Pattern Testing: The Presidio Purse... a big ol' bag!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

One of my most favorite accessories is a handbag.  I own a lot of them.  The main reason I started sewing was because I wanted to design and sew my own handbags.  I have yet to do that but believe me when I say I'm gonna do it!  When Erin from Seamstress Erin asked for pattern testers for her new pattern the Presidio Purse I raised my hand jumping and yelling, me! me! me!  I had no idea what the purse was going to look like since there was no pictures or drawings.  That kind of scared me but also made it exciting.  The only thing I knew about the bag was that it was oversized.  If ya'll like big bags well this is the perfect bag for you. It's HUGE!  We were asked to describe the finished purse and my description was: A functional bag perfect to fit everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink!
Source: Seamstress Erin Designs

The purse has two different options.  View A has gathered front inset panels and d-ring hardware on the handles.  View B has plain front inset panels and an all fabric handle.  I chose View A but some how I ended up with all fabric handles.  My goof when cutting out the pattern.  It was for the good anyhow because once I got to the handles the d-rings in my stash were not big enough.

kitty close up

This purse was a stashbuster for me.  My main fabric was a thin wale cord that I had purchased some time ago with the intentions of using with a purse design I had brewing.  You might remember my contrasting side panels and insets from my kitty cat Macaron.  I only have a few scrap pieces left of this fabric and I'm hoarding it.  I refuse to throw any of it away because it's too freaking cute and I love it so.  I also added in some white piping from my stash.
I interfaced the kitty cat cotton fabric with a medium weight interfacing to give it the same weight as the cord.


This is a pdf pattern and one of the easiest I've assembled.  The pattern has the cutest little beakers to match together instead of the usual letters and/or numbers.
I found the instructions very easy to follow.  It has also has very helpful illustrations.  I like how the instructions are numbered along with the corresponding illustration.  It makes it very easy to find which illustration you should be looking at.
For the lining of my bag I used a gold cotton lining also from my stash that I had used for tote bags.  There is a zippered pocket on one side of the bag and the other has pockets for pens and your phone or a camera.  I love the pen holder.  When I make tote bags I always add pen holders to my inside pockets.  I find a lot of handbag patterns don't have this feature so I was very pleased to see Erin included this detail.  One thing I can't stand is digging for that pen at the bottom of my bag.


I'm so glad I was a pattern tester for this bag. I like big bags but I don't normally carry them so big. I'm afraid I might have overlooked this pattern because of that.  I urge you small bag carriers out there don't overlook this pattern.  I've found this bag to be very useful.  When I use it for work I can carry my tablet, my lunch and reading material all in one bag with room to spare!


This pattern is rated intermediate. If you are a beginner I still encourage you to give it a go as Erin is having a sewalong. I always enjoy following a sewalong because the designer includes a lot of extras like design details, choosing fabrics and lots of helpful photos.. And hey you have to become intermediate at some point!

Presidio Purse

Make sure to check out the Flickr group to see all the other pattern testers bags. Wow some really awesome ones it makes me want to make another ASAP!

To purchase the Presidio Purse pattern go HERE!
The sewalong can be found HERE!


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  1. Beautiful purse! I like the contrast fabrics with the piping between. Glad to know exactly what you can fit in it - always hard to tell just from looking at the computer screen.

  2. Lovely write-up - thanks!! I adore your kitty cat fabric as well and was so glad to have you as a pattern tester. Thanks again!!

  3. Ooooh, very funky bag! Looks practical with all the pockets and the fabrics look really good together. Kitty and I LOVE your cat fabric!! Where did you get it?

  4. Cute bag. You have done a great job sewing this.

  5. Cuuuuuute! I love this! I'm trying to wean myself off of oversized bags (girl, I carry so much crap around that my back hurts basically all the time) but this is way cool!

  6. Ohhh I've been dying to make a new purse since I've pretty much killed my current handmade one with overuse. I love the size and shape of that one, and the fabric you used is super cute!!

  7. Your bag is ADORABLE!!!! You have totally sold me on this pattern, I love it!

  8. really cute! i'm not too keen on huge bags but i do like this one

  9. Oh, I have to echo all the other comments, what a key-ute bag!! I love the kitty print - in fact, I have a dress in that fabric except the kitties are white on a blue background.