Mini Coin Purse

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the support and comments on my Facebook page. There is nothing more gratifying than coming up with a new creation in the morning, sharing it on Facebook, and getting immediate feedback from my customers. Like yesterday, when I shared this photo of a mini coin purse.

Liberty of London Mirabelle coin purse by Piggledee

I made the coin purse with Liberty of London laminated print called Mirabelle. Normally I wouldn’t use white fabric for a coin purse, because it’ll get dirty very quickly. But that’s the magic of laminated fabrics – they are super stain resistant!

The pattern is my own. I made similar coin purses a couple of years ago, and just modified that pattern. The ones I made before had separate compartments for coins and cards, and were more complicated to make.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Original coin purse by Piggledee

 

This time, there is just one compartment for coins and folded notes. But simple is good, according to your comments. Because school children only need to carry a bit of change.

Encouraged by the positive feedback I received, I made four more of these coin purses that very afternoon.

Liberty mini coin purses by Piggledee

I took their photos immediately afterwards, and by the evening, the coin purses were added to the auction album. These all feature laminated prints and nylon lining – all Liberty of London prints except the elephant one. Don’t they look so cute together?

Laminated Liberty mini coin purse by Piggledee

Green elephant mini coin purse by Piggledee

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

(More photos)

Opening and closing a zipper can be fiddly for little ones. But with the key ring tab on one side of the zipper and my Piggledee tag on the other, it should be much easier. I attached a key ring and a swivel clip, so you can secure the coin purse to a handbag or a school bag. You can also attach it to your key chain, and that might be all you need for a quick trip to the shops.

I have five of these mini coin purses in the auction album. Please check it out if you are interested!

 

Backpack diaper bag

I didn’t think I needed a new nappy bag – I already have two styles of nappy bags on Etsy and madeit, and they are both very popular. But this week, while climbing this tower in a local playground, hauling my kids all the way to the top and then back down, I suddenly realized that I needed a new nappy bag.

Playground tower at Newington Armory in Sydney

So when we came back home, I spent the rest of the day and much of the night thinking about the design. Then the following day, I made this.
New backpack nappy diaper bag - front view
Hmm, isn’t it just another big elephant bag, looking slightly more sporty than my other bags? Well, maybe, but not really. If you look closer, it’s actually more like my French pastry bag (or the “birthday tote bag“) than like my “daycare bag” or “beach tote bag.”
New backpack nappy diaper bag - bottom view
It has a wide rectangle bottom.

New backpack nappy diaper bag - inside view

I also used heavy-duty cotton for the lining, to give the bag a firm structure. You can see it’s firm enough to stand well on its own, with nothing in the bag.

There is one large patch pocket inside. I used the same yellow elephant fabric here, but in retrospect it was a bit too much of the elephants. Next time I’ll make a plain white pocket.

New backpack nappy diaper bag - front pocket view

The main bag body has two decorative white vertical stripes, to give it a sporty look. There is a “hidden” pocket in the middle of the stripes, on each side of the bag. These pockets are not huge, but are handy for things like sunglasses, wallets, and keys. 

New backpack nappy diaper bag - front pocket detail view

The bag comes with two adjustable, removable straps. That means you can carry the bag as a traditional tote bag with two handles, or use just one strap to carry it like a messenger bag.

New backpack nappy diaper bag - front strap view

It looks a little like my “daycare bag” like this. It’s great for hanging over stroller handles.

But the best feature of all, is that you can attach the two straps like this….

 

New backpack nappy diaper bag - backpack straps view

and you can wear it as a backpack in case of emergency – like having to push two kids up an enormous tower, or when crossing a busy road holding their hands.

The “backpack conversion process” takes just about 5 seconds. Well, it might take a few seconds longer if you need to adjust the strap lengths. Anyway, I tried to make it as painless as possible.

The bag is not quite ready for sale yet, because I need to source better hardware. I mean, the ones I used function fine, but I know there are more elegant-looking clips out there. It should be shop ready in 3-4 weeks.

Overall I’m very pleased with this bag. The hardest part was to make the bag look good both as a nappy bag and as a backpack. It gave me quite a headache thinking about it, but in the end, I figured that most people would use it mainly as a regular nappy bag, and use the backpack feature only occasionally. So I prioritized the nappy bag part of the design.

New backpack nappy diaper bag - being worn by me

So you see, it may not look very backpack-like when worn like a backpack… but I think it looks okay, and it’s surprisingly comfortable. And when you really need your hands free to look after your kids, it’ll be priceless to have that option.

By the way, don’t you just love this yellow elephant fabric? I’ve been using the elephant fabric for years, but had never thought to order the yellow variety before – because I thought it was too similar to orange. But the yellow is so much more beautiful in person – it’s such a gentle, sophisticated color. It’s similar to the grey elephant one in that sense – both are perfectly suitable for grownups to wear.

 

 

Thoughts on custom orders – a tote-style diaper bag

I love custom orders. Well, I should say that I love the right kind of custom orders. The right kind of custom order is when a customer wants a product that I also want to develop. In other words, a custom order becomes a funded research and development project. This kind of custom order motivates me to come up with a good design in a relatively short period of time – whereas, if left alone, I could be working on a new design in my “spare time,” and a project could drag on for months or more.

Another thing I love about a custom order is that I can work directly with my customer about the design. A customer doesn’t passively buy my finished product, but becomes a partner in creating something new. I really enjoy this collaborative process because I can learn what kind of products people are looking for, while at the same time, incorporating my design agenda. Plus in my line of work, it can get pretty lonely, and I love these rare teamwork opportunities – even when the client lives thousands of miles away!

Tote-style diaper bag with leather handles

Here’s an example of what I mean by the right kind of a custom order — a large tote bag I made this week for a customer in New York.

She loved the French pastry recipe fabric I posted on Facebook, and requested a large tote bag that could be used as a diaper bag for her upcoming baby. She chose the bag style and orientation (longer than wider), and requested lots of pockets. The rest was up to me.

Tote-style diaper bag with leather handles

Leather handles! I had never used leather handles before, but when I looked at this beautiful fabric, I thought it deserved to have leather handles. It’s a good thing my customer was not a vegan.

I used heavy-duty cotton canvas for the lining and for the bottom, to give the bag a good structure. I needed this structure inside, because I didn’t want to use interfacing for the French pastry fabric — it would have ruined the wonderful softness and drape of the 50% linen fabric.

 

 

Inside, there is a large zippered double pocket with waterproof lining on one side, and a simple patch pocket for the other side. So three pockets in total. If the bag was in “landscape” orientation (i.e. wider than longer), I might have added a side pocket.

You can’t see it in the photos, but there is also a linen tab with a carabiner on one side. These carabiner key-holder tabs are so useful, I’m adding these to a lot of my bags these days. It’s great not just for hanging keys, but you can hang a wristlet pouch from it to keep your essentials securely attached to your bag.

Another small detail I like is the strip of facing I added to the top of the lining, using the same French pastry fabric. Don’t you think it gives the bag a nice professional look? It also gives the bag another layer of fabric for structure at the opening.

I loved how the bag turned out, it was sad to send it away to my customer! But oh well, I can always make another one. That’s the beauty of doing this kind of custom orders – after the order has been shipped, I am left with a detailed note I took on how to make the bag. And that’s worth the many hours it took to make the bag itself.

 

 

Zip-top daycare bag (i.e. diaper bag)

Recently I was asked to make a nappy bag with a zipper-top closure instead of a magnetic button closure. I said yes, thinking it wouldn’t be too hard.

Zipper-top diaper bag in green elephant

Well it turned out to be a little more challenging than I anticipated. Simply inserting a zipper at the top is easy. But keeping the D-ring tabs on either top ends of the bag – which is part of the bag design, allowing the shoulder strap to attach neatly – required some thought.

In the end the solution was simple – I used a recessed zipper design, which I have used before for my wristlet pouches.

Looks great, doesn’t it? I also attached a handy carabiner tab (I used a lovely linen tape here) just under the zipper here, so you don’t lose your keys or wristlet pouches. You don’t really need these for my regular diaper bags with magnetic button closure, because you can simply use the D rings on either side, and tuck the hanged items inside the bag. With the zipper-top, you can’t do that because then you won’t be able to close the zipper.

I’m pleased with this optional design. This bag will be great for traveling, too, because the content will not spill out when accidentally knocked over under the aiplane seat, for example. You can also carry your tablet or laptop and feel secure about it. These zipper-top nappy bags are now available to order on my Etsy shop.

I love it when my customers challenge me to come up with a new design feature I had not made before. It allows me to experiment with new things, and expand my creative horizon.