owly backpack

here is another sample i made for my local fabric store, where i’ve started working a bit, as well as sewing samples for them.  all on top of my other, bigger jobs!  it is the penguin backpack (minus the penguin) from the oliver & s little things to sew book.  i went a little teensy bit crazy sewing oliver & s and straight stitch society samples the past few weeks (most of which i did not even take time to photograph for this blog) because liesl gibson came to visit last friday!  she was soooo incredibly nice.

anyway, instead of making a penguin, we wanted to use this owl fabric that was new to the store.


i wish i could have photographed it on her, but i’m trying not to let her see the samples before they go out.  she’s fallen in love with the foxy dress (still incomplete) and doesn’t want to let it go!  she did see this bag, and try it on, before i delivered it, and she was enamored with it already.



look how tiny it is, compared to my hand!  squee!  and i love the little pocket inside.


i have a few notes about this pattern, and the changes i made, in case you’re interested…

– i used quilting cotton with a muslin interlining, instead of the recommended medium-weight fabric (like home decor weight prints, denim, canvas or cotton twill).  i know that the seams will be fine, especially for a toddler who’s not carrying much heavy stuff.  but the fabric will wear sooner, and for that reason, i wouldn’t really recommend doing what i did.  unless you really like sewing backpacks.

– i would also recommend NOT using a directional fabric.  i may be too picky, but i don’t like that the owls are upside down on one side of the backpack; conveniently, never on the side i photographed!

– i made the pocket from a third fabric, instead of using the lining fabric.  i thought that might make it easier for her to find it.

– i used cotton webbing for the straps (a total of 42″), and d-rings instead of strap adjusters.  i like the webbing, but the d-rings might not be ideal.

i really liked sewing this pattern.  it was super easy and straightforward, and is a great pattern that can be a base for lots of different embellishments, like piping or appliqués. after i made this, i started searching around, and found this amazing bumblebee version, which i love!  when i make this again (the bee starts preschool in september!  *sniff*) i may use either a large geometric pattern, or a solid canvas with an appliqué.  it will be a hard sell to get the bee excited about a solid color backpack (unless it’s pink), but honestly, i’m already tired of looking at these owls!

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