Monday, 2 September 2013

Modified Dawn to Dusk backpack

So my son is starting kindergarten tomorrow. Of course I wanted to make him a backpack to use. 

ChrisW Designs released an awesome backpack pattern called the Dawn to Dusk backpack a few months ago and I excitedly bought it. 

Modfied Dusk to Dawn Backpack
Then I went for an info session at the school and the teachers had some requirements for the kid's bags.  The main thing was the size - they suggested a full size backpack which I would never think a 4 year old would need. But it needed to hold their lunch and library books which could be big.  They also asked the bags be simple so the kids could put their stuff in and out quickly

So I decided to make a few modfications to the pattern.  First I omitted the flaps and buckles to keep the bag very simple. I know, I know.. booooring.. but simple!

 I added elastic to the side pockets so his drink bottle could be secure.

I think the bag is smaller than a normal full size backpack so I increased the size of the outside zipper pocket and  I am hoping that his lunch and snacks can be carried in there most of the time.  I also omitted the pen pockets.

Front zipper pocket
I also added loop in the front to hook an insulated lunch back for times when it doesn't fit in the pocket. I don't think I got a good photo of it, it's just a loop of webbing on the top front.

Extra large zipper pocket

The exterior is a laminated fabric. It was my first time working with it and I couldn't have done it without my trusty walking foot.  I couldn't use my zipper foot. Luckily I had extra long zippers so was able to move the pull completely out the way and set my needle to the left or the right to get close to the zipper.  I also could only stitch with the laminated side right side up for topstitching.  I was lazy and didn't try other tricks like machine oil or tape on the foot.

I was able to interface the laminated fabric using a press cloth.  I was pleased with how my heavy weight interfacing worked with the laminate. I used fleece and interfacing on the front, back and bottom and only interface on the sides.

The interior was an outdoor fabric I found at my local fabric store.  I thought it worked well with the superhero exterior.

Inside out - large elastized pocket
Inside out - zipper pocket on other side.
So ChrisW Bag Patterns.. wow.. so, so detailed and thorough. I LOVE that her pattern pieces included nearly every piece even the retangular pieces and seperate pattern pieces for the fleece interfacing that needed to exclude seam allowance.  Less thinking for me!  I also learned some new things from doing this bag which is great.

Now let's all hope the kid can fit all those important things a 4 year old needs into the bag!

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  1. I'm a big fan of Christine's patterns. She makes sewing so easy and does all the thinking for you which is great for me because I have very little patience. Your bag looks beautiful. The inside is just as perfect as the outside.

  2. That's crazy....surely the bag would be pulling him backwards if it was a full size one full of lunch & books? You'd end up with him looking like an upside down tortoise lol, little legs me mum, I can't get up.

    Sorry, back to the bag. It's gorgeous, of course :)

  3. Your bag looks lovely.
    I sure wouldn't want to use a bag any bigger for a four year old - any bigger and you really would end up with a little tortoise lol. The deeper front pocket should serve well for lunches. I love how you adapted it for your needs. That sure is the beauty of good patterns, with well written instructions and with your own ingenuity it can changed be to suit each purpose.

  4. Great backpack! Your boy is very lucky to have such a creative and resourceful mom! The fabric is so cool for the bag. Poor 4 yr old having to carry a big backpack but I'm sure he's got the coolest one in his classroom. The added depth on the front pocket was very wise. Thanks for sharing.

  5. What kid wouldn't love that backpack? Great fabric ... and it's reversible!!! Really impressive. I have yet to sew with laminated fabrics but have some on the shelf to make some lunch bags for my grown up daughter.

  6. Great job altering the pattern to suit your needs Nerissa! Those fabrics are PERFECT too, I might add! :)

  7. What a way to start Kindergarten, with such an awesome bag. Great work altering the pattern to fit the requirements.

    1. Featured your backpack today, Nerissa...

  8. How did the size end up working out? I want to make the same pack for my kindergartner, also with some modification.

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