Should be organizing, making lists, trying to switch gears to be ready for a new school year. My disorganized self still has oodles of books, pencils, crayons … you name it, to buy. So, why not procrastinate with the necessities just a bit longer and instead make a few easy, cute, soft backpacks for gym clothes instead? I’m in!
What I Used:
– One 13″ wide x 30″ long piece of fabric for exterior. Note, if your print is a directional one, like the Monsieur Blocks green bag, you will want instead two pieces 13″ wide x 15½” long so that one side of your bag doesn’t have upside down little men or castles on it.
– One 13″ x 30″ piece of fabric for lining. This could be a basic solid colour fabric, but I prefer the added little surprise for the recipient of having a contrasting lining.
– Three meters of cording or soft (but strong) ribbon. A not-too-wide gros grain would work well.
What I Did:
Unless otherwise indicated, all seam allowances are ¼”.
If you have two pieces of exterior fabric, place them right sides together with both prints facing the top, and stitch across the bottom 13″ with a ½” seam.
If you are going to add any decorative patches or stitching to the front, now is the time to do it. I centred the patches I used horizontally and placed them about 6″ from the top. On the Scribble Cars orange bag I used a small narrow zigzag machine stitch to attach the patch. On the Faceted Flight triangle print, I embroidered the patch on with small buttonhole stitching.
Right sides together, place lining fabric on exterior fabric and sew two short ends (see A). You should have a tube.
Keeping right sides together, arrange the tube so that those 2 seams you just made are lined up in the centre. Mark 1″ from each end on each side, except on one lining end, mark about 5″ from the end (to turn fabric right side out). Also mark centre seam and ¾” from centre seam on each side of exterior fabric (to pass the cord). Sew from each mark to the next along the long sides (4 lines of stitching in total) (see B).
Turn fabric right side out. Top stitch 5″ opening to 1″ from folded edge (see C).
Insert lining into exterior fabric. Sew all the way around top, ¾” from folded edge to form casing (see D).
Cut cording or ribbon in half. If using cording, lightly scorch ends with a flame to stop them from unravelling. Using a safety pin or bodkin, insert one end into one side of casing and pass it all the way through to exit at the same edge (see E). Repeat with other side.
Insert ½” of 2 cord or ribbon ends into the 1″ opening left at the bottom edge of the bag, passing through opening in lining as well. Top stitch the opening a few times. Repeat with other side.