Time for Birdie to get his own bag.
This backpack pattern was one that I created a few years ago for a craft swap partner's young daughter who was two years old at the time. The opening is just an overlap on the near the top of the front. Velcro could be added to help keep it closed but isn't necessary. Not having any zippers or snaps, it's very simple for a toddler to open and fill up. Good for play and great for a daycare bag, where the child can get their own toys, cup and diapers from their bag. Plus it's quick enough to make in a naptime (if you don't check your email first :D)
My backpack is made from a cotton print of an old style flour bag, which I found in a thrift store. I'm not sure who made the fabric since it had been cut into fat quarters and finished along two sides. It looked like someone wanted to use it as a table runner or something decorative. If anyone knows something about the fabric or the design, please share, I'd love to know more.
I am going to do a couple things different for this tutorial. First off, I'm actually going to provide you with the pattern pieces, which I am able to do now that I am subscribing to a zingy file transfer site. Second, I'm going to try this tutorial out as a sewing pattern internet busking type of thing. You'll see what I mean at the bottom :)
On with the show!
Download Pattern: http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=89055766493055439828
(3 page pdf - print at 1:1 scale or 'no scaling')
This backpack uses about 3/4 meter or yard of woven fabric and 3/4 meter or yard of medium weight fusible interfacing.
To cut fabric and interfacing, follow instructions printed on the three pattern pieces (Back, Front Bottom, and Front Top). Don't forget to also cut additional strips of fabric for the Side and the Straps, as indicated on the pattern sheets.
Following manufacturers instructions, fuse interfacing to the wrongsides of the corresponding pieces. All pieces except the Straps require interfacing.
Once interfacing is applied, you now have:
Front Top piece
Front Bottom piece
This pattern uses a 1/4" seam allowance.
Using the dashed/dotted line from the pattern as a reference, fold Top Bottom piece in, wrong sides together.
(Note: because fusible interfacing was used, there should be no need to finish the raw edges with a serger or zig zag stitch to prevent fraying. However, you may feel the need to anyway, or just like the serged edges. If this is you, before you go any further, finish the long straight edges of the Front Top and Front Bottom pieces.)
Top stitch at 1/4" along fold.
To overlap the Front Top and Front Bottom, use the Back piece as a guide by laying the Top Bottom piece on the Back and then placing the Front Top piece down in proper alignment.
Pin the Front Top to the Front Bottom on the sides (don't pin the Back piece, but set it aside for now). Machine baste the Top and Bottom together where they overlap on the sides. If desired, add small velcro tabs to keep overlapped pieces closed when backpack is in use.
Form the Side piece into a loop by stitching the short ends, right sides together. Pin the Side piece to the Front piece, right sides together, with the seam on the bottom. Stitch Side to Front.
(Just an aside here. Stitching fusible interfacing curves is not so easy because there is no stretch to the material. Give yourself some extra time here and don't worry while sewing, it will work out. Forgive small tucks, they are really no big deal.)
Clip curves. Press the seam allowance towards the side and top stitch around, catching the seam allowance (stitch while still turned wrong sides out. It looks a bit weird, but, trust me, it's much easier.)
Put aside the Front piece.
To make the straps, take one 3" by 15" strip of fabric and fold it right sides together lengthwise. Stitch closed along the raw edges, forming a tube. Turn tube right side out (use a safety pin to turn). Press flat and top stitch along length-wise edges. Repeat for other strap.
Position and pin the ends of the straps to the right side of the Back piece at the top and bottom sides, as indicated in the below photo:
To complete the backpack, stitch the the Back to the Side piece, right sides together. Clip curves (do not top stitch). Turn backpack right side out and apply to child.
I welcome all questions and comments!
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