making

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I’ve been coveting the Making Backpack by noodlehead ever since I saw it in a preview of making, I thought my biggest hurdle was going to be remembering where the heck I put my rivets, never did I suspect the zipper tangle to be lacking in 8 inchers.

(There is just something about Anna’s patterns that inspire me, sadly it’s not often anymore that I see something so stand out that I NEED to make it right away, but twice now I’ve had it happen from this publication. Last time it was the sweet Petal Pouch, which is now offered as a stand alone pattern from her website!)

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I’ve been wanting a yellow bag for a while, my current carry was a ready made grey yoga tote with a yellow interior (my bags are ridiculously huge,  over the years the cute little handbags and purses I used to carry, have morphed into a giant tote that I can cram my entire life into).

I found the perfect duck canvas in the most impressive mustard color and if not for this sewing pattern and a strong desire to make something that fits my needs exactly, I might have fallen for one of those cute pricey swedish backpacks. But really I don’t like backpacks, so I switched up the backpackness of this and made it into a handled bag, folding over and stitching the webbing where my hands would grab, then running some cotton cording through the channel created to make it a rounded grip.

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I also added a few more pockets for my crafty makers heart 💛 I didn’t stitch down the top of the front pocket (on the outer edge of the rivets), instead I topstitched roughly 5″ down to create two little slim pockets on either side, you know for pens, crochet hooks or my knitting needles.

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I used a material called washable paper as a leather alternative for the leather patch, it looks/wrinkles like real leather, you can wash it, iron it, stamp and draw on it, it’s easy to cut and sew, and the best part of this fabric is, it’s a plant based renewable resource.

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Because I wasn’t making it a backpack, I put another pocket on the backside, using the same dimensions as the front pocket, minus rivets and all the topstitching. I like lots of places for notebooks or other 8½” x 11″ things.

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I chose a heavyweight linen for the lining, I’m not crazy about using interfacing (I can’t ever seem to get a clean result with the iron on kind), but I still wanted decent structure and a bag that stood on it’s own, so I used heavyweight fabrics inside & out  instead. (Waxed canvas would be AWESOME!)

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I trimmed the raw edges with the cutest yellow bias tape.

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Best of all, I made it to match my planner  ..ooof so so good!

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… Things To Note …

Use a denim or leather needle (I used a 90/14), you don’t want to keep breaking needles ..why did it take me so long so long to understand this?

I went through an entire full bobbin plus some, so wind two!

If you’re using a contrasting color for the topstitching, go slow, any wobbly wonky movements will be amplified by that stark thread!

Use a sturdy thick webbing for the handles and straps, packs get pretty heavy and you want to be comfortable carrying or wearing it. I’m going to make an adjustable crossbody/shoulder strap that will attach to the webbing loops at the ends of the zipper, just waiting on D rings and clips :)

My next one might have more interior pockets and pouches, I feel like I still need to use a bag organizer inside. One pocket for all my bits is not enough.

This was pretty straight forward sewing, if you have some experience with zippers and bias tape you can totally do this! Even if you don’t and really really want one, you can totally do this! You don’t have to inset a zip on the inside if you don’t want to, or use rivets, or even finish the inside edges with bias, a zigzag or overlock stitch would work too.

I’ll be honest this took several hours to make (with a big fat bold line under several). Between cutting and recutting (because apprently I can’t follow directions or read measurements), taking it super slow and pinning everything so I didn’t f -up the “good” fabric, and having to rip out my zipper top stitching twice because I blinked. Yes, I started straight off with the good stuff, I wanted this bag SO BAD and if it completely sucked making it, I only wanted to have to do it once! Luckily it was such a pleasure to work, I’m helping Lex make a floral denim actual backpack and have another dark version in mind for myself!

That yarn there, right at the end, it’s gorgeous House Of A La Mode, in the Star Light Star Bright colorway.

💕

Homage to building a better bag.

When I was a kid my go to phrase was “I could do that if I really wanted to” and usually it was in reference to some incredible thing someone was doing on the t.v.

Well I still kind of have that attitude about doing most things, because it seems impossibly silly to me that only a small handful of people out of millions can do any one amazing thing, and even more ridiculously silly that a ton of us can’t do some pretty amazing everyday awesome things?  Whatever it may be, just get out of your own head and try, possibly f-up and maybe try again. Simple.

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Admittedly most of  my “I could do thats” revolve around safe arts & crafts ..although I was on a taffy making binge for about a year.

Faux bag first try: I used mid-weight linen and it was a little lighter than I would’ve liked, but there were sections where I was sewing through 4+ layers with thick seams and I wasn’t super sure the little husqvarna could handle it, I could tell any thicker and I would have to use backup maneuvers to get it under the presser foot.

The size is exactly the same as my store bought bag, 8-9 Skeins full. Internal pockets mimic the original, but I did skip the trio of grommets because for me they just aren’t practical.

I kind of love the vegan leather handle, firstly because I feel like I would f-up my machine trying to stitch real leather and secondly because Lex would have hassled me about using animal.

Faux bag second try: This time I used duck cloth, good old heavy duty canvas and surprisingly only broke one needle, after which very very slow hand cranking, cringing and swears happened at every bulky intersection (I always have nightmare thoughts of needles shooting off into my eyes!)

Wide cotton twill tape replaced the pleather handle, only because I was feeling monochromatic 😍

I also swapped out the flat drawstrings for cotton cord (clothesline cord to be exact) and made the inside pockets a little deeper.

At first I wasn’t sure I even wanted to try and understand/improve on something already good, I didn’t have any issue dropping the cash for the ready made bag, but now I’m not limited by availability, color or even size, and I can drag it around and not worry about getting it scummy ..but this messy girl will not be making another white on white bag.

Sometimes it’s not about necessity or usefulness, but the feel good of doing something just because you can or want to, no matter how silly, small or simple.

On a completely random note: kinda rough, kinda romantic, kinda janky roses

💕