PPC17: That’s One Stylish Gorilla


in our first post in this the latest edition of Purse Pattern Chronicles we revealed the inspiration behind what will eventually be our new pattern for Fall 2018. And if you’ve been with us for any of our other 16 editions of this series you know that what generally comes next is the “Gorilla sample”, but it occurs to me that some of our newer customers may not be familiar with that term and what that means.

And here’s the deal…

I like to carry the first sample that I make of any new design for a week or two because if there are “issues” with the design I like to know about it as soon as possible. If the bag needs to be wider, or taller, or if it needs more pockets or if it’s hard to open, or if it sags in the middle when I’m carrying it, I want to resolve those issues right away! Around here, we refer to this as the “Samsonite Gorilla Test“and yes I realize I’m dating myself with that phrase so if you’re under 50 just click that link, it just might start your day off with a smile!

So… without further delay, let me kick this post off with a few words about this, the “gorilla sample” for our new design.

In the photo at left you can see that this is a medium sized bag with an ample area to showcase a focal print on the front pocket. And since this is our “gorilla sample” and that means I’ll be carrying it for a while to test it out, I chose to use some fabric leftovers from Paula Nadelstern’s XXXXX collection for this bag because after all, just because it’s a test bag doesn’t mean it has to be boring, right?

Of course the beauty of this new design is that it can be worn cross-body style as either a “front-pack” (at right) or a back pack. You can sling it low as shown, or you can adjust the strap tighter in order to wear it higher up and more securely on your chest.

This picture (at left) was included so that you could see how stream-lined this bag looks when worn as a cross-body back pack.

And now let’s talk about the various storage areas this bag affords!

First, (at right) when you unclip the side-release buckle at the top of the bag it reveals an  outside pocket which is a fabulous place to stow your cell phone, or your keys. I always hear it ring and it’s super easy to reach in their and retrieve it and believe me, nothing has EVER fallen out of it!  🙂

And this zippered pouch area is remarkably roomy. I can fit two wallets, my reading or sunglasses and a small can of hairspray in here with room to spare and you might notice that for this sample I stitched a small slip pocket on one of the Pouch walls, but I’m thinking there might have been a better place to locate it, like perhaps in …

the “Secret Niche” area!
Like many of its predecessors, this bag features what has become one of our signature features… an unexpected and almost impossible to detect storage compartment in the center of the bag, held in place securely by an invisible sew-in magnet. I’m thinking I might place a mesh pocket here next time. It would be a great place to store coupons, tickets and other little notes to myself.

One of the things that I definitely intend to address in the next sample I make is the side areas of the zipper closure. There’s a “pinching-in” thing going on and I don’t like it at all. Right now my thought is that I need to decrease the zipper opening which will raise it UP about an inch & a half. This will mean that the top edge of the Expander, Phone Pocket AND the Zipper Pouch Wall will all be the same height.

And finally, here’s a peek at the Bag back and yet another nice storage area. This zippered pocket is full width & depth and with a built-in gusset, it holds a LOT!


And now…. it’s YOUR turn!

I’d love to know what you think of our new design at this point in the process? If there’s features you like, or items you wish we had included, now would be a great time to let us know! And remember, there’s space provided below to leave anything you’d like to say!


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