Saturday, September 3, 2011

LTTSA: Backpack Part 1- Supplies

Woohoo! I'm so excited to start another month of the Little Things to Sew-Along! The first one went scrumptrilescently because you guys are so amazingly creative. We had 17 people link up their completed bucket hats, and I know I saw at least a couple more on Flickr that said they were sewing along. I don't know about you, but I definitely got some good practice on sewing curved seams and making pretty topstitching :)

Alright, let's get moving on our backpacks, because if your preschoolers haven't started school yet, they will be soon. And even if we miss the start of school, that's ok too. We are all about stress-free sewing along here.

We need a yard of our main fabric. If you are making a regular backpack, you could really pick any home-dec weight fabric or something else canvas-y. I think some echino or other thick Japanese import would be adoooooorable (if pricy) but might still need a little added interfacing or backing.

I haven't purchased my fabric yet, but I am making the penguin version, so I'm looking for something that is solid or at least reads as fairly solid. The version in the book looks to be cotton twill, which I think looks really nice. But I'll probably buy either denim or corduroy from the shop I work in. The corduroy is very fine wale and thin, so I'll have to interface that as well.

When you are picking out your fabric and wondering if it's the right choice, I would just trust your instincts. If it feels sturdy enough to be a backpack, it probably is. At the same time, you don't want to get something extremely heavy, (like maybe denim from thick jeans) because you will have to sew through a few layers of it at times and don't want to have too much trouble.

 More ideas on that here, from someone who has made it. Go on, read it... Thanks to Erin for paving the way for us :)

As far as other supplies, any quilting weight cotton is good for lining and the outside embellishments. You also need 1/2 yard of lightweight fusible interfacing.

The zipper- you need one of those bigger-molded-toothed kind, 18", which you can find at Joann or wherever. Not invisible and not one of the little-teethed kind you would put into a zippered pouch or something-

Strap adjustors- this might be a little more tricky to find. I haven't actually looked at my local Joann yet, but they are on the website. But they aren't called strap adjustors in the 1-1/2" size, they are called slides. (I tried looking on the site listed on the resource page in the book. Couldn't find them there.) I also think you might try like a sporting goods supply place if sewing supply stores don't have it. But it might just be easier to order online. And it doesn't matter if they are plastic or metal, just as long as they are made to fit 1-1/2" straps.

Penguin Backpack Lining

I'll leave you with another gem I found on flickr. Penguin fabric lining! Love it. 

Alright folks, we'll get started as soon as I can get my crap together. You can cut everything out and put together the front and back of the outside, but if you are scared of apprehensive about the zipper, I'll walk us through that part of the instructions with pictures. Don't worry! You'll do splendidly. 

So what are your thoughts on fabric choice for the outside of the backpack? Anyone have a good resource for strap adjustors? 

***Also, some of you have said you would rather make the messenger bag. No problem, you will still be eligible for the giveaway if you link up your project. I'd love to see them!


  1. I am very exticed about this one! I will be making it for my little toddler.

  2. Cant wait to see what everyone comes up with.
    Amanda @ Ellieboo

  3. I ordered my strap adjusters from here. I haven't received them yet, but they were very reasonably priced. I actually extra, in both the 1 1/2" and 2" sizes for other projects.

  4. I'm off this afternoon to get fabric, after I check with the boss to see if she still wants it to look like a penquin!

  5. So, I've got an old vintage sheet picked out to's pretty thin- what do I do? Get some heavy interfacing to back it??

  6. I CAN NOT wait to see what everyone comes up with on this one! :) I'm excited, but I'll admit to being nervous. I also am wondering about appropriate interfacing. I bought some echino and I have a lightweight interfacing already. Will that work, or should I go for a medium/heavy interfacing? If anyone has any tips, I'd happily take them. :)

    eemilybb at gmail dot com

  7. I'm excited about this one too! I'm going to attempt a Lightening McQueen backpack for my little guy. I have it all sketched out where his mouth falls at the zipper. We'll see if it works. :) All I'm missing are the strap adjusters, so if I can't find them at the nearby JoAnn's I'll have to order online.

  8. I am just about to start cutting out a backpack for my granddaughter. I came across your sew-along when looking for backpacks others had made. I'd love to join you, although I don't know if I'll be making any of the other items. I've already made the bear carrier.

    Thanks for your tips so far. I got my slides from an Etsy shop... PurseSuppliesRUs. They were inexpensive, shipping was free and very fast.


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