Now that most of us are on holidays, it is the perfect time to start prepping things for when it’ll be time to go back to school. And who says back to school, says a school backpack! My daughter needed a new backpack for September so instead of buying a new one, I decided to make it (what a crazy idea I thought after starting it…).
If you also want to make a school backpack, just follow the below steps.
School backpack, materials needed:
Pattern, see below.
Fabric needed: about 1,50 m X 1,50 m for the exterior and interior pocket (the red fabric you see in the picture below) and about 1 m X 1,20 m for the interior
2 zippers: one of 60/70 cm and the other one 25/30 cm
I used oilcloth for this backpack since I love it and it is more rainy weather friendly ;-). I bought the oilcloth fabric last year when visiting this fabric market.
For the interior, I chose a white fabric with stars (I didn’t have enough fabric of the same so I mixed 2 different stars fabric that I had in my fabric stash.)
I decided to go with turquoise zippers and piping.
Start with the outer pocket, putting the bias tape on the top edge. Piece 1.
Then, sew together the thinner part of the pocket (outside fabric) and the lining. Pieces 2 and 3.
Place the outer part on top of the new piece, as shown below, and sew the side together, at 5 mm.
Sew the zipper onto piece number 4, wrong side of the fabric to the zipper. Topstitch it.
Add the bottom piece of the pocket. Sewing right sides together. Piece 5.
Now you have the pocket finished. With an outer pocket and a zipped one!
Top stitch the bottom piece on top of the zipper and upper piece, see picture below.
Fold the seam allowance inside (if you are using normal cotton fabric you can iron it to create a crease; if you are using oilcloth, avoid the iron! 😉 )
Pin the pocket in place and top stitch it, from the right side, as close to the edges of the pocket as possible.
Sew the long zipper to the top piece of the backpack. Piece number 6 of the pattern.
Top stitch is from the outside, covering the zipper.
The, sew it to the main body of the backpack as shown below. If you want to do rounded corners at the top, follow that version of the pattern.
Close the zipper.
Add the batting to the bottom piece. Piece number 7.
Sew the bottom to the main body of the backpack. Once finished, top stitch the sides as you did before on the outer pocket.
Now, we are making the straps.
Place the straps batting in between 2 pieces of the fabric straps. Piece number 10. Pin them and sew the bias tape all around. Make 2 straps.
Place the webbing inside the sliding bar and top stitch it to the bottom of the backpack.
Sew the other part of the webbing (that you put through the sliding bar) to the strap bottom.
Place the straps against the backpack back, right sides together. Pin them tightly.
Sew the back piece (number 8) of the backpack to the main body, right sides together. Make sure the straps are inside and only the top edges can be slightly seen.
If you want add a handle at the top, now it is the time. Sew a strap on the front and another one of the same size at the back.
Now, you’ll have to sew the lining to the backpack outside. And for that, I’ll continue this series of backpack sewing tutorial next week so that it is easier to follow it. There are many steps in this project so go ahead with making the outside of the backpack and I’ll see you next week!
Here is what we’ll have then!
This is the view from the back.
Some of the notions used to make this school backpack:
Pin this image for later:
You can now read the second part of this handmade backpack tutorial by clicking here.