So making a bookbag has been on my bucket list for quite some time! As a bag designer on Etsy I even get requests from folks asking if I make bookbags. And my answer has always been “Sadly, no.” There was no opportunity like the present to really try my hand at making a bookbag since I was gearing up for a birthday trip to one of my favorite cities: New Orleans.
I’ve been there before, and there are two things you need to know: it’s hot, and there’s lots of walking. No biggie for me. I actually enjoy walking, especially when there’s lots of sight seeing along the way.
This bookbag is absolutely perfect for an experienced traveler that is in a city with lots of walking. I used a regular woven cotton for outside and the lining pieces from Hart’s Fabric. I used interfacing and duck canvas (per the pattern directions).
The completed bag has got 2 pockets, one on the outside and another on the inside. There’s adjustable straps (I made adjustable straps, y’all!), a drawstring, and a flap. And it’s not obnoxiously large. It’s JUUUUUST right! You can probably put a camera, water bottle, wallet and phone with maybe some extras very comfortably inside the bag.
Construction wise, this bookbag was a challenge. And I have to say that because I make clutches and bags all the time, I had a frame of reference. I will recommend making a clutch bag before you try to tackle a project like this. I think the familiarity with making pockets and working with zippers will help with the overall completion and success of your process.
Vanessa (from LBG Studio) did an excellent job of letting the maker know that they should read through all the directions before making anything (check), informing of all notions (check), identifying which pieces need canvas and/or interfacing (check) and even offering online resources for help (check). And I really liked that the pattern pieces were numbered and labeled (ie: flap, top panel etc.). There are a lot of pieces so the best way that I kept up with them is by using my wonder clips and grouping all of the same pieces together with the paper pattern piece on top. This step worked out especially well as I saw my unsown pieces begin to disappear from the construction pile and take form into a book bag.
Below are some other supplies that I recommend:
- Walking foot (seriously, amazing for this project)
- Chrome needles (super thick and helps you get through all the pieces)
- Wonder clips (because glass pins sometimes aren’t enough)
- Grommet kit by Dritz (please watch this tutorial)
Though this was a challenge, I’m really glad I pressed through and I was determined to get it right! I wouldn’t trade this experience or my bookbag for anything!
PS – Will be making another one with a Fall/Winter theme!