Friday, May 23, 2014


This tribal print backpack began as a pillow from India.  I loved the fabric, but I didn’t like the shape or size of the pillow.  It went into storage for a few years until I unearthed it while preparing for a garage sale.  It seemed like such a shame to leave this beautiful print hidden from the world, so I decided to create a backpack for our trip to Switzerland.

My free template
30” x 20” Heavyweight fabric
12” x 15” Costume pleather
12” x 15” Felt
2.5 yard 1” Nylon webbing
1 yard Drawstring
2 Plastic adjusters
1 Buckle
Black thread
Sewing machine
1) With the wrong side facing, measure 2 ½'' from the top of the fabric and mark with a pen.
2) Fold fabric ½“ from top and iron.
3) Fold fabric another 2'' to meet the pen mark you made. Iron flat and sew edge.
4) Insert the drawstring.
5) Fold fabric in half width wise. With right sides facing, sew the edge together. Use a zigzag stitch to finish edges and prevent the fabric from fraying. The fabric should now form a cylinder with the drawstring at the top.
6) Cut two pieces of nylon webbing 6.5” long. Thread plastic adjusters onto the webbing. Fold webbing in half and sew adjusters as shown in image below.

7) Cut base pieces from template. With wrong sides facing, sew edges together.
8) Pin base and adjusters in place. The adjusters were set 8” apart. In the photograph you can see that I’ve placed the fabric seam down the center back.

9) With right sides facing, sew base to backpack. Turn backpack right side out.
10) Cut two 28” pieces of nylon webbing for straps. Pin straps at an angle to top of bag, approximately an inch from the back center. Sew in place. Thread the straps through adjusters.

11) Cut one piece of nylon webbing 3” long. Thread buckle onto webbing. Fold webbing in half and sew as shown in image below.

12) Cut one piece of pleather and one piece of felt according to flap template. With wrong sides facing, sew together.

12) Cut one piece of nylon webbing 8” long.  Pin webbing to the felt in the center of flap. Sew webbing in place.

13) Pin and sew the flap to the backpack right above straps.

14) Pin buckle to the front of backpack and sew in place.

Note: If you plan on carrying heavy items, reinforce the straps by sewing extra nylon webbing perpendicularly across strap ends.

Any questions or comments are always welcome and appreciated. Hope you have a good weekend, Nicole.

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