Sew Along Toddler Backpack {Part Three - Finishing}

Just in time for some Sunday making, we've reached the last stage of our backpack sew-along! I'm really hoping some of you have nearly finished backpacks just waiting for the finishing touches. If you've missed the first two parts, you can find them here:

For the final stage of this tutorial you will need:

  • 4 'D' Rings for the strap adjusters
  • One Toggle
  • Cord for the drawstring opening
  • Beads for the cord-ends
  • Velcro/popper for fastening the flap - I used permanent, self adhesive velcro
  • A safety pin
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Scissors 
  • Iron and ironing board

So, if you've completed parts one and two, your backpack should be very nearly finished and be looking something like this...

First, were going to secure the lining to the inside of the bag so it stay s in place and looks nice and neat around the top.

Making sure the lining is evenly tucked inside the bag, give it a good press with the iron. We will be sewing close to the top edge of the bag, just below where the lining is attached.  Place under the machine foot making sure that the flap and straps are kept well out of the way, you don't want to catch anything under the needle at this stage! 

Using the edge of the presser foot as a guide, top stitch all the way around the top of the bag, beginning and ending at a seam.

Next, we need to close up the hole in the bottom of the lining. Pull it out of the bag and use pins to neatly close the opening, tucking the raw edges inside. You could hand stitch this for extra neatness, but given that it will be on the inside of the bag, I went for the more secure option of simply topstitching the opening closed.  

Push the lining back inside the bag, making sure it is evenly in place. We're now going to sew the channel which will later contain the drawstring cord. Measure the distance between the top of your button hole and the previous line of stitching you made around the top of the bag, then measure the same distance away from the bottom of the button hole and make a mark. Replicate this mark every so often around the whole opening of the bag, then join the marks up with a row of stitching.  

Thread the end of your drawstring cord onto a safety pin, I chose a red and white striped bakers twine style cord. Feed the safety pin into the button hole and use it to draw the cord along the channel between the two rows of stitching.

Once you've worked the safest pin all the way around, pull it back out the the button hole - cute or what!! 

Thread the toggle onto both ends of the cord, then trim the cords so they're just long enough to allow the toggle to be let out all the way, then thread a bead onto each end. I used some yellow wooden beads I found in Tiger. 

Now to finish the straps! Take two 'D' rings and thread them onto one of the sections of strap attached to the top of the bag. Fold the webbing under and secure with some bulldog clips while you machine sew in place. I sewed backwards and forwards 3-4 times as close to the 'D' rings as the foot of the machine would allow. Trim off any excess, then repeat on the other side making sure they are the same length.

Undo your drawstring toggle, and flatten out the sop of your bag. To secure flap I used a permanent stick on velcro dot, but you could use a popper, magnet, or other fastening (though bare in mind you may need to add it earlier on in the process if you don't want it to be seen from the other side)

To make sure the dots are perfectly lined up, peel the backing off one side of the velcro, and stick it to the corresponding piece, then stick both sides to the inside of the flap. Peel off the other piece of baking paper, and carefully close the flap, pressing down the velcro so the adhesive sticks the second dot to the front of the bag. Leave it in place for a few minutes then you should be able to carefully re-open the flap, leaving the velcro dots stuck in place. 

The very last job is to join up the strap pieces! Take the bottom piece of webbing and thread it up through both 'D' rings, then back down over the top ring, and under the bottom one. This will allow you to adjust the length of the straps as the wearer grows (or the bag gets borrowed!) 

And there you have it! One finished toddler sized back pack ready to be filled with books and snacks, pine cones and pebbles or other secret bits and bobs! 

I really hope you've enjoyed this series! If anyone has followed along and actually made a backpack I would absolutely love to see them, and would also really appreciate any feedback on this style of tutorial! 

Happy October everyone!

1 comment

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