Sunday, May 27, 2012

The long thrift

Thrifted fabric is both a blessing and a curse. When my friend's two year-old son was obsessed with trains I found this canvas with trains, train line logos, and other old-y fashioned-y train related images. Perfect! I would make him a backpack with a matching lunch bag. Shoot. I had so much fabric (for a mere $3.99) I could probably make him some funky train pants! It was going to be great. Fast forward to today and that kid is eight and no longer interested in trains.

Luckily I have my own train-loving two year old now. And he has a number of training-loving little buddies. This weekend we were scheduled to go to a double second birthday party. We had purchased two of our favorite books by David Shannon and going off my last post I decided to make gift backpacks. I wanted to make these a little faster, so I didn't do all the details from the last project. I also wasn't as diligent when working out the numbers. I wanted to make them big enough to fit the larger size hardcover books. These do, but just barely. I had wanted to make French seams (my new favorite sewing trick), but I miscalculated all over the place and ended up with no French seams. On the side seams I had to make quarter inch seams and zig-zag stitch over the seam allowance. On the bottom I had done the first step of the French seam before I realized I wouldn't have enough fabric, so I made seam bindings and covered up the exposed seam. It all turned out fine. Instead of a flap like in last week's effort, these have Velcro closures. Instead of fabric straps, I used webbing with d-rings. Oh, and I didn't line these bags. They really were quickies, so I am counting them as 1pt total.

Next time I make one of these my plan is to make a gusset so it can hold more than a single skinny book, perhaps a snack and a couple of toys along with the skinny book. My kid needs a backpack of his own, too. I have pieces cut out for one of these in the same fabric, but haven't had the fortitude to start sewing.


  1. We are HUGE fans of "Duck on a Bike," and Rowan enjoyed Rebecca Danger's knitted monsters too. I don't own it, and so a different knitted toys book is a good stand-in.

    These are cute, simple projects - in fact, I would have to use my favorite hash tag, #goodideaduck!

  2. Cute train bags, perfect for little boys (and girls!). Maybe you could add a pocket for those little things that they like to "collect" :-)
    I heard on the podcast that you joined the Sewing Circle, and I agree it is a bit harder to get active there. A site that I find that I can't do without it PatternReview, especially helpful to see other sewists' experiences with sewing patterns: the Big 4 along with indie pattern designers. There are also many tutorials and links to pursue. I have been a paid member off and on. Tho there are many advantages to being a member, right now I what I want to do is read the reviews and enter my own, and that can be done without the paid membership. Happy sewing....and knitting too!