The toddler backpack pattern from Made by Rae has become a bit of a rite of passage item in our home. My daughter has had two of them, and my two year old son was finally ready for his own for going on playdates and such.
The zebra fabric was some that I designed awhile back when By Hand London was still doing custom printed fabric. I love the fabric and the way it turned out, but had no idea what to do with it so it just sat in the stash for a long time. I’m glad that I finally decided to use it for the backpack. It’s a bit heavier than a quilting cotton so it was perfect.
The straps, bottom and sides are made with a blue duck cloth and I added a lining to the whole bag in this really fun batik quilting cotton. Just for functionality I also added an inside zipper pocket and an elastic pocket to fit his water bottle. I used an ivory metal zipper for the top as well as ivory piping for accents.
I have tried multiple things to add stiffness and shape to the backpack. On my last version I used some heavyweight interfacing fused to the outside fabric which ended up being a bit of a disaster. With wear it separated and bubbled and I could never get it to look great again. This time I read up on recommendations and decided to give Pellon Thermolam a try. So far so good. I only added it to the outside fabric. It did make it a bit tricky to sew through all of the layers though, especially when adding the piping. Next time I think I would trim off the seam allowances of the fusible fleece before adhering it.
I see this backpack getting a lot of love and use over the next couple of years before he needs a full sized one. Love this little pattern and all of the times I have made it for my kids.