making backpack

if you didn’t know, i love making bags. like really love making bags. i think i spent three whole summers just making bags, pouches, and more bags. it’s funny though because through all of the bags i’ve made – i’ve never made a backpack, and i’ve rarely used a pattern. but this summer was different. i fell in love the second i saw this backpack by anna graham of noodlehead. i subscribed to making magazine (best decision i have ever made – i could go on and on about how much i love that magazine) and bought the supplies to make this backpack. i was inspired by the colours of the amour vert bag my mom received when she bought something from there. the yellow and cream seemed very minimalistic and different and i tried to recreate the look with my backpack. i got the hardware from noodlehead and the rest of the fabric from joann’s, back before i started thrifting, and i was super bummed to not find any yellow webbing for the straps and handles so i settled with some yellow canvas.

the actually came together really quickly – i learned how to add in rivets to a project and to sew with hardware, which was super fun. i also learned how to apply bias binding on the inside of the backpack, and i love the leather accent on the front of the backpack!

because it was my first time sewing a backpack, i stuck directly to the pattern and did not make any modifications, which i definitely regret now and would make in the future. i’m so mad at myself for skimping on interfacing for the straps because they are now really flimsy and are too thin for the strap hardware to work properly. they are not comfortable at all and twist really easily which is really really annoying (haha can you tell i’m annoyed?) the backpack is really big – and it does not hold it’s shape well without a lot of things in it. the whole top area droops down and the front pocket also droops, exposing whatever is inside of it. i would add a zipper to the front in the future, as well as more zips on the inside of the backpack or pockets to store things. the inside is so roomy that stuff easily gets lost, and the extra organization would really help with that. i would also add some pockets on the sides of the backpack for water bottles (this is a good hiking pack) or just to slip my phone into for easy access.

i’m obsessed with the leather accent!

on the bright side, this pattern is very simple and easy to modify and customize to your liking. it does require some supplies that i don’t normally have in my stash so i would save this make for the summer when i have more time to devote to sewing. i complained about the size of the backpack earlier, but i actually really love it. this backpack easily fits two textbooks and binders, making it perfect for carrying around schoolwork or traveling. the sturdiness of the backpack can also be changed by using a different outer fabric – i used medium weight canvas and it holds up pretty well, but a waxed canvas might work better. i’m just too scared to sew through waxed canvas with my machine and the layers do get pretty thick when adding the bias binding.

after making my making backpack (haha), i’m hooked. it’s so much fun to make backpacks and they are so useful to carry things in! i’m dreaming of making a smaller backpack in the future – sarah kirsten’s raspberry rucksack in any colour corduroy. i’m dying to use corduroy in a project because i love the texture, and i keep seeing some gorgeous shades up on a thrifty notion’s website that i wish could purchase! alas, i already have too much fabric and i’m restraining myself, but a girl can dream, right?!

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