This charming, casual backpack is sure to be your favourite accessory on your next shopping expedition or day trip. Completely secure, it cannot be opened when on your back, making it ideal to carry all those valuable essentials safely in busy crowds. The front pocket is handy for any items that you need quick access to on your travels.
You will need
- 91.5cm (36in) lightweight denim or any other desired fabric for outer bag and lining
- 30 x 40cm (12 x 16in) blue floral fabric for pocket
- 25cm (10in) colourful spot print fabric for pocket flap
- 80cm (32in) lightweight fusible fleece
- Two large 5cm (2in) rings
- Matching dress zip, 40cm (16in) in length
- Two 2cm (3⁄4in) black strap adjusters
- Two magnetic closures
Finished size : 43 x 30cm (17 x 12in) excluding handles
- Trace all of the Blue Skies Backpack templates (see Pattern Pullout Sheet) onto tracing paper or template plastic, transferring all the markings and cutting them out around the traced lines.
- From the main lightweight denim or substitute fabric, trace the main bag template four times and cut out along the traced lines. Now trace the bag base template twice and cut out along the traced lines.
- From the blue floral fabric, trace the pocket template twice and cut out along the traced lines.
- From the colourful spot print fabric, cut out four strips measuring 51 x 3.5cm (20 x 13⁄8in), four strips measuring 47 x 3.5cm (181⁄2 x 13⁄8in) and another four strips measuring 7.5 x 4.5cm (3 x 13⁄4in). Next trace the pocket flap template twice and cut out along the traced lines.
- From the lightweight fusible fleece, trace the main bag template twice, then bag base template once, the pocket template once and the pocket flap template once. Cut out along the traced lines for each template. Now cut out the following strips: two measuring 51 x 3.5cm (20 x 13⁄8in), two measuring 47 x 3.5cm (181⁄2 x 13⁄8in) and finally two measuring 4.5 x 7.5cm (13⁄4 x 3in).
- Trim the top and top corner edges of the main bag interfacing pieces by 6mm (1⁄4in). Interface two of the main bag pieces so that the bottom edges of the interfacing and bag pieces match and the top seam allowance is not interfaced.
- Interface one of each of the main bag base, pocket and pocket flap pieces and half of the colourful spot strips with the matching lightweight fusible fleece pieces.
- Insert the female halves of the magnetic closures into the interfaced pocket piece and the male halves into the interfaced pocket flap piece, following the template markings (see Inserting Magnetic Closures).
5mm (1⁄4in) seam allowance included.
1). Take the two pocket pieces and sew all of the darts into place (see Sewing Darts). Place the two pocket pieces on top of each other, right sides together. Sew together along all the edges, leaving a 7.5cm (3in) gap along the bottom edge for turning. Snip the corners, turn and press. Topstitch the top edge with a double row of stitches (see Useful Stitches).
2). Place the two pocket flap pieces on top of each other, right sides together. Sew together along all the edges, leaving a 7.5cm (3in) gap along the top straight edge for turning. Snip the corners, turn and press, ensuring that you turn in the turning gap neatly. Topstitch the curved side and bottom flap edges with a double row of stitches.
3). Place the two main bag pieces (with interfacing) on top of each other, right sides together, and sew together along one side edge only. Open and press, then topstitch the sewn seam along both edges. Please note that this seam will now be positioned at the bag centre front.
4). Take the main bag and lay it open, right side up, on your work surface. Place the pocket centrally over the seam, approximately 5cm (2in) up from the bottom edge, as shown. Topstitch in place along the side and bottom edges.
5). Take the pocket flap and attach the magnetic closures to the ones on the pocket. Pin the top edge of the closure flap in this position and topstitch in place, as shown.
6). Tack (baste) (see Useful Stitches) one edge of the zip, right sides together to the top raw edge of one side of the main bag as shown. Use a zipper foot to sew the zip in place. Open, press and topstitch the seam.
7). Open the zip then tack the remaining zip edge to the remaining top edge of the other side of the bag. Sew in place then press and topstitch.
There is no need to hand stitch the turning gaps on the pocket pieces closed; simply ensure that the gap edges are folded in and neatly pressed. When you topstitch this section onto the bag, the gaps will be automatically secured.
8). Fold the two sides of the bag so they are right sides together again and the remaining side edges now meet. Sew the remaining side edges together. Topstitch along both seam sides as you did for the bag front (this will take some care and patience!).
9). Place one interfaced and one non-interfaced 51 x 3.5cm (20 x 13⁄8in) spot print strip on top of each other, right sides together. Sew together along all four edges, leaving a 7.5cm (3in) gap in one long edge for turning. Snip the corners and turn (see Turning Handles). Press well and topstitch along all edges. Repeat to create the second shoulder piece. Repeat for the 47 x 3.5cm (181⁄2 x 13⁄8in) spot fabric strips, this time leaving one short end open for turning to make two adjustable strap pieces.
10). Place one of the interfaced and one of the non-interfaced spot fabric strips measuring 7.5 x 4.5cm (3 x 13⁄4in) on top of each other, right sides together. Sew together along both long edges, leaving the ends open for turning. Turn, press well and topstitch along both sewn edges with a double row of stitches. Repeat to create the second ring holder piece. Thread a ring holder piece through one of the rings, folding it onto itself to capture the ring. Machine tack (baste) the raw edges together. Repeat with the remaining ring holder and ring.
11). Close the zip half way at the bag top. Tack both sides of the zip together at the opened end of the bag top so it sits evenly. Turn the bag inside out.
12). Open up the raw section of the bag top corner at the closed zip end and re-arrange this so that the bag side seam and the zip (bag top) are now on top of each other, right sides together. Accessing through the inside, insert one of the ring holders (with ring) into the gap, sandwiching the raw edge of the ring holder between the bag side and the bag zip. Ensure that all raw edges are positioned evenly on top of each other. Sew the layers together along the raw edge, capturing the ring holder in the process. Trim away the excess zip. Repeat with the remaining top corner of the bag and ring holder then turn the bag right side out.
13). Place one of the 47 x 3.5cm (181⁄2 x 13⁄8in) adjustable strap lengths right sides together with the bag back so the raw edges meet. Position the strap 9.5cm (33⁄4in) from one side of the back centre seams and tack in place. Repeat with the remaining strap to the other side of the seam, as shown.
14). Fully open the zip and turn the main bag inside out again. Mark the quarter points on the interfaced bag base piece and the main bottom raw edge. Ensuring that the straps stay within the bag, tack the bag base into position along the bottom raw edge of the bag, right sides together, matching up the quarter points. Position the base so the bag seams will become centre bag front and centre bag back. When you are happy with the fit, tack and then sew the base into place. Turn the bag right side out.
15). Take the main bag lining pieces and fold the top edge only under by 5mm (1⁄4in). Press well. Place the two lining pieces on top of each other, right sides together, and sew together along the two side edges only. Insert the bag base in the bottom of the lining.
16). With the lining bag inside out, fold the raw top corners, as shown. Sew together along the raw edges.
17). Keeping the main bag right side out and the lining bag right side in, place the lining bag inside the main bag. Neatly and evenly pin the folded under edge at the lining opening around the inside of the zip. Ladder stitch the lining in place all the way around the zip (see Useful Stitches).
18). Take one of the remaining shoulder strap pieces and thread one end through the ring at the bag front. Fold the strap under onto itself by approximately 2.5cm (1in), enclosing the ring. Topstitch in place. Repeat with the other shoulder strap.
19). In the same way, thread the other end of one of the shoulder straps around the top bar of one of the adjustable straps. Fold under by 2.5cm (1in) and topstitch in place. Repeat with the other shoulder strap.
20). Take the ends of the shoulder straps with the adjusters attached and insert them through the ring at the bag back and to the back of the bag. Attach the loose ends of the straps from the bottom of the bag through the strap adjusters and adjust to the desired length (see Adjustable Straps).
When positioning the bag base you will find it easier to pin the quarter points first before easing the remaining sections in place.
Sew Cute to Carry
12 Stylish bag patterns for handbags, purses & totes