She knew exactly what she needed: it had to be black, secure, with an adjustable cross body strap and small enough to wear under her cape, but big enough to keep her valuables in.
I offered to show her some fabrics - it would solve her problem and save her last minute shopping. I had a number of Italian woven monochrome samples, so I took them into work and she found one she liked. It was just big enough for the front and back so we teamed it with some plain black. The lining had to be unfussy and a purple cotton was just right.
I only had a week of evenings and a weekend to get it done. I took it into work on the Monday and she was on leave from Tuesday. She's not usually a fabric handbag girl but a patent leather and bling girl, and when I got a big hug I knew she really liked it! In fact she announced that she would wear it over, not under, her cape - the best compliment I could have wished for!