PPC23: It’s Gorilla Time!


in our last post, I showed you the 1st prototype of what will eventually be our next pattern, projected to be ready before the end of the year. (I’ll try to be more specific a little further down the line.) You might recall that I was pretty happy with how the 1st prototype turned out… yeah, it was pretty much just an empty shell of a bag, but the pattern pieces for that shell fit together SO well that now I’m ready to move right along to the gorilla sample for this design which is what I’ll be showing you here!

So here’s the front “face” (or the back, depending on which shoulder you carry on). Clearly visible is a flapped pocket secured by a mag snap and of course the 1st dedicated water bottle pocket we’ve ever featured.

The opposing side of the bag features a zippered pocket AND a slot pocket (hidden behind the polka-dotted zipper band (secured by another mag snap) And just so you know, I find that I enjoy placing my phone in the water bottle pocket. It’s easy to hear and easy to reach in that location.

And unlike our last couple of bags, we decided to add a great variety of features to the interior of this bag. (It’s large enough to accommodate several options after all!)

Above left- we’ve included a drop-in pocket and two stitched-in slots for pens. Above right- I included a zippered pocket with a drop-in pocket behind it, but also located in the drop-in area behind this pocket is a separate drop-in pocket specifically designed for a cell phone… but here’s the deal! I found that I didn’t enjoy using either of the zippered pocket or the cellphone holder at ALL. The zippered pocket was too floppy. I found it mostly took two hands to open it and that’s never good and the cell phone holder was just awkwardly situated. When this bag is full of “stuff”, the phone was basically behind everything so I felt like I was digging around to find it. Again… not good! I may just duplicate the exterior zippered pocket arrangement in this location next time!

And here’s a brand new bag feature that I’m so excited to show you! It’s a padded, concealed & zippered interior compartment which would be totally suited to storing your Kindle, your iPad or anything else you’d like to keep zippered, secured and sequestered from the rest of your bag items. The photo above left shows it zipped up and safe from prying eyes and the photo above right shows it open with my iPad in place. Of course this is an optional add-on and if one has no use for this feature, it could certainly be omitted.

Here’s some examples of the ways in which this new bag can be carried. It is primarily designed to be an ergonomic cross-body bag, whether its positioned across the chest or across the back, but it can also be carried as a shoulder bag. I have found that I enjoy carrying this bag a lot. It’s a bit larger than I normally carry but not too much, so and it would be great on a trip!

And now… for what MUST be changed!

  1. Firstly & most importantly- there were areas of seamage that were entirely too thick and therefore difficult to sew through. This MUST be changed considerably and I have some ideas for how I’ll proceed on this!
  2. I’ll be eliminating the interior Phone Pocket because its so difficult to access in its current spot.
  3. The top strap attachment area needs to be moved up more to the peak of the bag.
  4. I used a purse zipper for the main compartment with 2 zipper pulls for this sample but its just not necessary. I’ll switch to a simple one-way zip next time.
  5. As already mentioned, I’m just not crazy about the design of the interior zippered pocket. It’s too floppy and difficult to handle with one hand. I’ll probably switch to a design similar to the exterior zippered pocket because it is much more stable and can easily be handled with one hand.
  6. The Strap was basically the last thing to be sewn this time (as is normal for our designs) but it was a royal pain-in-the-neck to attach! Either the attachment design needs to be changed or the strap needs to be addressed much sooner in the process next time.

And now…. it’s YOUR turn!

I’d love to know what you think of our new design! What do you like? what don’t you like? and are we including the features you like to have in YOUR bag? Please feel free to leave your comments and/or questions in the space provided below and do stay tuned for the next post in this series as we continue to develop this new design!


Check out the best sewing pins with me on Pinterest, join in on discussions or show off your work in our FaceBook Group, or get your daily sewing fix on our Facebook Business Page or get behind the scenes scoops on Instagram, and be the 1st to know about new patterns, discount codes and sample sales by signing up for our monthly newsletter.



  1. Carolina on October 5, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Curious about the water bottle pocket. It doesn’t look wide enough for a bottle to fit in without pushing into the purse. Wondering if it can be made with mesh so if the bottle “sweats” it doesn’t get absorbed much by the fabric. Definitely have my curiosity piqued by this bag!

    • Kat on October 5, 2020 at 7:37 pm

      it certainly COULD be made in mesh! That would be a good option! 🙂

  2. Diane Cockman on October 6, 2020 at 4:41 am

    Love the look of this bag. I had one similar to this, I bought on a home shopping chanel. I carried it until it bit
    the dust. I’m so glad you have come up with a pattern. Can’t wait to get it and make it.

    • Kat on October 6, 2020 at 8:00 am

      music to my ears! Thanks Diane!

  3. Marilyn Blanford on October 6, 2020 at 10:52 am

    Excited by this design, most of the recent releases have been too small for my needs. Hope we have the pattern before Christmas, wonderful gift for a daughter who seems to carry her life in her bag.

    • Kat on October 6, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      I have a sister like that and we are hoping for an early November release. Fingers crossed! 🙂

  4. Ruth D on October 6, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    I had a purse like this almost 10 years ago, bought it for a trip to Thailand.
    It held everything, easy to carry. I like the looks of this bag, will be interested
    when it’s ready for sale.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.