Thursday, September 11, 2014

Back to School Back Packs

Last year I got the boy a store bought book bag. I was displeased with how well it did not hold up. Before the year was half over the shoulder strap was separating from the bag. He brings home a folder and a few small books, and takes his lunch box, how heavy can all of that be for a former kindergartner? 

So I decided that for the first grade I would make him a back pack for school, and that he could pick out the fabric he wanted. I also made one for the girl as well, because she was going to go to school one day.

I found some free full size back pack patterns online. This is a free pattern here from Pellon. This pattern is a good place to start. It has a materials list and instructions. This pattern is also free and has a simpler design, as well as a materials list and instructions.

I used both patterns as a guide for making my own version. I made the girl's back pack first because I had that fabric first. I picked it up at Hancock's last year when I went to visit my sister in Texas. It's duck cloth so it should be fairly sturdy and last during her early school years.

It's a bit wider than I would have liked it to be, but since it was my first I learned from that and made some more changes for the next one. Also, my shoulder straps are a little farther away than I had anticipated, but they stay on her shoulders when she wears it, sort of. She's not quite that wide either, but hey, she'll have some growing room, I guess.

This was one of the items that I had Granny monogram for the girl. It came out centered, even, and looks amazing. I added on a front pocket and must say that I am pretty proud of it.

I took the boy fabric shopping and he picked out some camouflage twill fabric. Twill is not as sturdy as I was hoping it was going to be, but it is what he wanted so I made him his own back pack as well.

 I adjusted the size of my pattern to make his back pack taller and slimmer. I think it has more of a traditional back pack shape now. His front pocket could use some improvement. I couldn't find the right size zipper in my stash so I had to go to the store, and they didn't have the right size either so I picked up the closest I could find. It turned out to be a bit smaller than I had wanted. After I finished the back pack I found the shopping bag that had the zipper I was going to use to begin with. Go figure.

Granny also put his initials on his back pack. I put the fabric in the hoop for embroidery, but didn't get it straight so his initials were crooked. I fixed it as best I could by cutting and reshaping the back pack to get the letters to be even. No one will really notice anyway.

Now he has a full sized Mommy made back pack for school. I made sure it was big enough to hold his agenda folder, a few books, and his lunch box. It has survived his first several weeks of school so far. Yea!

I'm glad that my kids like their one of a kind back packs, and I hope that they last a while so I don't have to make another one for them any time soon. 

Now, if I could just make myself one as well. My book bag I have been using since junior year of high school is starting to fall apart on me. And my $4 purse is failing as well. So much to do! :)

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