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.

Simple sewing project - drawstring 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 (unfortunately no longer available). 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.

Simple sewing project - drawstring rucksack

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.

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!

Simple sewing project - drawstring rucksack

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!

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

Simple sewing project - drawstring rucksack

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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