We’ve been having such a busy spring that I haven’t taken the time to record many of our projects, but I did manage to snap a few pictures of Alice’s new backpack before it begins what I’m sure will be a very tough life. Alice has been very taken with other kids’ backpacks lately, and I decided to make her one of her very own. It was such a fun project, and Alice has been more excited by this than anything else I’ve made her. She sat next to me for much of its creation telling me about how her favorite color is pink and how she is planning to store “Baby’s little snacks” in it.
I used this toddler backpack pattern and it was perfect. At first I was eyeing some more complicated patterns with lots of zippered pockets and such, but I decided that simple is better for a two year old…less to frustrate her. I used natural duck cloth I had lying about, plus pink duck cloth I picked up at Joann’s, and then I added a leather bottom and loop and lined it all with a quilting cotton I thought Alice would appreciate. I’m so happy that I managed to make something that I love the look of and would use myself but that Alice also is excited by.
The leather I used for the bottom is quite heavy and my machine really struggled so I ended up sewing much of the bottom on by hand. The pattern warns against using duck cloth as it is very heavy, but I used a walking foot and heavy duty thread and needle and all was well. I really don’t think a lighter weight fabric would have given it enough structure, even with the piping.
I added some outside side pockets and a little leather loop, mostly for looks but perhaps they’ll prove useful. I also did not bother to pad the straps, as there’s no way Alice will be carrying anything heavy around with this (Baby’s snacks are very light)…
I’m very glad I bothered with the lining- it really only took an extra two hours (and I sew really slowly!) and it makes it seem much more finished. Alice waited (somewhat impatiently) while I stitched the lining on by hand and when I turned it back inside out she took it away and began stuffing random things inside, zipped it up, and took off.
I thought about reminding her to tell me thank-you and decided against it…much better to observe her genuine appreciation.