A backpack has been on my sewing bucket list for ages! I’ve always fancied giving it a try but at the same time I have been very intimidated by the thought of it!
Mabel has 2 lovely backpacks already, both from Cath Kidston. The thing is it’s a bit of a Goldilocks situation as one is just that little bit too small for her and the other too big! Thus started a mission to find a pattern that would be a perfect size for all her bits and bobs, not only for pre-school but when we’re out and about too.
Funnily enough I had the fabric in mind way before I had decided on the pattern, but unusually for me I didn’t actually buy it until I had worked out how to make it. Normally I buy the fabric and stash it away only to decide on a different fabric all together! (tell me I’m not the only one!?)
It was the super cute Jungle safari fabric from Cotton+Steel. I LOVE this fabric so much, and so does Mabel! It’s girly without being too girly if that makes sense, and we both love the animals featured on it. I’m all for a bit of pink but sometimes it’s nice to girly it down a bit!
The pattern I found on Pinterest and is by So Sew Easy I’ll be honest the written and cutting instructions were not the clearest! BUT it was a free pattern and evident that a lot of work had gone into creating it. I was very grateful that I had come across it. There is also a video which made things more clear. I wouldn’t recommend you jump into this pattern if you’re a beginner though or if you’re not confident.
I ended up adapting it a bit. Including adding a little loop so she can hang it on her peg and some fabric to the straps rather than the suggested cotton tape. I also decided to leave out the side pockets.
Just the right size! She’s only just going in to size 2-3 clothes and a lot of them are a bit big for her (those trousers are supposed to be leggings! :D) so you can get an idea of the size of the bag. If I do say so myself she looks super cute! There was an initial refusal to put it on as with all things I make her, but she has now fallen in love with it and wore it out yesterday all proud (SO sweet!)
Soo this is where I say I’m super pleased with it… well while I am chuffed I finished it and with not too many swear words, but oh my goodness there is so many things I am not happy with!
Do I list all the flaws?? Ah why not… some are silly like the zips are all different colours, this was not intentional, in error I bought the wrong colour and rather than order more or go back to the shop I raided my stash. The tape I used really isn’t suitable for a backpack, I wished I’d used something a little more sturdy! Because of this I couldn’t add the buckles as they were too heavy for the tape. So this bag is not adjustable. Luckily I managed to work out the right length but I guess it won’t be lasting her for a long time. It was another one of those I want to get started and not have to wait for supplies moment! Finally the binding. The materials list did not mention binding, so I didn’t buy enough of the lining fabric. As was the nature of this whole bag I raided my stash. Having said that I do quite like the contrast!
It was one of those makes where I really wish I had done a mock-up version first rather than using precious fabric. However, I’m not completely disappointed with it, in fact I’m rather chuffed to tick this off my bucket list, and I am certainly feeling braver for the next time I make one. I have the London Backpack pattern by Noodlehead in my pattern library so I will have to give that a try next.
Outer fabric “Jungle” by Cotton+Steel from – Cloth and Candy
Lining fabric – “Mini Hearts” by Dear Stella also from Cloth and Candy
I’m planning on making a matching lunch bag to go with it, I will share with you as soon as it’s finished.
How are your back to school preparations going?