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.


double adventure

Because when your car breaks down on the Ohio Turnpike, while on your way to Boston to drop your sweet girl off at college and you end up having to have it towed to a dealership and make the rest of the trek in a rental, you may need a little instant happy.

A few extra moments, a twist of vintage yoko and you have a warmer linen loop.

A physical pat down, license check and you and your child’s first ever ride in the back of a patrol car, all to get your sad buns off the pike, because the flatbed tow truck can only seat two (the tow driver and your husband) and the nearest off ramp with a hotel is 25 miles away and it’s after closing at all the damn rental car places and before you can climb in the hard plastic backseat, the officer needs to check your bags and when they come across your little zip pouch and ask “make up bag?” and you reply “no, knitting” and they chuckle and unzip it because they don’t believe you and then are completely surprised that it IS knitting ..and yes, I called it knitting because crochet would have needed more explanation.

Next day you’re back on the road in a rental to Massachusetts and you get your sweet girl all moved in and you high-five thinking you handled this like a pro and you cry because she’s staying and you’re leaving and you love them both so much and you couldn’t imagine anyone better to be marooned with ♥

Three days have passed and you are on the way back to Ohio with one less,  you return the rental and you arrive at the dealership with pillows, travel snacks and luggage in hand, ready to pick up your once broken but now fixed car and get your tired buns home. You are greeted with the news that it will take a frickin week for warranty parts to arrive, apparently the f’ing thing needs a whole new fuel system. Feeling just as broken as the car you grab another rental, this time a one-way, and head west for MN. You are literally driving the bright yellow hamster mobile from the Kia commercials, but your mood lightens when you stop at a gas station that has vanilla frosting combos (wth?) and the cashier decides take a smoke break while you’re in the store, like you look honest enough to watch it for her while she has a break (wth?) and whose only bathroom art is an oversized  1990’s Leonardo DiCaprio wall poster laminated on plywood opposite the mirror, washing your hands you look up, startled, then wink ..hey Leo ♥

  ..nothing but cowls & car time..

Exactly one week later, you get the call, it’s fixed and the very next day you are re-tripping to Ohio with yet another one-way rental on the turnpike (choose your own adventure style) shady hotels, having fun and holding hands, coming full circle, back to linen this time. ♥