I have to admit though...I thought I had bit off more than I could chew at first. There is A LOT of cutting involved and this is not a quick sew. Basically you cut everything 4 times. 1 main fabric, 1 liner fabric, 1 stabilizer and 1 fusible shape flex. Label your pieces as you cut them to help keep yourself organized.
There are 2 zippers, 2 metal sliders, 2 metal rectangle rings, & 3 magnetic snaps to also install. I personally have only put zippers in a handful of things, so the other items were a new experience for me. I found a 3 pack of the magnetic snaps in the handbag section of JoAnns so that was perfect for this project. I also picked up the sliders and rectangle rings in the same section. The zippers were from our sponsors Zipper Shop.
There are directions for a cross body bag but it's more practical for my kid to have a traditional backpack. All of the strap placement and pockets are clearly marked on the pattern pieces which there are only 4 pages to print. It is VERY important to have the right kind of needle in your machine to put this together. Luckily, I had a package of heavy duty needles, but Sara suggests using a denim needle. The fabric layers get really thick around the strap areas.
Speaking of straps...she suggests to cut them to accordingly for a better fit. I personally kept them long so that if I ever need to carry it for her while we are on a field trip I can. Or better yet Mr. Merri could...wouldn't that be a hoot! HA!
It has a ton of room too! The finished measurements are 15.5" tall by 12" wide by 5" deep. Jenna will be able to get all of her school items inside this and her lunch bag too! The front pockets have enough room for some glue sticks and a pack of crayons. This wouldn't be practical for my middle schoolers every day backpack because of the weight of their binders and the sheer amount of stuff they carry. But I would recommend this for a middle/high schooler as a bag to carry things for after school activities. Perfect pockets for a phone or IPOD.
For all of the lining pieces, I used random purple scrap fabric. One of the great things about making your own backpack is it will not be confused with another kid's! EVERY year at least 1 other kid in Jenna's classroom has the exact same one as her! Not this year!!
The only part I had any trouble was attaching the bias tape. I normally make my own because I have a ton of scraps but this time I used the store bought version. So normally you pin like crazy when attaching that, which is what I did. Well, if you are like me I tend to poke myself with the needles if there are too many. So after I poked myself a couple of time <OUCH> I remembered Becca DuVal's little glue stick trick. Yes, I used a regular glue stick to hold the bias tape in place while i slowly sewed it on. Look Ma....NO PINS! Sheer genius Becca.
And I bet you were wondering where the second zipper was at....well here it is! There is a zippered pouch on the inside perfect to stash a book or snack for that bus ride home. So all in all its a really cute bag if you have the time and patience to make it! I would love to see a boy's version of this too!!
I think Jenna is ready to rush back to school!!!!
Until next time...