I have a great winter backpack that made with leather and some material that reminds me of wool. It took me a while to find this backpack; I looked for a backpack, but nothing appealed until one day I was in a shoe store and saw these man backpacks. I was like those are the backpacks I want, where can I buy them, duh just purchase a men bag.That what I did and am still happy with the purchase. So why am I blabbing about this backpack when it obvious that I didn’t sew it? It was a great winter bag, but it felt odd to use during the summer. I wanted a summer backpack in addition to my winter one.
How I Got The Idea
Despite always wanting a summer backpack I never really look for one. It seemed a bit ridiculous to buy a backpack when you already have a good one. Nothing would have been done except for one day when I was looking for something to sew. I started pulling random fabrics out and found this lovely blue and white striped fabric. It was amazing fabric it just seemed wrong to use it for clothes. So what could I make that wasn’t clothes that I would still use. A backpack of course. And that how I got the idea
Finding A Pattern
Once I had the idea, I started googling backpack patterns. I couldn’t find a pattern I wanted to use so it was decided to make one basing it off the backpack I already had. To make the pattern pieces, I simply measured a piece of the bag and drew it on paper. The pattern was easy to make as most of the pieces of a backpack are rectangles. After making the pattern, I wrote down some instructions. (If I’m making a pattern I always write some instructions because otherwise, I do stupid things, like forgetting to put lace on a lace sweater.)
The Outside Pocket
After the pattern was made and the pieces were cut out. The backpack went together in about two days. I start sewing the backpack with the outside pocket. This was harder then I expect mainly due to the fact I want it lined and with no raw edges showing. To make that happen, I ended up inserting the zipper and at the same time enclosing the lining. (Sorry if it sounds odd that was the least confusing way to put it.) Once my zipper was inserted all I had to do was sew it on. I sewed it to the front by topstitching it down.
Straps And Handle
The next thing I sewed was the straps and handle. They were quite easy to sew, and I attached them to the back piece. To figure out where exactly to attach them, I would pin the straps in place then try it on. I wanted them to withhold a certain amount of abuse, so when attaching them, I kept sewing back and forth.
Putting It All Together
I decided not to bag the lining on the inside for two reasons; I wanted the lining to stay flat against the bag and bagging the lining would be harder. That meant the lining was installed at the same time as the other pieces. I started with sewing on the bottom of the backpack. Before I sewed on the top piece, I inserted the zipper. This meant I had one piece to work with instead of having two that I would have to try to keep the aligned. I pinned the top piece in place, but it didn’t reach the bottom section. I added about 4 inches to the bottom piece on both sides to make it connect. Once I had the extra bottom pieces in place, it was a simple to sew on the top piece.
Finishing The Seams
Yay, I’m done well not quite. The backpack was together, and all I had to do was finish off the seams inside. It took a lot longer than I thought it would. I bias bound the first seam and while I was careful with sewing it on it stilled looked messy. I wanted all the stitching cover and not just raw edges enclosed. So I did the second seam with ribbon. If I were an excellent sewer, I would have taken the first seam bias binding out and redid it. However, I wasn’t sure if a ribbon would look better then the bias binding especially since I had been so careful with that. I sewed the ribbon on making sure to cover all the stitches. The ribbon looks great mostly due to the fact it was wider than the bias binding.
Final Thoughts On My First Backpack
I enjoy making this backpack and have ideas to make more. There some things I would like to do differently next time. I would make sure not to sew on the lining while inserting the top zipper; this will make it look cleaner on the inside and could be easily done. Another thing I would have done differently is made the outside pocket in a contrasting colour or a least make the stripes go a different direction. Right now it’s a bit overwhelming. But enough with all this, I should have done. It was my first backpack, and I’m quite proud of it.
I now have a backpack for summer as well as winter and love them both. Have you ever sewed a backpack?