Have you started your Christmas gift sewing yet? Are you still looking for ideas of gifts you can sew? I can't wait to give this Little Collector Backpack to my six year old son as one of his gifts this year. He loves collecting odds and ends outside, and I love that this pattern has a mesh bottom so the goodies stay in, but dirt or water sift out. The Little Collector Backpack is a pdf sewing pattern available from Stephanie at Swoodson Says. She has several creative toy and gift patterns available - and she is hosting a blog tour this week so you can be inspired to create your own gifts! Plus, you can use coupon code SewAllTheSofties for 40% off all patterns valid both on Etsy & on Swoodsonsays.com (expires Sunday, November 16, 2015). There is also a Rafflecopter giveaway running all week - one winner will recive all four Swoodson Says patterns (enter below).
I'll be giving an inside look at this backpack live on Periscope on Friday, November 13 around 3:30 or 4:00 EST, so be sure to follow me on Periscope to get a notification or to watch the replay.
Disclosure: Review and opinions in this post are my own. I already owned this pattern, as she first released it in One Thimble Issue 8, which I contributed an article to, so I received the issue. I volunteered to participate in this tour. No affiliate links in this post.
If you aren't already familiar with Stephanie of Swoodson Says, you should know that she loves handmade toys (among other things) and she is a great resource for round ups and other sewing-related inspiration. You can find Stephanie of Swoodson Says online, visit her pattern shop or follow her on twitter/pinterest/facebook/ins
My favorite feature of The Little Collector Backpack is the mesh bottom and interior mesh pocket. Genius. The pattern also features adjustable straps, a Velcro closure for the top flap, and drawstrings. Another great feature that all the seams are enclosed. Bias binding is used to enclosed the mesh pocket seams, and to enclose the seams at the bottom of the bag where the mesh attaches. I am a bit of an interfacing fanatic right now, so I added Pellon 808 craft fuse to the exterior fabric for the main bag and flap. I like the way it gives the backpack enough shape to stand on its own. However, because of the stiffness of the interfacing, I was not able to top stitch around the bottom as directed in the pattern - the length of bag under my machine because it couldn't roll up anymore! The only other change I made was to use pre-made straps instead of making them from my fabric. Everything else is done according to the pattern instructions. I chose to use black mesh for my bag because I thought it would hide dirt and coordinate better with the off white fabric.
This bag is not difficult to sew. If it is your first time making a bag, this would be a fine bag to start with. The most difficult part (and it isn't really difficult) is sewing the round bottom to the bag. The key is to clip everything well using Clover Wonder clips or binder clips to keep it in place as you go. I also suggest that you consider placing tape over the thread cutting razor on the back of your machine, especially if you do you use interfacing. I'll be honest - my mesh fabric caught on the razor while I was sewing and sliced a hole in it. I sewed on a replacement.
The adjustable straps and short handle offer options for fit, carrying, and hanging the bag when not in use. The size is suitable for toddler to pre-teen (at least). Above, the backpack is on my ten year old son.
Fabric: Outer fabric is canvas from Birch Organics, (Jumbrella by Charlie Harper for Birch). Interior is cotton from Birch organics (mod basics solid, dark shroom). Mesh, cotton cord for drawstring, interfacing, bias binding, and straps were purchased from JoAnn fabric.
If you know someone who loves to collect found objects on nature walks, shells on the beach, or just odds and ends in the back yard, the Little Collector's backpack is a great gift for her or him! Don't forget you can purchase any of the patterns at Swoodson Says for 40% using the code SewAllTheSofties which is good through Sunday. And use this link to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win all four patterns: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Visit the other blogs on the tour and see more of Stephanie's patternsMonday, November 9th: Friends Stitched Together / Sew Happily Ever After / The Crazy Tailor
Tuesday, November 10th: Felt With Love Designs / Sew Not Perfect / House of Estrela
Wednesday, November 11th: Lulu & Celeste / Handmade Boy / Rebel & Malice
Thursday, November 12th: Rebel & Malice / create3.5 / Free Notion
Friday, November 13th: Paisley Roots / The Wholesome Mama / Amazing Adventures With Bubba and Bug / Thread Riding Hood / Hugs are Fun