The Logic of Lily’s Half Pocket

Lazies, Let’s take a look at Lily’s back pocket today. Here’s a sample I made while working out Lily’s design details. I love the play of the fabrics on the front and the utility of the back. Piecing the front adds a strong vertical design line which emphasizes Lily’s pleats and her silhouette. I love this fabric from Moda.

Lily Pocket Purse pattern, LGD128, available now.

Now let’s take a look at the back. In this early prototype, I planned to maximize the utility of the back wall of the bag by adding pockets across the whole design. Well, I hated it. From a design standpoint, the pockets cut Lily off at the hips and made her lean, linear feel seem boxy and horizontal. Again, I hated it.

Design vs. Function
Can’t we have both? The long vertical seam needed to be emphasized, so I made a couple of changes. First, I decided on a half-pocket, from the center seam to the side. Next, I lowered the pocket less than 1/4″ to a point where it was still functionally deep, but also complimented Lily’s curves and proportions.

By seeing the complete left back panel uninterrupted by a pocket, it reinforces the front design and emphasizes Lily’s great shape. It’s visual trickery. We kept the pocket and didn’t lose the look we love.

This is easier to see with the bags next to each other. Here they are at about the same size. I think the difference is noticeable. The waistband in the first photo seems wider because it is held up by a clip, rather than the shoulder strap which pulls it in a bit.

Square Peg – Round Hole
The curved edge of the pocket is not ideal for holding squarish things securely. One line of stitching near the curve easily squares the bulk of the pocket, making it more secure as well as creating a sliver of a pocket, perfect for a pen. It’s design serendipity.

Leftie or Rightie?
I am a left-shoulder kind of Lazy Girl, preferring to carry my purse on that side. Due to this, I placed the back pocket with this in mind. When Lily hangs from my shoulder (or wear her cross-body) my phone/pen will be toward the front for easy access. You can flip this pocket to the left back side if you prefer.

No Pleats on the Back?
Lily’s flat back is intended to allow Lily to rest comfortably against my body. You could repeat the pleats and darts on the back, but that would cause Lily to push away from my body when hanging at my side. So a flat back wall not only offers structure and support for the pleats on the front (like a load bearing wall in your house), but it allows the bag to hang as closely as possible to your side.

Eye Candy
Lazies started posting pics of their Lily Pocket Purse creations over the weekend. Several beauties were posted to our Yahoo group and Facebook Fan page. Join us and watch the beautiful eye candy as it’s posted. Here are links:

Lazy Girl Yahoo Group
Lazy Girls at Facebook


Leave a Lazy Comment

13 Responses to “The Logic of Lily’s Half Pocket”

  1. dottie — September 7, 2010 @ 7:44 am

    Your blog is so much fun to read each time. I enjoy seeing how you decide what to/not to include as you progress in your pattern making.

    So glad you share these tidbits. Helps us to understand and grow as well.


  2. Rosemary — September 7, 2010 @ 8:10 am

    I love reading it too! Your pictures and explanations are the best- teaches us so much more than just the pattern. Keep up the good work!

  3. Robbie Foster — September 7, 2010 @ 8:53 am

    One pocket is definitely better looking.

  4. Edie J. — September 7, 2010 @ 9:09 am

    I totally agree — the half-pocket is SO right for the back of Lily.
    I LOVE your stuff!! Thanks for bring us all along with your new ideas and patterns. I’m hooked!!

  5. Pam T. — September 7, 2010 @ 10:32 am

    Interesting lesson in design, Joan. I enjoyed it; thanks!

  6. Patricia "Pat" Hogge — September 7, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

    “Hi” Joan & Lazy Friends, I am sooo EXCITED that I just received my Lazy Lily Girl! YAY! Now…I have a question for you. I would LOVE to make one of these flat-backed Lily Totes for my Dear Step-Mom who is 90 years young. She gets around with a walker. I would like to make a Lily to hang upon the front rail of her walker. Sooo…that means the only thing I would do differently…is move the handles from the side of Lily, & replace the handles with sturdy loops, sewn to the back, that could loop over the front rail, to be attached to Lily’s top-front band. I could fasten the loops, which would be about the width of the original handles, with velcro, or I could construct buttonholes to use with complimentary buttons. What do you think? Joan, I wonder if you could give me a “guess-ti-mate” of how long those loop-strips should be? Any suggestions or recommendations on this LZ Walker-Tote Hmmm…do you think our newest Lazy Lily would be a good size for a Walker-Tote? I look forward to your replies. 🙂 HUGE HUGS!!!

  7. Nancy — September 7, 2010 @ 3:30 pm

    Always love your choice of fabrics Joan! You always put the most interesting patterns together making me think I should push the fabric envelope a little more.

  8. Chris/WI — September 7, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

    Regarding Pat Hogge’s article about reconstructing Lazy Lily. I have made many bags through out the yrs & ANYTHING can be redone to fit the needs of what it is used for. I also made this for a Nursing Home resident & measured the walker or whatever they are using & measured what the length should be for that person that would be right for them & it all works out, measuring what the needs are the most important thing. Don’t give up Pat, have Faith & we know you can do it & it’ll be lots of fun! When making various sizes of every thing it is the fun doing it & what colors of fabrics you want to use, I hope this has helped.

  9. Peggy Gonales — September 7, 2010 @ 7:11 pm

    I love thisf pocket. Your choice fabrics colors are always so pretty.

  10. Jean — September 7, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

    Joan, You are so funny. My son complains that my mind is always racing, I should have him look at your newsletters. I think they are terrific!

    You have so many ideas with each pattern, if someone can’t find a version they like, than I say it can’t be done LOL……………Thanks for all your energy……..Jean in Md.

  11. Penny B — September 8, 2010 @ 1:23 pm

    Gee, Joan thanks for the info about switching sides for the back pocket. I am a right shoulder wearer and it will make it much handier for me to have the pocket on the left side. Your designs are so well thought out and engineered.

    thanks, PennyB

  12. Eileen — September 9, 2010 @ 10:29 am

    Why couldn’t use use the same fabric on the pocket as for the piece behind the pocket? That would eliminate the checkerboard effect of the pink/green Lily. A large print like the one on the right could still be used for both the pocket and piece under the pocket if you do some fussy cutting and pay attention to folding it at the appropriate place–it wouldn’t even look like 2 pieces of fabric.

  13. Jeanie — September 11, 2010 @ 10:38 am

    I loved reading your thought process as you designed this purse. Sometimes I wonder why someone has done something in a particular way.
    Your patterns are always my favorite because you have such nice pictures and directions to help me take it step by step. You make it easy for even me to be successful!
    Keep up the wonderful work!