It was back in January when I got the email, it was from Vickie Howell saying she had stumbled across one of my photos online and was wondering if I would mind if she used it in her upcoming book. I was shook, cripes I watched Vickie on PBS and Knitty Gritty when I was first learning to knit!
No.3 Why did I stitch a Taurus chart and photograph it? No one in my family is a Taurus, and my original picture was from 2011 and for the absolute life of me I can’t remember why Taurus.
No.4 Feeling pretty justified in watermarking my photos. I’ve always debated with myself if it was worth the extra effort to do so, or if it just came across as pretentious. I never did it thinking it was going to stop people from stealing them, I did it just to make sure no matter where they ended up that hopefully people could track it back to me. (Granted it only took 8ish years, but it worked ..haha!)
The publisher needed a hi resolution version of the image and I panicked, not knowing if my then early 2000s Nikon Coolpix point and shoot even took publisher quality hi-res images (back in the day image files were huge and my little 32mb SD card embarrassing by todays standards) ..did I even kept the original ..what if I didn’t keep the f’ing original!!!! Anyways, after sifting through old flash drives I finally found it, I sent off a few images not fully knowing what I was doing or what they were looking for, then a little while later Vickie asks me what are the odds I have something even higher resolution, I didn’t, but I still had the puffs, so we decided a reshoot would be the fix, it was, and now I have a picture in a book. 💕
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
I trimmed the raw edges with the cutest yellow bias tape.
Best of all, I made it to match my planner ..ooof so so good!
… 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! It didn’t suck at all, it was really engaging and enjoyable.