info and messages. Love getting them.


    • Thanks for writing Darlene. We get asked this question quite often. Some of our testers have been “with us” for years. They are a very loyal and its a tough job. I prize them all! As you can imagine, we very rarely have need to replace onebut we do keep a waiting list for those that are interested, with promises made to no one of course. I not in a hurry to replace any of the ones I currently have. They are the greatest!

  21. Each and every design change has made this bag even better. I love the back zipper and the inside card pockets and look forward to getting my hands on the pattern….thanks for your thoroughness and creativity!!

  22. I am loving this more and more! I can’t wait until it’s available for purchase, so I can make one for myself…and I can tall you right not that my mom is going to want one as well.

  23. Love it so far. Don’t care about a cell phone but I LOVE the idea of the zip pocket on the back!! Keep the innovations coming. Impatiently waiting for the pattern to come out 🙂

  24. Merilee Kennedy

    I love the addition of the zippered pocket on the back for a cell phone! Like everyone else, I love your designs and can’t wait for this one to be available! I really appreciate keeping us posted on the progress of your patterns. It’s very interesting…wish I had your creative vision! But alas I will just have to settle for using yours and your patterns! I love them all! With your SK designs, your attention to the details is amazing and the finished results make each bag unique and quite professional looking! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  25. Thanks for adding the outside pocket. Would it be possible to move the opening up to the point where the flap starts or just 3/8 of an inch below that? Then of course only have the pocket portion go down to the point where the bottom of the bag begins so anything placed in the pocket doesn’t get lost under the bag.
    I also like the lighter color for the lining. I have found in past experience making handbags, that it is very difficult to find what you are looking for in the bag when the lining is dark.
    I have fabric set aside for this design already and am eager like many others to make it myself.

    • It sure is nice that so many people are excited about this release. It makes me excited as well!
      As for moving this pocket, I really think its high up as it needs to be. I certainly didn’t want it visible from the front of the bag and it already is as deep as it can be without interfering with the bottom curve of the bag. It’s plenty roomy I think. My cell phone fits in it just fine ( and I have a Samsung galaxy which is a large phone) and even when the pocket is full, it doesn’t seem to interfere with the shape of the bag from the front or the back. I think you’ll be pleased but of course you are welcomed to change it if you desire. 🙂

  26. Having my knee replaced tomorrow so this pattern should be out when I’m ready to sew again! Absolutely love this bag, but then I think I have said that about all of your bags.

    • Wishing you all the best in your surgery and a quick recovery. And thanks also for your kind words, your support means a lot! 🙂

  27. Elizabeth Burns

    Can’t wait for this pattern. This is just what I’ve been looking for in a practical, partitioned purse.

  28. Joanne Walker

    The more I see of this bag, the more I like it. I’ve sewn 3 Baggalistas now, one for myself, one for my daughter, and one for a friend of my daughter, and have all the fabric and notions bought to make another Baggalista for myself, because my first one is starting to wear out. But now I’m thinking that I might want to make this one instead, if I have the right amount of fabric for it. The only problem is, my daughter might say “Mom, I love your purse–can you make me one too? So maybe I’ll just stick to another Baggalista for now, and make this new one later and just not show it to my daughter! 😀

    • Sounds like a terrific plan to me, and this time- why not send me a picture for our contest. Did you know that EVERY entrant gets a prize? 🙂

  29. I am thinking I need to make this bag, not want need I love this idea, I await the pattern with anticipation.


  30. This would make a great bag to carry my cross stitch goodies.

  31. Like I’ve said many times before….. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this bag and can hardly wait for its release! I too appreciate the time and effort you do to make this just right. I honestly had no earthly idea that so much work went into creating a pattern for sale. My hat is off to all of you for doing such an excellent job! I love all the changes. Can’t even imagine any more but a designer knows when it’s ready so we will ALL have to be patient a little longer!

  32. I am waiting with baited breath for your to announce
    that the pattern is available…each update/upgrade
    just adds to my wanting to make this purse

    Montreal, Que

    • I am so glad there is this much excitement about this bag. Thank you ever so much to everyone for such kind words today!

  33. I really like the way this fabric captures the elements of the pattern. You can see the card slots very clearly and it also showcases your poducts such as the decoative zippers and hardware.