I have teamed up with Online Fabric Store this week to bring you four sewing tutorials using the most beautiful fabric like Amy Butler, Joel Dewberry and Michael Miller. I thought we would start the week with a backpack we made for Kayla’s upcoming school year. We? Yes we! My amazing cousin Lindsay is visiting from Chicago to help with these tutorials. I rock She rocks the sewing machine. I am awesome at ironing and cutting out fabric for her
sewing machine and coordinating thread
1/4” elastic (with a nice stretch)
small magnetic snap
2 -1” D-Rings
(2) main pieces 13” x 10” (round the bottom corners) from fabric #1
(2) lining pieces 13” x 10” (round the bottom corners) from fabric #2 – I used some vintage sheets from the skirt I made Kayla so I didn’t waste the good stuff.
Flap pattern (cut 2) from fabric #3
Pocket 9”x 9” from fabric #1
Side panel piece 34” x 3 1/2” from fabric # 1
Strap pieces, cut one 34”x2 1/2” and another one 27”x 2 1/2” from fabric #1
Fusible fleece (see step #1 below)
3 1/2” piece of 1/4” elastic
**All seam allowances are 1/4” unless stated otherwise.
1. Cut out all fabric and iron the fusible fleece to pieces #1, #2 (just lining piece), #5, and #6. (Cut the fusible fleece pieces 1/4” smaller than fabric pieces on all sides so the fusible fleece won’t be in the seam allowances.)
2. Press the 27 x 2 1/2” piece and the 34 x 2 1/2” piece (aka #6-the straps) under 1/4”. Then press in half. Sew up one side and down the other. If you want to sew down the middle down for aesthetics – have at it!
3. Cut 7” off the 34” strap. Both straps should now be the same size. Then cut 9” off each strap, so you are left with a 7” piece for the backpack handle, and two 9” pieces and 17” pieces. On the 17” pieces finish one raw end by folding under twice and sewing down. Set aside.
4: Pocket piece (#7): Determine your top and bottom and press both ends under 1/4”. Then for the top, press an additional 1/2” and sew down creating a casing. Cut a piece of elastic 3 1/2”. Thread through this casing with a safety pin. Line up the end of the elastic with the raw edge and tack in place with a few stitched from the sewing machine. Finish fishing pin through to the edge. Sew other end of elastic at the edge where the raw edges of elastic and fabric meet.
5. Measure 4” down on piece #5 and pin pocket in place. Hand tuck a pleat along the bottom and iron in place in order to make the raw edges of the pocket the same width of piece #5. Sew ironed bottom of pocket in place. Set aside.
6. Next pin the flap pieces right sides together and sew all three sides and leave the straight edge at the top un-sewn. Notch the edges to take out some bulk and turn right side out and press. Top stitch 1/4” from the edge on all three sides.
7. Fold flap in half and find the middle. Using some small sharp scissors, make two holes to fit the snap through the lining flap piece (the one with fusible fleece attached). Push prongs through and lock in place. Note: Do not accidentally cut through the liner to the outer fabric! Here is a tutorial on how to install a magnetic snap if you’ve never done this before and I’ve confused you at this point.
8. Take piece #1 and #5 and with right sides together line up the raw edges around the curve. Pin in place and sew.
9. Now we need to attach the bottom straps to the bag before we add the other main piece to this so take the other piece and baste the 18” strap pieces in the corners, right before they curve along the bottom (remember to line up the RAW edges with the bottom main piece NOT the finished ends).
10. Repeat step 7 with the other main piece (#1).
This is what it should look like right sides out.
11. Repeat step 8 with piece #3 and #4 to create the lining of the bag. Leave a hole on one side of the bag (not bottom of the bag as is the typical spot) in order to turn bag and add elastic later.
See hole placement below…
12. Turn main bag pieces right side out. We are going to now attach the receiving end of the magnetic snap. Measure 3” down from the middle and use your scissors to create holes for the prongs to go through.
13. For the handle measure in 2 1/2” from each of the side seams on center of back main piece. Place handle ends 2” from each other. Insert the D ring in the 9” straps folding them in half. Pin directly next to the handle. Baste in place.
14. Grab the flap piece that we assembled in step #6 and place on top of handle and straps, lining up side seams with snap side up. Baste in place.
15. Turn bag inside out. Leave the lining right side out. Put lining inside the bag and match up all the seams and raw edges (right sides should be facing). Sew entire top edge perimeter.
16. Turn bag right side out through the side opening.
17. Tuck lining inside bag. Iron the top seam. From the side seam all the way around to the other side seam, sew a 1/2” casing (just the three sides of the bag, not the back). Keep in mind that side hole will allow you to thread your elastic in later.
18. Cut a 6 1/2” inch piece of 1/4” elastic. Using the side hole we created, attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic and thread it through the casing. Thread the elastic until one end lines up with the edge of that casing along the side seam. Sew edge of elastic in place so that you can continue to thread the elastic through to the other side. Once elastic has been threaded through to the other end of the casing, sew this end in place making sure not to sew over the safety pin—pull it clear out of the way.
19. Reach inside the lining to remove the safety pin. Sew lining shut.
20. Next thread the 18” bottom strap through the D-ring and apply snaps according to package directions. We added 3 snaps in order to accommodate the child’s growth beginning with the very edge of the strap.
Wipe the sweat from your brow and sing “Halleluiah this freaking tutorial is over!.” Sweet mother of 20 steps!
In case your crazy ambitious and want to add more steps here is one with a ruffle inserted into the flap. Heck try piping….let your creative juices flow. Ca-ute!
But not as cute as this girl!
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