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Gift presents for kids: backpack tutorial

Bags, Sewing  |  September 4th 2011  |  0 Comment
This is a retro- style back pack for your littlest friend. With an elastic and button closure it’s easy for tiny fingers to find their most special treasures and  the monogram makes it easily recognisable.

This is a variation of the pattern that I used for the love-letter mini clutch.  Slightly change the shape, add a few straps and voila – a backpack! You’ll notice a lot of similarities in the instructions.

What you’ll need…

  • 60 cm x 110 cm outer fabric
  •  50 cm x 80 cm lining fabric
  • 50 cm x 80 cm medium weight fusible interfacing
  • Scrap of heat and bond
  • 2 D rings
  • 10 cm hat elastic
  • Coordinating button
  • Coordinating thread

To start with, you’ll need to draw up a super simple template.  You will need four pieces of A4 paper, a pencil, a ruler,  some sticky tape and a something circular so that you can create the backpack’s rounded corners.  I used a teacup.

Stick two pieces of paper together (with the long sides together) and fold in half lengthwise.

When folded in half, the width of the paper  should be 15cm.  Measure and mark 25cm from the bottom of your paper and draw a line the width of the paper.  On this line measure and mark 10cm from the folded edge of the paper.  Measure and mark 10 cm from the fold at the very top of your paper, too.  Join the two 10cm markings together.  Phew… this diagram is the best way to explain it, I think!

Next, grab your teacup and round off the corners on the unfolded side of your piece of paper. Just like this….
When you cut the template out, it will look like this….
We’ll call this piece the back.
Next, take your two remaining pieces of A4  paper and tape them together in the same way.  Fold your paper in half lengthwise.  Measure and mark 25cm from the bottom of the paper and draw a line across the width of the paper.
Round off the outside corners with the teacup again.  When you cut and open your template it should look like this
We’ll call this piece the front.
(apologies for the terrible photo – it looks like some weirdo shadow puppet…)

Now it’s time to cut your fabric. You’ll need

  • One front piece and one back piece in your outer fabric
  • One front piece and one back piece in your lining fabric
  • One front piece and one back piece in medium weight fusible interfacing
  • You’ll also need a strip of outer fabric 12cm x 110cm to make the straps.

When you have cut your fabric and assembled your notions, you should have a collection that looks a little like this…

Before you start sewing, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of your outer fabric.

Let’s start with appliqueing the monogram.  You need to draw the monogram onto the papery side of the heat and bond.  Remember that if it isn’t a symmetrical letter you’ll need to draw it in reverse.  I drew mine by hand, but you can print out a template from your computer if you want to use a fancy font.

Carefully cut it out and position it on the right side of the back piece of the outer fabric.  Place the bottom of the letter about 5cm from the bottom of the narrow end of the back piece. (This part of the back will end up being the front flap of the back pack.)  Carefully fuse.
Machine applique the monogram.  Zigzag or straight stitch?  It’s up to you….
Measure the loop of elastic around your button.  Attach the loop under the letter that you have appliqued about 1 cm from the bottom of the flap. make sure you reinforce it by stitching over it a number of times.  The loop needs to be facing the monogram.
Next, you need to make the straps.
Take the 12cm  x 110 cm piece and iron it in half lengthwise to create a crisp fold.
Iron the two outer edges to the centre fold you just created.
Iron the strip in half so that all of the raw edges are folded to the inside.

Top stitch the strap and cut it into four pieces.  You need two pieces that are 40 cm long and two pieces that are 15cms long.
It’s time to attach the straps!
You need to attach the short straps to the bottom of the  right side of the back piece (the opposite end to where  you have just appliqued the letter). Fold the back piece in half lengthwise to find its mid point.  Measure  out 5cm from both sides of  this mid point and  pin the the two short straps in these positions.  Sew. Make sure you reinforce your seam by sewing over it a number of times.
You need to attach the top straps in the same position  as the bottom ones  but about 1cm below where the  back piece narrows to form the flap. Double over the ends of the long strap before you sew so that you don’t have any raw edges showing. Reinforce your stitching by sewing over it a number of times.
Next, take the front and back pieces of your out fabric and pin them right sides together.  With a 1cm seam allowance, sew the front and back pieces together. Trim your seams and clip the curve along the bottom. turn this piece through so the  right side is out.

Pin the lining in the same way.  When you sew the lining make sure you leave a 10cm gap in the long seam that runs along the bottom so that when you sew the lining and outer pieces together you have a hole to turn them through.
Trim the seam and clip the curves

Take the lining and the outer pieces and sandwich them so the outer fabric is inside the lining. Match up the side seams and pin carefully.

Starting about half way across the front opening of the bag, stitch the lining and the outer fabric together . You need to stitch right around the flap and across the front of the bag. Trim the seams and clip the curves.  Turn the bag through the hole  you left in the lining and press carefully.

For some reason I forgot to take a picture of the bag at this point, but it should look a lot like the finished product  – the only things missing should be the buttons and the d rings.

Now you just need to do a little finishing off.

Firstly, attach the D rings to the short straps.  Make sure you double over the end of the strap so that there are no raw edges showing. Stitch the ends of the  short strap into place.

Finish the ends of the top straps by doubling them over to hide the raw edges . Stitch the ends of the long strap into place.
Buckle up the straps.

Finally, sew on the button and slip together the hole in the lining and you are done!

Sewing patterns and tutorial

Source: sewtogether.com.au