Today I have the honor of welcoming Emma from Hello Beautiful to the wonderful world of Blog Sitting! I was thrilled when Emma reached out, as I often stumble across her work while browsing all of the fabulous link parties out there. She has such a fresh and fun take on projects, often using bright, bold, beautiful colors – which always catches my eye :).
Recently she landed the hot spot of being on the Fiskars Design Team (have I ever mentioned that I have a fascination with their rotary cutters? Seriously…couldn’t sew without them!). Here are just a few of the fabulous projects and tutorials you can find browsing through her blog…
When she e-mailed asking if I would be interested in a kids backpack with a cat on it – how could I say no?!! My own daughter loves her stuffed cat animal so much, particularly Marie (Disney buffs, you know who you are), that I absolutely needed to see this Feline friendly backpack! So without further ado, I hand the floor over to Emma and her Kids Cat Backpack..
I spent a LONG time looking at my kids’ own (store bought) back packs, looking at pictures online and scrutinizing pattern envelopes. I have some experience in making bags for my Etsy store but I had never attempted a back pack before (and I don’t think I’ve ever sewn a cat before either) but I’m always keen to give something new a go and I like a challenge.
In the end I came up with my own version based on some of the ideas I liked best from my research. I like this design because it is endlessly customizable (I don’t think that’s a word?!?!?) and though I have taken MANY photos for this tutorial, it’s pretty straightforward and simple. Honest.
I will tell you the precise measurements for each pattern piece as I work through the tutorial, but you should know that you need roughly 2 yards of main fabric and about 1 yard of fabric for your lining. I also used a small piece of a 3rd fabric for the flap. I added an insert between the outer and the lining to give it body, shape and protection (which sounds like an ad for shampoo). I used felt (because I had some to use up) but you could also use quilt batting or fleece.
Finally, you will need some bag hardware; 2 loops and 2 sliders, both measuring 1.5″ and some cord for the drawstring.
2. Sew the main fabrics right sides together, with the felt on the back but leave the bottom seam open for turning.
3. Clip corners and turn right side out.
4. Top stitch along the top edge of the pocket.
6. Pin and sew the sides of the pocket piece to the center of one of these pieces. This is the front of your bag.
7. Back stitch at the top edges for reinforcement.
8. Your pocket is now sewn to the front of your bag.
We are now working on the handle, straps and loops for your bag. For the handle you will need 1 piece of fabric 5.5″ x 11″. For the straps 2 pieces of fabric 6″ x 20″. For the loops 2 pieces of fabric 6″ x 20″.
10. Fold one half over and iron.
11. Top stitch along the long edges.
12. Repeat for all pieces for the handle, straps and loops.
14. Repeat for both sides.
16. Take the long end of this same piece and thread it through the loop on the bottom of your bag.
17. Bring that end up through the slider from underneath.
18. And thread it back behind the other side.
21. Fold back and press.
22. Pin second strip onto bottom of bag back and stitch. Make sure you catch all the ends of the loops. Go back and forth over the loops a few times for reinforcement.
23. Again, fold back and press.
25. Stitch down each side only. Not along the bottom. I like to reinforce my stitching with a zip zag inside the seam.
26. Cut bag base piece 7″ x 11″ (I made sure this was the darker fabric since it’s likely to get dirty because it’ll be the part touching the floor)
27. Pin the base into the bottom of the bag. Line up the side seams with the center of the short sides of the base. Use lots of pins to get it right.
You then need to make a felt insert and a lining. For the lining, you need 2 pieces 15.5″ x 16.5″. Sew down the long sides, leaving the top open. Add a bag base piece 7″ x 11″ and pin the sew to the bottom (28). Make the felt insert in the same way with the same measurements.
30. I knew I wanted a cat face on the flap (at the little girl’s request) so I experimented using a plate as a template.
31. I cut out a cardboard circle and tried out some ideas on that before committing to cutting up fabric and once I was happy with my design I stitched it all up. Experiment with different animals here. I made it up as I went along and there’s no shortage of ideas and inspiration online.
37. Pin then stitch one short end together to make one long strip.
38. Press in the 2 short ends and 1/4″ along one long edge.
39. Pin the non-ironed edge all the way around the top of the bag making sure the 2 ends are front center.
41. Fold the pressed edge over the top of the bag (and in my case, also over the cord ~ though you can’t see it in the photo).
42. Pin the casing to the back and then stitch all the way around the bottom of the casing so that the cord is inside its own long tube.
43. Tie knots to the ends of your cords. You don’t want them disappearing into the casing ~ ever!
How adorable is that?! I love the name on the inside of the backpack too, with school starting and being forced to label everything the kids wear / have / own – that is so much better then the black Sharpie we usually pull out! I just might have to make my kitty white with a little pink nose and pink hair bow though – lol.
Thank you again so much for being here! And don’t forget to head on over to Hello Beautiful and check out all the wonderful things Emma has to offer!
Thanks for stopping by, and until next time…Happy Sewing 🙂