I made backpacks for C&R! It was the first thing I ever made with a pattern and it was shockingly easy. Patterns are great! I used this Made by Rae pattern and followed the directions almost exactly.
Since she sells her patterns, I won’t do a step by step here, but it really was very simple (other than the brief sewing machine torture I endured and wrote about here).
(And here are two not great photos of the lining – I couldn’t figure out how to photograph them unscrunchy. Sorry!)
1. If you’re doing an applique, do it before you assemble the backpack. I didn’t do that because I didn’t think about it beforehand and it was a pain in the butt.
2. When/if you sew the lining, measure your actual zipper area – don’t just follow the pattern. For whatever reason, mine turned out a bit shorter than in the pattern, so I had to add a couple pieces of fabric after the fact to the lining to cover up the zipper area. It’s barely noticeable, but save yourself the hassle.
I would add pockets with elastic on each side and also at least one on the inside. I don’t think it would be hard to do, I just forgot to do it and didn’t want to disassemble the backpacks just to add the pockets. Instead, I’m going to make a few small pouches for snacks, art supplies, etc for our upcoming trip. I’ll post about those soon.
Even though I’d make some changes, I think these turned out pretty great for a first attempt and my boys seem to love them, especially R!