It’s no secret that my nephew is the inspiration for many of the things I make. I made him a quilt last year for his first Christmas (one that I take great joy in seeing him sleep with and drag around now), and I knew I wanted to continue the tradition and make him something special this year.
I’ve had my eye on the toddler backpack pattern from made by rae and this was the perfect opportunity to try it! The pattern was easy to follow, and it all came together without too much trouble (which is good, because as with most projects, I waited until the last minute to get started).
I made a few additions, including a flat front pocket and gathered side pocket.
I also added zipper tabs. I love this detail, and I predict they’ll be helpful for little hands to hold on to when learning to use the zipper.
Two inside pockets (the lower one is divided in two).
Fabrics: I used Retro Crosshatch, Pezzy Print and a black cotton bottom-weight, all from my stash. Feels great to finally put these fabrics to good use!
I added interfacing to the exterior and lining fabrics to help hold its shape. I’m glad I did this, it was worth the extra effort for sure.
Confession: I have never used piping, so I decided not to risk it this time. I love how it looks even without it, but I’ll definitely have to try it next time.
At 19 months, he’s just big enough for this, and it will be a great size for him for some time. It can easily hold everything he needs for school/daycare, a trip to the park, or a night at the grandparents’ house.
I didn’t actually get a good picture of him wearing the backpack. The minute he opened it, it was on and he was running around the living room quite happily. That is, after he was done playing with the box!
Ooooh!! Nice job! Looks fantastic!!
Thanks Rae! Had a fun time with this, can’t wait to make another one!
Looks fantastic! Any tips on how you made the pockets?
I apologize in advance for the long-winded response, but here it goes…
The pockets were a fairly easy addition. I used the original pattern pieces as a starting point for basic sizing etc.
The front pocket is fully lined, with interfacing. It’s same width as the front panel, and I just eyeballed a height that felt right. Don’t forget to add seam allowance to your desired height (I went with a ½” for this). Just place your fabric right sides together, sew across the top, flip them right sides out, iron flat and top stitch. You don’t need to finish the sides or bottom edges since they will be finished when you assemble the backpack. You can use the front panel pattern piece as a guide to round-off the bottom corners. Then baste the pocket into place.
For the gathered side pocket, I added 3-4 inches to the width of the side panel and made it the same height as the front pocket (don’t forget to account for the extra fabric needed to create the top seam/casing for the elastic). I used a bottom-weight fabric so I didn’t line it, I just made the channel for the elastic. I would suggest cutting the elastic longer than you think you’ll need so you can adjust it to how you like. I did a box pleat for the bottom. Along with basting the pocket into place, I’d consider stitching over the elastic a few times to keep it from slipping loose when you sew the backpack together.
The inside pockets were made pretty much like the front pocket. You can make them whatever height you want. I also stitched the front one to the back one to create two narrower pockets (hard to see in the pics). All you need to do is sew vertically to create sections. Again, you don’t need to finish the sides/bottom, just baste it into place.
I’ll make sure to do a little write-up with specifics the next time I make the backpack :)
Thank you so much, that was super helpful! I really appreciate it. :D
So darn cool. LOVE the fabric.
Hi, I’m thinking of making this pattern for a friend’s kids – she would like two matching ones before school starts. I’m just not sure if I have the time (there are other projects in the queue, of course :) ). Do you remember how long it took you to make this pattern? I don’t think my sewing skills are quite up to yours, but close.
Thanks so much,
Hi Julie! I cant remember exactly how long it took to make, as it was all a bit of a blur leading up to Christmas. I do know that it came together pretty quickly and without any major issues. I worked on it over the course of a few days, but it wasn’t non-stop. I feel like if I were to sit down and make another one I could probably accomplish it in a day (including the additions I made). I wish I could give you a closer estimate on time (I need to keep better track of how long projects take me in the future!). If you end up making them, I’d love to know how they turn out! Happy sewing :)
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