Thursday, 6 March 2014

A Backpack for a (nearly) Schoolgirl!

My K is starting school in a couple of months!

We're all very excited, and nervous, but I'm sure she'll be fine.  In New Zealand they can start from their fifth birthday so the New Entrant classroom gets a steady stream of children throughout the year.  I should know - my last two years teaching was with this age group.  They're delightful, enthusiastic and ready to burst into the world of learning.  K will be no exception, especially as she is already telling us that she wants to be a teacher when she grows up - though we are still encouraging the farming idea.  :-)

A schoolgirl needs a new backpack and I went back to a favourite pattern (Oliver+S's 'Little Things to Sew' backpack), and made it again, but bigger!  I used this post from 'Siestas and Sewing' to give me guidelines on how big I should make it and I really appreciated the information - especially the hint Cindy gave that the straps need to be as close to the top as possible.

K's original backpack - made to the LTTS pattern by 'Santa'.
The backpack is approximately 15" high by 11" wide and 5" deep.  It is probably a little too big for K so we'll have to make sure we don't fill it up with books.

The fabric came from Spotlight when I was on a shopping mission with fellow blogger 'J-Wo sews'.  Thanks J-Wo!  The fabric panel was about 80cm long and 110 wide - but I had no trouble cutting out the main parts. I managed to put New Zealand at a prime spot - and the rest worked from there.  It is an old map (includes 'USSR') and is not very accurately printed as our eagle eyes have already spied some geographical errors.

I interfaced the outer fabric and also sewed in a layer of nylon to add some waterproofing.  We've had the craziest few weeks of weather - I'm expecting snow storms in early autumn next!

The outside was a welt style pocket that is designed to be partially hidden.  I also purchased bag strapping from a local upholstery business and it works well.

The lining is from Tasha Noel's 'Country Girls' range.  Love the ducks!

Bye K.....!!  Mum will miss you!

I'm linking this to 'Bartacks and Singletracks' 'Little Things to Sew - Cover to Cover Challenge'.  It only my second (different) project - but I have plenty of other ideas!

Bartacks and Singletrack : want to go all the way with me?

This is also number 77 in my Oliver+S personal count.  :-)


  1. This looks terrific! And you were so quick making it.... It seems like only yesterday when we were out together. I love the placement of the pattern pieces and the welt pocket is such a good idea - doesn't interrupt the map much at all.
    You could consider this a useful prop for history lessons... An up-to-date map today may quickly go out-of-date if Putin has his way in Ukraine, anyway!!!
    Thanks for a fun day. I am yet to make anything out of my purchases unfortunately.

    1. Thanks! I had a great time making this - but I had did have a deadline! My H made a comment about how USSR might happen again.
      I really enjoyed having someone to shop with and talk craft too. :-)

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you... it was great fun to make. :-)

    2. Hey what a fabulous fabric for a backpack! Great job! LOVE it! Thanks for sharing in the Bag Brag Tuesday linking Party! :)

  3. What a wonderful backpack!! She looks thrilled with it and happy to go to school!!

    1. Oh yes - she's very excited. I'm a bit sad though!

  4. Fantastic backpack.. I love looking at an Atlas but I appreciate that they date too fast to justify their expense. My son has a bomber jacket with some insanely inaccurate map lining fabric. Should he ever get shot down wearing that jacket he wouldn't find his way home!
    I'm surprised you didn't cut a pocket out of another New Zealand section and stick it right over that large land mass to the north west. Given that the fabric was geographically incorrect already....
    Does J Wo do anything but fabric shop?!


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