Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tutorial: Kids Backpack

Finally a full tutorial, pictures and all.  I can't tell you how many of these I have started and need to finish.  I've set my mind to post this all tonight!

This is a perfect overnight bag!  The drawstring is sewn in so it won't slip out and frustrate little ones. 

What you will need:
1/2 yard fabric for main bag
1/4 yard fabric for drawstring and straps
rotary cutter & mat
loop turner
safety pin

First use the 1/2 yard and leaving it folded exactly how it comes off the bolt - trim the top selvage edge off so you will end up with an 18" square of fabric (folded in half).  Around 4" of the selvage edges will be cut off.  If the fabric is laid out flat it would be an 18" by 36" piece. 

Next cut a 4" strip the width of the fabric. It will be a 4" x 45" strip.  This will be your straps.

Then cut a 1 3/4" strip the width of the fabric.  It will be a 1 3/4" x 45" strip.  This will be your drawstring.

To make the drawstring:
Fold the 1 3/4" piece in half the long way and stitch using a 1/4 seam.  Cut back to about 1/8 after it's sewn.

Stick the loop turner in and turn it right side out.  This is a handy new tool I just picked up and totally worth it!

Tuck the raw ends back inside so you can't see any loose threads and tie a knot on both ends.

To make the straps:

Take the 4" wide x 45" piece.  First fold down both ends 1/2" and press.  Next fold the 4" piece in half lengthwise and press.  Open up and fold in each raw edge to meet the center crease and press.  The picture on the right is what you will end up with.

Run the strap through the machine stitching about 1/8" from the edge to close that open seam.

Assembling the bag:

On the main bag fabric fold over the two side top corners that will meet when the bag is assembled about 1/4" and approx 3" down and press.   Then fold down the top edge toward the inside and press first a 1/4" then another 3/4".  Stitch close to the lower edge as shown to close the casing for the drawstring.

(Yes, this is a different bag fabric.)  Find the center of the top of the bag by measuring in 9".  Then measure 1" down from the top of the bag and pin your strap that is folded in half and laid flat in a triangular position as shown on the photo.  Stitch around the triangle.

Pin the ends of the straps to the bottom of the bag approx 1" from the side and a 1/2" from the bottom fold of the main bag.

Stitch in a square to make it nice and secure.

With right sides together on the main bag and using a safety pin stuck to the end of the drawsring, thread the drawstring through the top of the bag starting at one of the hemmed edges bringing it all the way around and coming out at the other hemmed edge.   Even it out so it when the bag is laid flat the drawstring looks even where it exits the bag.  On the opposite side make sure there is no extra drawstring hanging out then stitch down the entire side of the bag including the going through the drawstring.  This is what will keep it in place so it won't fall out.  See the above photo.

Stitch the other side of the bag making sure this time to leave the opening for the drawstring.  Turn the bag right side out and your done! 

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