Monday, 2 December 2013

Mooove over penguin backpack

I have owned Little Things to Sew by Liesl Gibson for at least a year but the only pattern I had used until the weekend was the bucket hat pattern.

This was the first hat

I made two more

 boy's hat

 girl's hat

And then I got distracted by other things to sew….

When Lightning McStitch threw out the challenge to sew all of the patterns in the book I decided it was something I should join in on

Bartacks and Singletrack : want to go all the way with me?

The penguin backpack was a pattern I definitely wanted to tackle early on in the challenge.  I wasn't sure about making a penguin and I noticed that many people had used the basic pattern and modified it.  I was undecided about what to do - although I knew I wanted to make something other than just a simple backpack - and then on Friday at Spotlight I found some brown and white drill fabric.  There, in the shop, I had a eureka moment: I would make a cow backpack!

The grass was the perfect setting for a cow backpack

I search google for some cow images, found this fantastic painting and used it to guide my pattern drafting.  I wanted the nose to be a separate pocket and sewed that first.

 I used a soft fusible vilene to add some body to both the pocket and the main part of the backpack

and I lined the pocket with a New Zealand-themed fabric

I  added some 30mm craft eyes to the bag,

made some shorter, padded and interfaced straps, and used purchased strap fasteners and 32mm polyester strapping as finishing touches.  I looked at some of the backpacks I had at home to figure out how to attach the strapping  to the backpack

I lined the body of the bag in the same New Zealand material and made a single, larger pocket that was the same width as the back panel and used fold-over elastic along its top edge

I used some Steam-A-Seam2 to stick the zipper panels on (although I also hand-stitched the lining in place just to be sure).  I was thankful for my collection of sewing gadgets because my mini iron was the perfect size for ironing the Steam-A-Seam in place without melting the zipper!

This is a great pattern and the possibilities are endless.   I enjoyed the challenge of making something different and translating my vision into this finished item.   I'm not ashamed to say that I love my cow backpack but I have no idea what to do with it now that it is finished…. but  I guess it won't be mooving on just yet….


  1. This is one smooooth sew. He is adora-bull. Your professional finish is admira-bull. - envia-bull even. I bet you had fun making this. I love it

    1. Thanks! Gee, I wish I had your talent for cheesy puns....

  2. Those look amazing! Now, if people ask you where you bought this one, you can say that you made it by yourself! I bet they'll be even more impressed. And to think that's it's actually quite easy to do once you get all of the materials. Thanks for sharing!

    Thelma Bowman @ Quality Strapping