Thursday, August 28, 2014

A New Backpack for Preschool

A couple weeks ago, my 3 year old Elsie started (full day!) preschool. She is loving it and I'm so thrilled she is. I haven't been very emotional about either of my kids starting preschool, I just think it's so exciting for them, and for me. 

Hendrix starting Kindergarten was a different story though. It's like mourning their little-kidness when they start real school. But for me it wasn't just because he wouldn't be at home as much and I'd miss him. It was because for the rest of their lives after that first day of Kindergarten, they have expectations on them. Responsibilities and potential stressors. Forever! It's a little overwhelming to think about and it caught me off guard as we drove home from dropping him off at school. So long carefree kid life, you have things you have to learn and do now. It's a big transition, but a good one. Anyway, that's not really what this post is about, but I thought I'd tell you because no one told me that that is what I would get emotional about. I always thought it was just a bunch of clingy moms who cried about Kindergarten. I was wrong, no judgment here, crying moms and dads.


So Elsie's backpack- it's the pattern from Liesl's Little Things to Sew and it's the second one I've made. The first time I did the penguin version for Hendrix three years ago. (You can also see a whole lot of other great versions on that link from the sew-along we did!) If you still don't have that book, what's the matter with you? Still consistently my most used sewing book ever. 

This is the basic version of the backpack, but I added the lion appliqué from an Ed Emberly panel print I bought a long time ago. My kids love EE drawing books, and Elsie is especially crazy about lions right now, so I was thrilled when I remembered this lion that would fit perfectly on the front. And I got to actually use a decorative stitch around it, which is something I never think of doing. Come to think of it, I actually don't like the look of decorative stitches, but I love it here. 

The main fabric is a print from the RK Blythe collection that I had in my stash from Sewn (Have I mentioned how much I miss Sewn? I will say it again.) I interfaced it with Pellon Decor Bond which is the perfect weight for the backpack. I think the navy and dots make a fantastic background to the lion, so I'm glad I ended the hoarding period with this fabric. 

The lining is a Confetti Dot from The Fabric Studio, which is just opened in Nashville this past spring. This shop is so cozy, and the owner Nancy is super talented and helpful. Definitely put it on your list of fabric shops to visit! 

The little ladybug is also from that Ed Emberly panel. Lady bug pocket? Sure, why not. 

I think what I'm most excited about with this project is how well I blind stitched the lining in around the zipper opening. I should have gotten a picture of it! Last time, I was such a horrible hand-stitcher that I didn't ever finish and it looked like total poo. This time, it looks totally profesh and only took me like 1.5 episodes of Scandal. (I know. Shut up, it's a guilty pleasure.) 

Sometimes you need a lion backpack to water Nana's flowers. You also need it to carry a "Little My Pony" lunch box and a Batman water bottle to school. I mean really, she is just the best. 


  1. This is really adorable- it looks amazing and I love your fabric choices. I love that blythe fabric too- definitely a lovely, yet under-rated fabric collection.

  2. aww super cute!! That first pic slays me. She is so cute!!! :)

  3. Very cute! Love the dot fabric choice!

  4. way cute, what a big girl she is! and yeah, i feel ya on the "expectations" thing. it was also kind of sad to me to send E off to school when O was still home; he missed her so much for a while there!

  5. That is a fabulous backpack! I wonder if I have time to make one for my 5 yr old - he leaves daycare to do to preschool next year. In August. Hm nope, it's gonna take me longer than that! ;)


Thanks so much for your comments-I LOVE to hear from you, so speak up! And I usually reply in email to your questions, so make sure your profile has your email.