backa packa

Someone’s starting preschool very very soon. His school supply list called for one backpack with large zippered opening, no wheels. I let him pick out some fabric from his fancy fabric stash (all the great japanese prints I’ve acquired for Oscar use over the years) and this is what I came up with.

I used some fusible interfacing to stick the already canvas-like fabric to some even heavier weight canvas and then cut my pieces out from there. I didn’t use a pattern but just cut out a backpack shaped front and back and then a 5″ wide or so strip to go around. I got some canvas webbing and D-rings for the straps, which I, of course, sewed on the wrong way so I had to cut them off and sew back on the right way because I can never get a thing completely right.

My favorite part: I used this bit with driving cars from the selvedge to make a handle. Oh! and that in addition to sayings like “happy town” and “enjoy city” it says “poo country”. hee! I put that bit on the back though. You know, just in case some advanced classmate can read already. Want to avoid any unfortunate nicknaming.

sewing kids backpack

Now he’s all set to cart his artwork and peanut-free snacks back and forth. Here he is impatiently waiting for me to get a photo so he can get his chocolate pudding bribe.
backpack


up next: the omg-he’s-going-back-to-school very long, very ambitious Fall to-do list

95 thoughts on “backa packa

  1. Julia says:

    that is so adorable!!! i want one for me (forget kids, can’t we adults have cutie backpacks and chocolate pudding too?). well done- this is awesome!

  2. Amy says:

    Oh wow! You MADE your own backpack! I wish you HAD used a pattern, because I’d love to make one too. I’m just not so good at coming up with my own pattern based on an idea in my head.
    It’s been my lifelong dream to acquire that skill. Maybe some day…
    My daughter’s first day of school was today and per her teacher’s request we got a bigger backpack and she commented that it was “very heavy.”

  3. kathy says:

    Love everything about it. The color, the yellow zipper, the carry handle. I am counting the days until school starts, I don’t think any of us can take one more grilled cheese sandwich.

  4. futuregirl says:

    I’m just like you. I can almost never do a project 100% correct. I need to do *something* backwards. I’m reminded of this every time I see my husband’s keyboard tray with the screw holes on the top … from me screwing it on upside down the first time. 🙂
    The back pack is super adorable. I’m amazed that you were able to keep poo off the front. That’s some skillz.

  5. Star says:

    The backpack is adorable…as is its wearer! I always treasured the items my mother handmade for me, and I’m sure your children will, too!

  6. Jen says:

    I seem to have problems with direction of fabric too. I love it. He will have the only backpack like it. The fabric is awesome and Ivy is going for some big bucks on the auction! YAY!

  7. Ellen says:

    How wonderful and unique! It’s so nice to be the only one with a special-not-mass-produced item. Who knows though…you may have to be making more of these dandy backa packas once the other kids see it.

  8. Zaya says:

    I absolutely LOVE this! I only wish I had a clue how to sew or do any of the things I see on your site. It’s great inspiration for “someday”.

  9. Bethany says:

    The fabric is so great (I was going to say “cute” but my son always says boys’ stuff isn’t cute!). It’s nice that it’s properly sized too… I see way too many kids with backpacks hanging down below their butts (like my niece’s photo I got yesterday!) You are soooo talented!

  10. Emily says:

    Wonderful!! I have been toying with the idea of making my youngest a backpack. I hate the plasticky character backpacks. Now I’m convinced! Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. tamara says:

    What a great backpack, simply adorable! You did a great job.
    It is good to know that I am not alone in my crafting world of “I can never get a thing completely right”. 😉

  12. erin says:

    omg best backpack ever. so much more fun than boring spiderman superman xmen blah blah blah vinyl junk that you’ve seen a hundred thousand times. i pray my imaginary kids will be cool.

  13. tiina says:

    Very cute backpack! 🙂 And I must say that your blog is the only one i used to read, which is in english – so thank you! 🙂 (you have beautiful children) 🙂

  14. Mary-Heather says:

    OMG it’s so cute!!! I *never* write OMG in comments, but the cuteness of the backpack has overwhelmed my vocabulary. Yipes Oscar is big! I remember when you were knitting him baby sweaters, sigh.

  15. Di says:

    That is the most amazing backpack! When I saw the picture coming up I thought, wow I wonder where she bought that and then I read on and realise (as I should have right at the start) that you made it yourself! Wow!!! I am sure he is going to enjoy pre-school and that you are going to enjoy the time!!

  16. nancy says:

    oh. my. god.
    that HAS GOT TO BE the cutest backpack and fabric i’ve ever seen. i wish i had some to make a backpack for my levi!
    LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Kristine says:

    OMGOODNESS!! It’s so cute! Where do you get your amazing fabric? Your kids are so lucky to have such a talented mama. I can’t wait to see their Halloween costumes *wink* My girls are already in the planning phase, but my talent only extends to glue and iron-ons.

  18. tricia says:

    Way cool backpack! Your son has peanut allergies? Mine too. He starts kindergarten next week and it is very un-nerving sending him to school where they serve peanut butter sandwiches daily as an alternative…

  19. Robyn says:

    It looks like we had the same idea! Love that. I also really like the fabric he chose. I hope his first day goes really well for him, and you. :0)

  20. Stacey says:

    I love this backpack. My twins start preschool right away as well and a larger backpack was on the list, but with baby number 3 due any day, they’ll just have to do with a store bought one. You are a great inspiration.

  21. Megan says:

    Ach! ADORABLE!! I am in a heated debate with my little preschooler about the lovely Disney Princess backpack that she wants that say “Where’s my tiara?” on them. L-O-V-E-L-Y. Since I have the sewing skills of a two-year old, I may atempt to make a smallish, lopsided item that may or may not resemble a tote bag.

  22. Levineke says:

    ok – so on the weekend I sewed my very first bag with the help of Amy Karol’s Bend the Rules Sewing. Today my daughter looks at your blog and says “wow mum this backpack is cool, you should make one for Louis when he starts kindy”
    I don’t think so – I think you have to be very clever to make one of these! But, I appreciate her faith in me.
    Love the bag – love the blog!
    L

  23. Lynne says:

    That is too cute!! And I really love that it says “poo country” on there. Like your little rebellious secret! I hope he has a great first day!

  24. Tamar says:

    It’s absolutely lovely! congratulation on the first day of school! we have a first day of high school on Wed. I can’t believe how time flies….

  25. Andrea Heinz says:

    I love that back pack. I was going to make one for my son Alex for 1st grade but got scared and didn’t do it- I guess it IS doable. You are so talented. I didn’t realize that your sons name is Oscar. We are planning to name ours due in November, Oscar Benjamin. we have had some mixed responses. But I think it is a great name.

  26. Amber says:

    Very nice pack. Wanted to drop you an email today that I just posted a quilt that refers to your “large representational quilts for kids,” though I know you haven’t made it a collection that way as such, it just struck me that the laundry line quilt was in a family with your barn quilt, the cars duvet cover, and your trees quilt. Here’s my post, if you’re interested:
    http://ambercake.blogspot.com/2007/08/laundry-quilt.html
    I don’t often comment because I feel silly as the 84th person to say “gee, that’s great!” but I do enjoy checking out all the fab stuff over here. Thanks for sharing it all!

  27. rhembein says:

    What a cute backpack for a cute kiddo! I had a good LOL at “poo country”! I bet whomever was in charge of the english on the fabric did too! Lol!!
    ~gyl

  28. chickengirl says:

    oh my! Just amazing how you can just whip this out. The fabric is so incredible- funny how I designed a notepad similar to this for my shop recently. Cars must be the next cool thing! 🙂

  29. Mslil65 says:

    That has to be the sweetest backpack I have ever seen (as is the lil one wearing it!) Is it wrong that I am over 40 and want one just like it?

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