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Presidio Purse Pattern Testing!

So here’s the project that brought about my whole piping hullabaloo!

Presidio Purse | Life by Ky Blog

(Side note: I’m not sure if that’s an appropriate use of the word hullabaloo, but I went for it…) :/

Anyway, a little while back I got an email on my lunch break from Seamstress Erin (I’m on her mailing list) about how she was re-releasing her Presidio Purse pattern and was looking for a few testers. Since I’d only gotten the email about an hour before I read it, naturally I jumped at the opportunity. A girl can never have too many purses, can she?

Okay, yes… yes, she can. I actually got rid of about 10 earlier this year. We’ll just not think about that right now.

So most of the pattern testing was already out of the way from her first round; she just wanted to make sure everything had moved over to her new format correctly and do any necessary updates.

Presidio Purse | Life by Ky Blog

I really wanted to use this fabric, but wasn’t sure if I was going to have enough. I bought 1 yard from Joann’s way back when and had already used it for a clutch last Christmas. The pattern calls for 1 1/4 yard. It’s a nice heavy-weight exterior fabric, and I managed to position my pieces so that most of them were going the right direction :) I cut the side pieces together on a fold rather than cutting them separately and sewing them together as the pattern calls for – I cut them on the crosswise instead of lengthwise grain but with this fabric it worked just fine, and I actually like how the pattern turned out this way better anyway!

Presidio Purse | Life by Ky Blog

I found these gorgeous brushed antique brass rectangular rings on my new favorite Etsy shop: Felinus Fabrics! I brought one piece of fabric when I bought the rings and have since gone back for more. So many wonderful prints and notions! Ugh… it’s dangerous. ;)

Rectangular Rings | Life by Ky Blog

As you well know, the piping I made… it was my first time making piping and it was surprisingly simple! There are plenty of tutorials out there (I referenced this one) but basically… make bias strips, wrap them around your cording, sew, done. Easy peasy! :) There are special cording feet (?) for your machine, but my zipper foot worked just fine.

Making Piping | Life by Ky Blog Making Piping | Life by Ky Blog

(Side note #2: I’m having way too much fun with my Jamberry nails… I’ve never been much of a manicured-nails person… but these I can do and I love them! Have you tried Jamberry yet?)

I only did piping on the front (I didn’t want to go overboard on my first try), but I love how it turned out. The pattern calls for topstitching on the front sections, but I didn’t think it went with my piping (see below) so after doing the one side I went back and took it out.

Presidio Purse | Life by Ky Blog

The only real problem I had putting this purse together was that my pieces didn’t end up matching up when I put them all together; the front was shorter… I made it work, and I don’t think any non-sewist would notice, but I’m not sure where I went astray.

Presidio Purse | Life by Ky Blog

All of the reviews say it’s HUGE! but I think it’s just about perfect size. :) Especially for traveling. I love having a purse that zips for travel so I can throw it under my seat without worrying about all of my stuff falling out on the plane.

Here’s the size in reference to me:

Presidio Purse | Life by Ky Blog

As I was sewing it, I thought I was going to want to lengthen the strap, but after carrying it around for a few days I realized it would definitely hang too low if it were longer. I’m glad I stuck with the length in the pattern.

Presidio Purse | Life by Ky Blog

I love all of the little professional details of this purse; they take it up a notch compared to others. In my review, I said that I wasn’t sure I would pay for this pattern because there are so many free purse patterns and tutorials already out there (just my honest opinion), but at the same time I almost want to take that back because I’m really am glad I got to make this one. :)

Presidio Purse | Life by Ky Blog

Presidio Purse | Life by Ky Blog

Presidio Purse | Life by Ky Blog

Presidio Purse | Life by Ky Blog

Oh and did you notice the ginormous zipper!? The pattern said heavy duty zipper so I took that very literally. It was another online purchase with the piping. Kinda glad cause I really like the look of it, but I probably could have gone a little less heavy duty :)

So what’s the consensus… do you sew purses? Do you buy purse patterns? I guess I could argue the same thing with just about any clothing pattern that I buy (that I could make it without a pattern or from one that I already have)… so why do I feel this way more when it comes to purses? Hmm…

Check out the other tester creations here!

Until next time,


Disclaimer: I received a copy of the Presidio Purse pattern in exchange for testing the pattern, but all opinions are 100% my own. 


  1. So glad to hear that you’re enjoying the finished purse! Your finished purse and photos really are lovely! I’d totally carry your purse (not that I need a 405th Presidio Purse for myself :) !

    I’ve been thinking about how you might have ended up with a mismatched front – is it at all possible that the inserts you sewed into the front were accidentally the shape that gets cut out of the front and not the separate insert piece? I’ve had someone tell me they made that mistake before and it threw off the alignment.


    • Thanks!! I really am :) You know, there’s a very decent possibility that that’s what happened. I had so many inset pieces cut I could easily have gotten them mixed up!


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