Wednesday, 12 August 2015

A drawstring backpack - My first real sewing project

After enjoying the Craft Lounge so much at BritMums Live 2015, I was delighted to be invited to become a Coats Crafts UK Ambassador. As I have mentioned, my interest in patchwork and sewing has been reignited, and I recently made a little patchwork mobile phone case using fabric from my goody bag which I was really pleased with.

Drawstring patchwork rucksack

I was asked to choose a project to have a go at, and after browsing the Make it Coats website I chose this Drawstring Backpack, a free pattern. The Drawstring Backpack is a beginner pattern, and although I was a little daunted at first (I had never followed a sewing pattern before) I managed to work my way through it without too much trouble.

Drawstring patchwork bag from Make it Coats

The bag itself is quite simple, but what makes it special I think is the patchwork sides, made using some gorgeous fabric by Tim Holtz in the Eclectic Elements range. Each side has twelve squares, and I had six different fabrics to choose from. Although the individual fabrics are quite different, they complement each other beautifully.

Fabric cut into squares for patchwork

I began by cutting out my patchwork squares and coming up with the perfect layout. This was actually quite difficult, I spent ages deciding how to position the pieces! Then I sewed the squares together to make the two sides of the bag. It was the first time I'd done any patchwork sewing on the sewing machine, and I was really pleased by how good it looked, most of the squares actually line up perfectly!

Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements fabric

For the lining of the bag I used fabric from a new, cheap pillowcase in a muted green. I'm not very good at visualising how a finished product will look from a pattern, but I followed the instructions and it actually worked, I even managed to sew the tabs for the cord on the right way! I can't really describe how pleased I am with the finished bag, it has turned out so much better than I thought it would and it was such a satisfying and useful project. Now that I know what I'm doing, I can see myself making loads more bags in different colours and patterns!

Drawstring backpack homemade

If you like the look of this project you can register for free on the Make it Coats website for access to this and many other free patterns.

Now I just need to decide what I'd like to make next!

Patchwork bag with Tim Holtz fabric

As a Coats Crafts UK Ambassador I was provided with the fabric, cord and other haberdashery items to help me complete this project.

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