Svetlana from s.o.t.a.k handmade and the the kokoon shop is here today with a Little Artist Backpack for all of your art needs on the go! We think this is a fun project kids will really appreciate; you’ll like the extra organization too, on your next big trip! Learn more about Svetlana in her introduction, and be sure to comment below for your chance to a new book or magazine!
Are you ready to make a Little Artist Backpack?!
- ½ yard main fabric for the exterior (linen + cotton blend or decorator’s weight fabric works the best)
- ½ yard fabric for the lining (regular quilter’s weight cotton)
- Medium weight fusible interfacing
- 2 magnetic snap closures (Velcro could also be used)
- 2 strap adjusters (or 4 D-rings) for 1” straps
Step 1: Cutting Fabric and Interfacing
From the main (exterior) fabric cut:
- Two 12” x 12” squares for the front and back panel of the backpack
- One 6 “ x 12” rectangle for the flap
- One 9” x 12” rectangle for the pocket
From the lining fabric cut:
*! Really important!: Cut your straps before you cut any other parts of the lining!
- Two 3” x WOF (width of fabric) strips for the straps
- Two 12” x 12” squares for the front and back panel lining
- One 6 “ x 12” rectangle for the flap lining
From medium weight fusible interfacing cut:
- Two 12” x 12” squares
- One 6 “ x 12” rectangle
- Two 1 ½” x 42” long strips for the straps
Step 2: Making and Installing the Pocket
Fold the 9” x 12” rectangle of exterior fabric in half along the 12” side, right sides together. Sew along the open 12” edge.
Turn right side out, iron flat, and topstitch along what’s going to be the upper side of the pocket.
Get the front exterior panel (right side up) and place the pocket 1” from the bottom of the exterior panel. Pin and stitch along the bottom of the pocket.
Now let’s make slots for the pencils. Find the middle of the pocket, mark a line.
Starting at the middle line, measure and mark additional 3 lines each 1 ¼ “apart. Pin the pocket to the exterior fabric to ensure that it stays in place while sewing over the marked lines.
Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of stitching each slot. Now your pocket is finished!
Step 3: Making the Straps
Start by fusing the interfacing to the wrong side of your strap, fold the strap in half lengthwise and press.
Now open the strap and press each long side about ½” in again to make a 1” strap. Press the end edges about ½” in and pin in place. Topstitch.
Step 4: Attaching the Straps
Work with one strap at a time so their parts don’t get mixed up. Get the first strap, cut it in half. Now place the raw edge of the first half of the strap on top of the back panel of your backpack about 4.5” from the edge. Attach the other half of the strap to the bottom edge of the back panel 4.5” from the edge, too. Pin and stitch them in place, make sure to backstitch.
Attach the other strap the same way.
At this stage, I like to pin my straps securely to the back panel. This ensures that the straps will stay nice and straight as well as out of the way while sewing.
Step 5: Assembling the Exterior of the Backpack
Place the two main 12” x 12” exterior panels on top of each other (right sides together) and sew them together along the bottom side only. Please be sure to keep your straps out of the way so they don’t get caught in the stitching.
Now place the top edge of the flap on top of the top edge of the back panel (right sides together), stitch them together along the top.
Press all the seams open.
Step 6: Installing Magnetic Snaps to the Exterior Front Panel
Let’s first work with the front exterior panel. Measure out where to place your snaps, 3” from the side, 2” from the top. (Please refer to the picture.)
Mark on the other side as well, and install the snaps using the manufacturer’s instructions.
Please set the exterior panel aside now.
Step 7: Fusing Interfacing and Assembling the Lining
Using the manufacturer’s directions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of both main lining panels, as well as the flap lining.
Follow Step 5 to assemble the lining pieces the same way as you did with the exterior fabric.
Step 8: Installing Magnetic Snaps to the Lining of the Flap
Following Step 6, measure out where to place the snaps on both sides (refer to the following pictures).
Step 9: Assembling the Backpack
Place both the exterior panel as well as the lining panel on top of each other, right sides together; make sure to match the seams. (Exterior flap is on top of flap lining, exterior front on top of lining front…) Line up the seams and pin in place.
Now, you could leave your flap corners the way they are, but I prefer rounding them. This is how you can do it: take a CD, place in the corner of the flap you want to make rounded, trace, cut on the line and you have a perfectly rounded corner.
Do the same on the other side of the flap.
Stitch all the way around the pinned panels; be sure to leave about a 5” gap along one side of the back panel for turning the whole backpack right side out.
Clip the rounded parts of the flap, turn right side out through the opening and press.
Pin the opening closed.
Almost there! Now place the backpack panel on the flat surface lining side up.
Fold the front panel over the back panel, lining together, pin the sides and topstitch.
Step 10: Attaching Strap Adjustors
Attach strap adjustors (or 2 D-rings per each strap) to the top strap and stitch in place securely, backstitching couple of times.
Pull the bottom straps through the adjustors and YOU ARE DONE!
Congratulations! Fill the backpack with fun art supplies…
… And your child is ready to go.
This week you can win a copy of Where Women Create: Inspiring Work Spaces of Extraordinary Women (May/June/July Volume 4 Issue 3), With Fabric & Thread by Joanna Figueroa or We Love Color: 16 Iconic Quilt Designers Create with Kona Solids Compiled by Susanne Woods.
Comment on any post this week to win, and learn more about the books in our June Book Giveaways post.