Despite saying I wasn't going to, I suddenly decided this week that I wanted to make a backpack for E after all. We're going on another trip soon, and I really wanted her to be able to carry her own books and toys. Plus, I know she loves "packbacks," as she calls them, and the monster one I made before just doesn't cut it for anything beyond home play - it really needs a velcro closure.
I've long admired the Dante Beatrix backpacks, but I couldn't ever bring myself to spend that much money on a toddler backpack, so I decided to make my own version after a friend turned me on to a pattern from Etsy. Believe it or not, except for some notions (zipper, piping, and D-rings), I bought nothing for this! All the fabric used was from my stash, as well as the nylon webbing and ribbon.
I'll be honest. This was not that easy to make. Matching the front & back panels up to the sides & bottom was difficult (especially the bottom), and I spent a fair amount of time ripping seams and re-sewing to make it fit together right. And just after I took these photos, I realized I had a big mistake at the bottom back edge and I think I'm going to have to spend a couple hours ripping the seams that I super-reinforced to fix it. *sigh*
I'm not super happy with the straps though; not sure if I misunderstood the directions or what, but I don't really get why the bottom ones are so long. I may go back and shorten them once E tries it on and I get a feel for how long they need to be. I'll also note that I have an absolute TON of this ugly nylon webbing, which is why it keeps turning up, usually sadly dressed up with some ribbon. It's hard to find webbing in fun colors, and I sort of regret being lazy and not making both straps now.
I used some leftover home decor fabric from the Everything Bag. It's fairly stiff and holds its shape ok, but if I do make this again, I'm definitely going to add a layer of interfacing. I love the piping. It gives the bag a very finished, store-bought look, so even though it was a pain to deal with (I had to use a zipper foot to sew the bag together), I think it was worth it.
But the bag is more or les) done in plenty of time for our trip (I learned my lesson after the 4th of July top) and looks vaguely like the original that I aspired to. Here's a close-up of the bunny applique. He's made from some fuzzy furry material I had bought to "pimp" E's cozy coupe into a panda. His carrot is made of wool felt and the eyes are purple buttons. I'm debating whether to add a little pink to his ears.