The Big One

New Prototype – Large Wallet (aka The Big One)

Work is well under way on our latest prototype and we wanted to share our progress with you.

This one is for the folks who have a lot to carry and want to keep it all organized.

Interior view.

Interior view.

The Background

It’s relatively easy for us to design mini wallets, because that’s we tend to want to use. However, we fully realize that not everyone is looking to cut down on what they cart around every day and that’s just fine with us. The challenging part for us is to try to design a larger piece that fits within our aesthetic.

We’ve been working on a large wallet for ages, (an embarrassingly long time, in fact). Nothing we came up with felt quite right. Our test versions were either too bulky, didn’t seem to have a good mix of features, or the proportions just seemed off.

We think we finally have it figured out and our prototype is ready for field testing. We’re excited!

The Breakthrough(s)

The welt style zipper pocket is lined with ripstop nylon and has a slot behind it.

The welt style zipper pocket is lined with ripstop nylon and has a slot behind it.

We recently had a request for a custom passport wallet – the customer wanted to add a zippered pocket. I played around for a bit and decided to form a pocket on the outside by folding the seat belt webbing and stitching up the sides (she loved the results, by the way – yay!). I liked the design, too and thought it would scale up nicely (our passport wallets aren’t quite long enough to hold paper money unfolded).

The next issue was the interior of the wallet. I’ve been experimenting with bag linings lately and that really came in handy. I decided to essentially line the wallet with a long strip of Cordura® nylon. Then I added a bunch of pockets and slots to the ‘lining’.

The current test version features one lined zippered pocket on the outside perfect for a smartphone, a bunch of change, small cables, some lipstick, or even some pens. There is a slot behind the pocket for tucking notes.

The interior has 6 card slots that will each hold around 3 cards, a lined zippered pocket with a slot behind it for paper money or receipts, and an additional long pocket for paper money, receipts, or even a checkbook.

Two large slots for paper money / receipts plus another lined zippered pocket.

Two long slots plus another lined zippered pocket.

Six card slots help keep your cards organized.

Six card slots help keep your cards organized.

Stay tuned – we hope to have it ready for production later this summer!

Backpack progress

Weekend Challenge: The Backpack (part II)

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The front of the bag with 2 zippered pockets.

When we left off last week, I was about halfway done with my new backpack. The back and sides of the exterior of the bag were mostly finished.

Next step was to make the front exterior panel. I wanted a couple of zippered pockets on the front – one large one for easy access to a notebook and one smaller one for snacks, pens, and my iPod.

The top pocket goes all the way to the bottom of the bag and is lined with red Cordura® nylon. The bottom pocket with the gray zipper has a gray lining (go figure).

I attached the front of the bag and added the flap and a small handle onto the back to complete the exterior of the bag.

Lining is now attached to exterior

Lining sewn to exterior

Time to make the lining! I used international orange (aerospace) 200D nylon. It’s bright, but not too bright.

I put another zippered pocket in the lining. Because it’s hard to have too many pockets, really.

Once the lining was attached to the exterior, the moment of truth had arrived.

Patience!

Patience!

It requires a bit of patience and maneuvering to turn a padded backpack inside out through a hole in the lining. I finally got it turned and everything was in the right place – the flap, straps, and handle were on the outside where they were supposed to be (it kind of sucks to turn a bag and realize that you’ve sewn the flap inside the lining of your bag. Not that I would know from personal experience or anything…).

I sewed up the hole in the bottom of the lining and the bag was done.

All packed up and ready to go to class

All packed up and ready to go to class

On to field testing!

So far, my new backpack has been on trips to the library, a wallet delivery run, and, of course, to class. It’s performed well so far and has gotten a bunch of compliments.

There are a few minor things I am planning to change for round 2, like making the bottom outside pocket deeper and making the bag flap shorter.  I may also play around with a roll-top bag so there’s no gap on the top sides. Overall, though, I’m pretty pleased with this as a prototype.