One of the things on the top of my list to finish last week was another little toddler backpack:

I had had a request from a non-sewing mom to make one awhile back; she liked the pattern but it’s not exactly a learn-to-sew project. She wanted a dark denim and liked the idea of piping with red (I had red and brown on hand), so I went for a truck applique with some newly-acquired Michael Miller Polka Dots (more projects with that soon!).

I wanted to use the fabric I had on hand (for custom stuff especially rather than go out and buy yards of fabric for samples that might then never get used), so I used some denim that had been “mined” from a pair of jeans in the thrift store pile. I’ve been saving old pants that are just going to get tossed or donated; I washed them and cut along the side seams and cut off the waistband — for men’s pants especially that’s a TON of great bottom-weight fabric, perfect for making a backpack out of.

I interfaced the denim to give it more bulk and serged all the inside seams. The notions needed (you can also use D-rings instead of strap adjusters) for this project are pictured here. In the pic above you can see it with strap adjusters (all are available at your local chain fabric store).

Here’s a couple of samples that didn’t make the cut:

I liked the middle one enough that it’s about halfway done already; the other two appliques will probably make it onto t-shirts or bibs. I use fusible web to iron them onto the fabric and then use a very short zig-zag stitch around all the edges.

I’ve been sent a ton of great pictures of backpacks lately from those of you who have made backpacks with the pattern — I’d love it if you would put them in the newly-formed photo pool so we can all admire them!

The actual address of the photo pool is:

Categories: backpack, patterns
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23 Responses to Little Truck Backpack

  1. the 6 o'clock stitch says:

    Love the backpack! Wonderful work, as always.

  2. Myrnie says:

    Your workmanship is just impeccable! That will be a very happy boy :o )

  3. KID, MD says:

    Oh so cute!!My little guy would be over the moon!

  4. Meg says:

    The turtle is really cute! I like the dark denim/red truck better. The colors pop a bit more.

  5. L. jane E. says:

    Love the backpack. I'm going to have to go make one right this very minute. When husband gets home and realizes I've spent yet another day sewing, I'll blame you and your cute ideas! :)

  6. Whimsical Road says:

    Great work! You have such talent, and much more patient than me with those zippers and piping.

  7. Sherry says:

    That is one skinkin' cute backpack. And your appliques are great – I wish I could come up with such cute appliques instead of scouring colouring books and the internet.
    Good job.

  8. Jenny says:

    Trucks, trucks, trucks. You know just what little boys like! Super cute.

  9. traci says:

    Graet appliques – all of them. I love you used an old pair of jeans. That color of denim is just perfect, especially paired with the red. I am still afraid of piping and zippers – a bit – but I still am working to get over it. This project makes me want to get over it.

  10. Pinktulip says:

    These backpacks are so adorable. And you work is so neat and professional. I like all the designs!

  11. Valérie says:

    Adorable! Love the turtle sample too, and (a bit late to the party) your Buttercup bags – so pretty!

  12. Ellen says:

    I LOVE the turtle! If you wanted to finish it, this very novice sewer knows of a good home!

  13. Tiff says:

    OMG! It's so cute! I think my fave is the turtle!

  14. elli says:

    Ooooh! I loves it! Also, that seal is A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E-!

  15. Jennifer says:

    Rae: I love everything you've done in the past few months. Your sewing skills have always been good but now they are stellar. I love your style and design. I just got caught up on the past few months on your blog. I've been outta blogland for awhile and man there's a lot to catch up on. Congratulations on your pregnancy. I look forward to seeing what craftiness you come up with for the new little one. Love to backpacks too! Am I gushing? I think I'm gushing. :)

  16. Cheryl says:

    It turned out cute! I like the other ones too though;)

  17. Liz R. says:

    the denim is totally cute. i still need to finish mine w/ the laminate. . . someday. soon. maybe.

    as you may have read – i've been doing a lot of notary stuff, so don't think i will get that pattern done in time. i'm sure i could dedicate myself to figuring out all of the computer stuff late at night. . . but. . . oh well. opportunity lost by me to have you try it out! dang!

  18. Kari says:

    The backpack is adorable and your appliques are great. Love checking in on your blog. :)

  19. Astrid says:

    Oh WOW, you're really just a human idea factory! I love it – and the ones that didn't make the cut are terribly cute as well! :)

  20. Kristen, The Pajama Mama says:

    the one in the middle is my favorite, too! very cute!

    hey-you're tutorials inspired me to try my own…it's very simple, too simple of a project to need a tut, but I just had to try! i posted it today(tuesday), if you get a chance to stop by!

  21. Janna says:

    Do you think you'll ever sell a license for the backpacks. Lots of people ask me to make one for them (when they see my daughters)…but I won't do it for free!! ;)
    Love it!

  22. Rae says:

    Janna (and others who have inquired):
    Yes, a license for selling the backpack is on "My List" so I will be sure to post as soon as it's ready!

  23. dana says:

    Hi Rae,
    I recently found your blog and you are amazing! Thanks for sharing your talents and creations with everyone. The blogging world is a wonderful place!
    - dana from MADE

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