Thursday, August 21, 2014

DIY: slouchy backpack

Linen + Rope = the perfect summer match

While in the winter I am constantly dressed in black and grey, when summer come, I switch to the natural / earthy palette.
I live in Superga and/or Espadrilles in the summer, and now they are in good company with the slouchy linen backpack I just made! 

perfect match with my Superga Linu
Inspiration came last year, when I saw the Raffia Crochet Backpack from ShopBop: the pictures were sitting on my "to-do-folder", and I had all the materials needed, so the other night I just got my sewing machine out and made it happen.

top photos: ShoBop - collage by moi

DIY slouchy backpack // supplies

I made my backpack slightly smaller than the dimensions indicated on the ShopBop website, the concept doesn't change. 
- Heavy linen fabric -1/2 yard
- Cotton fabric - 1/2 yard
2 yards Cotton Rope 3/8 Inch Diameter
8" - 1-1/4" Medium Heavy Weight cotton webbing (or you can cut strips with the linen fabric folded two or three times to make it sturdier)
Dritz Extra Large Eyelet Kit - Nickel
- sewing machine / scissors and/or Rotary Cutting Kit / matching thread / few drops of  E6000® glue / hammer

DIY slouchy backpack // tutorial

cut the linen fabric into a rectangular:
mine is (including seams allowance) 30" wide x 22" tall
sew a french seam (tutorial here) to make it into a tube 
I sew down the two sides of the french seam to keep it flat
Cut the cotton webbing in two 4" pieces and zig-zag the edges
With the linen tube wrong-sides-out, keeping the seam in the center,
fold one piece of cotton webbing in two,
place it inside the tube, pin it firmly and sew the whole edge. 
Cut and sew the lining of the backpack:
to avoid extra bulk in the correspondence of the center back french seam,
I cut a long strip of fabric (32" long x 15" wide), folded in half and sew along the sides.
Before sewing the sides, add a pocket (if you like) 
with the wrong sides out, fold down the top of the backpack at 1" and press,
and then 3" and press
With the backpack wrong side out, and the lining right side out,
place the lining (like a sock) onto the backpack, 
with the pocked on the same side of the back seam.
Fold down the 3" fold of the backpack, pin it in place, and sew it all around.
The final circumference of the backpack is 29", 
mark where the grommets will need to go, equally spaced at 3-5/8".
Prepare the holes for the grommets as indicated on the package, I cut the hole through all the layers of fabric, and then added a small amount of E6000 with a toothpick around the edges to avoiding any possible fraying.
thread the cotton rope as indicated in the picture
Use the second piece of the cotton webbing, to create the slide piece and fold it in a "8" shape",
sew the center with a wide zig-zag stitch: go back and forth few times.
Get the rope through the slide.
Make a overhand knot on both sides of the rope, leaving about  2 to 3" from the edge;
the rope is made of three wrapped strands, pull the wrap which will unravel really easy,
and trim the bottom of the "tassel" to make it even.

xox, d. 
keep in touch! 

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