I have made several bags (different shapes and sizes) before but I haven't made a "purse".... yet..... it is on my to-do list.... But I really want to, but I don't want a pattern as I plan on drafting it myself.
But for me it's pockets and as dumb as that sounds, that scares me a bit as I know they have to be put in place before the bag is sewn together.... I want pockets all around on the inside to organize the bag, but also on the outside as well. I like my cell phone (bigger smart phone) to go on the outside so I can hear it when it goes off but easy to grab, but I also am a fountain pen freak and carry at least 6-8 with me in my purse so having pens slots that work for bigger pens than cheaper skinny BIC type pens.
I also want to put a ring on the outside to be able to clip my truck keys to. That is a must for me so they are handy to find. I clip my key ring to a small Carabiner (3" maybe) that I clip to the outside of my purse. But rather than the strap ring I want a dedicated ring sewn to the side of the purse to hook that onto. If I don't put them in the same place every time I loose them....
Living in the land of thecold, ice and snow that makes it handy to be able to find my keys to use the auto start on the key ring while I am still inside so it's warmed up before I get there. (also easier on the motor for cold starts) Not just me, but often the kids will start the truck before we need to leave so they can do that without digging through my purse to find the keys.
I agree if it's too big you just have junk in it but I do want it big enough to hold a larger notebook as I make notes a lot to myself but also for my kindle fire HD so I can take it with and have it when waiting for doctors appointments and such.
My other must have is the handles. I have looked at some of those that are handmade on ebay and etsy and I did buy two but the handles were so short to be functional for me. So many have a short drop which is fine if your shaped like Barbie and live in California, which I am not and I don't...... I like to be able to put my purse over my shoulder and carry it that way, but I do carry a few extra pounds and live up north where you need to wear a warm winter coat which adds more bulk. So my dream purse would have at least a 15" drop rather than the 9-10" usually seen.
But I have made some cosmetic bags that I used the really stiff pellon (not sure what it's called but that is what the lighter stuff is called) that is used for things like the brim of a baseball cap. But I used two layers of it, one ironed onto each side of the outer fabric and the lining fabric. So it gave the bag enough stiffness that I think would be perfect for a purse to help hold it's shape. Don't forget to sew it into the handles as well so they hold their shape. I made a school bag for my daughter and didn't and the bag looks great but the handles look wimpy especially after being laundered. The two purses that I bought just had a layer of batting (perhaps polar fleece) between the outer layer and lining. It was a huge disappointment as the bag didn't hold it's shape at all. They were also a bit smaller than I envisioned being a nice size for a purse, yes the seller gave measurements looking at a tape measure is one thing and looking at the real thing another. Not sure if they gave the cut length - height of the fabric but it sure didn't feel that big but I didn't measure after I got it either. But they weren't a total waste as my daughter uses them and they come in handy when we go on car trips to put her stuff into that she may want for the trip.
fabric used is another deal breaker. I think holiday purses would be fun to make and use, but I also see quite a number of them being sold using two prints that compete with each other and actually make it unattractive to look at rather than appealing. Perhaps it's just me...... The bones are good as they have a great concept/pattern but they have a poor choice in fabrics IMHO. That and very short straps because I think they are using a 45" length of fabric and using one strip to make two handles rather than waste a bit of fabric to make them longer. I want to put my purse over my shoulder rather than just hold the handles. Then using different print/solid for the handle looks odd to me as well.
I do look at ebay and etsy quite often for ideas..... Pinterest is also good for ideas as well.....