Occasionally it seems that world is in pure chaos with nothing making sense, but that doesn't matter as long as I can sew. Sewing is a form of art, or at the very least creativity, and a form of expression. A great outlet for the tension of everyday life. Also you can make cute things. The craft revolution is truly taking place, old skills are being revived by a new generation, but with a seriously modern twist.

I've made Mario pillow cases, a giraffe print background, and turned duvet covers into summer dresses. I enjoy making something unique, special, and me- then I like wearing it and watching it fall to pieces or not fit properly. Then I enjoy (slightly less) fixing it.

One day I shall have a room filled with glorious fabrics and boxes of notions, and on that day I will have found my nirvana. But until then this blog will exist as my virtual haberdashery and sewing room. Hopefully you'll enjoy looking at my creations as much as I enjoy looking at other blogs, and you'll be inspire to make something of your own.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Giraffe Back Pack

I wanted a backpack to use as a daybag since it has always been uncomfortable to carry a bag around on one shoulder.  But the backpacks I saw were dull or sporty, and since Google has changed its search function so you can no longer easily search just UK sites typing 'backpacks' into the search bar brings up a bunch of American rubbish.  And while the pink leopard print bag I saw on may have been awesome the lack of it on caused much dissapointment.  Then I remembered folksy- the UK version of etsy were people sell homemade stuff, and some of it rather nice as well.  So I searched and found this:

Of course I LOVED it, and its not that expensive so I was tempted to buy one but then I thought I'd have a go making one myself.  I draw out the pieces I'd need and it didn't seem that complicated or required too much fabric.  I had quite a bit of girafe print left over from making a skirt, and I ended up using some old jeans for the denim lining.  (You have to be careful you're lining isn't too thin as it needs to be strong enough to hold stuff without ripping but my fabrics were quite thick and at some points you have to sew several layers so make sure your sewing maching can handle it).

This was my intial drawing of the pieces I would need, the measurements had to be revised once I started.   In the end I needed:
In the outer fabric:
2x Main bag 29x39cm
2x front pocket 10x6.5cm
1x flap 16cmx15x29xm (This was 16cm at the bottom, 29 along the top and a 15cm diagonal joining them- but I would make this a 20cm diagonal in the future)
2x straps 55x5cm (I would make these 70-75cm long in the future)

In lining fabric:
2x main bag 29x45cm (extra length for the drawstring casing)
2x front pocket 10x6.5cm
1x front pocket 10x 13cm
1x flap (see above)
1x inside pocket 10x15cm
2x straps (see above)

Then I cut out the fabric.  Before I sewed the major pieces together I attached the inside pocket to the lining, and and the front pocket to the front.  The front pocket is jazzed up a bit because you use a rectangle of lining fabric to make the pocket but you take two rectangles of the outer and lining fabrics each half the size of the pocket sew them together and then sew them onto the pocket.  I copied this off the pciture on the website but I think it gives the pocket extra strength and adds an interesting feature as the lining pokes through when you put stuff in the pocket.

Then I sewed the straps outer and lining together leaving the short ends open.  Then I sewed the flap lining and outer together but left the long end closed.  Then the tricky bit which went wrong- I sewed the main bag together in the outer and lining fabric, and inserted the bottom of the straps into the bottom outer bag seam.  I then folded the bottom corners of the bag inward and sewed over them to give the bag 3 dimensions.

Then I put the outer bag (right way round) inside the lining bag (inside out).  I sewed the two together around the top edge (I would have folded the lining over at the top to make the casing first but forgot to cut the lining bigger and had to add some extra afterwards, doh), with the flap and top of the straps inserted inbetween.  Sigh, yes it took many attempts to get everything sewn in the right place, but eventually I managed it. :)