Every year I tell myself that I'll prepare better next year, but when the time comes, I haven't and I'm left scrambling with my back-to-school sewing. Oh well, that's the way it goes I guess. It just adds to the excitement of sewing: racing against time. Two years ago I made my son a backpack (you can read all about it here) and he really loved it, and it lasted amazingly. It was only starting to wear at the hanging loop. I could fix the loop, but I think it's time for a new bag anyway. For my youngest, I'm making the Sew Sweetness Cumberland Backpack, but I wanted a more traditional style backpack for my oldest. After nearly giving up, I found the Andrie Designs Adventure Time Backpack.
I like that it comes in 2 sizes (I made the large) and that it has options for side pockets, plus the front zippered pocket. There are also options for an organizer-type interior pocket and additional zippered pocket at the front, but I omitted both those features. I also skipped the piping to keep the project a bit quicker.
I kept the interior zippered pocket and added a strap to stabilize the load inside. According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association, the heavier items should be closer to the body, so the idea is that the strap inside can hold the heavier books toward the back and lighter items, like a lunchbag in front. The strap was really easy: I just sewed a piece of velcro into each side seam of the back panel. So he can adjust it to be narrow or wide depending on what he's carrying that day.
Water bootle pockets are a must! In the winter, he likes to use these side pockets for his gloves too. I used the polyester mesh from Paccana; it's really affordable, and durable too.
Even though the last one held up really well, I wanted to make this one a bit more durable, so I used Cordura (also from Paccana) for the base and back panel of the bag. This will also help keep the insides dry if he sets his bag down outisde.
I found this fabric at my local fabric store, Overseas Fabrics, actually my son picked it out. I rarely take him to the fabric store with me, since I'm usually asking my kids to stop touching everything, because it's so darn tempting to touch it all, even for me. I was pleasantly suprised though, when the owners welcomed my kids and invited them to touch the fabric and enjoy their time in the store. Since we were at ease, it was no trouble finding the perfect fabric. He told me he wanted space or galaxy fabric, so when we saw this one, it was perfect. They have a huge selection of solids and we easily matched one of the colours from the print. I happened to have zippers that matched perfectly, and the velcro was such a fluke!
If you've been following my blog for some time, you're probably aware that I avoid hand sewing at all costs...but these wooden tags from Brickbubble are adorable and I couldn't resist putting one on this bag. Confession: I didn't sew it by hand! I practiced a wide zigzag stitch with my machine on a scrap to find the right width and then once I figured it out, just used the zigzag on each side. Reece: 1 | Hand sewing: 0
Of course none of this matters unless he likes the final product, so I'm happy to report, he is one happy customer!
Did you have any back to school scrambles? Let me know what you were up to for back to school sewing.
If you're looking for more back-to-school ideas, check out this round-up post from last year.
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Hi! I'm Reece and I love to sew! I'm also a mom and a wife. I love being crafty and sharing tips.
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