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  • Writer's pictureSew Retro

The Bonnie Back Pack

Sew Retro proudly presents the Bonnie Backpack. Days out, dog walks, shopping trips and weekend breaks are all the more enjoyable with a super stylish backpack.

As well as looking good, the backpack is the perfect size and shape to transport your shopping ! No need for plastic carrier bags.

The contrast lining and webbing makes the backpack bang on trend. The lining includes two pockets which are the ideal size for your phone, keys or travel documents.The size makes it perfect for adults and children.

It has been made in a waterproof fabric, for all weather use, but it would look stunning in any canvas, denim or wool fabric, let your imagination run riot with a fabulous contrast lining. Follow the simple step by step guide, to make your very own Bonnie Backpack.

Free tutorial and PDF pattern - Learn to make The Bonnie Backpack -suitable for ambitious beginners and those with more experience - if you are new to sewing please try a few of the projects on the blog for absolute beginners first, Thank you.

Materials and Equipment

50cm of Grey Linen Oilcloth ( or similar that is 140cm wide )I got mine from here

Lining 50 cm of cotton fabric that is 140cm wide

3 meter of cotton webbing tape 3.5cm width

I meter of contrast nylon webbing 2.5cm width

5 x 3cm D rings

1 x swivel clip 6cm length 5.5cm width.

2 x sliders optional ( not used on the Bonnie Backpack but can be added)

Matching thread or contrast thread, pins, tape measure, chalk and scissors.

Tips for beginners

Seam allowance 1 cm this is the distance between the edge of the fabric and the stitch line. You will find a series of parallel lines engraved on the needle plate of your sewing machine pick the one marked with the measurement you need and keep the edge of the fabric to this guide

RS = right side of fabric WS = wrong side of fabric.

If you are using denim machine-wash your fabric first on a hot wash.

Down load the pattern, HERE piece together, and place on your fabric.

In addition to the pdf you will need to cut 1 or 2 pockets with are attached to the lining.

Cut in contrast or lining fabric 12cm x 15cm twice.

Cut out the main fabric and the lining.

Cut the straps

A x 1= 30cm Front fastening

B x 1 in contrast colour = 26cm handle

C x 2 = 65cm shoulder straps

D x 1 = 42cm

E x 2 =15cm

F x 1 = 20cm

Transfer the marking on to the fabric, either using chalk or tailors tacks.(thread a needle with a long, double strand of thread in a contrasting color to your fabric. Bring your needle through both layers of fabric, coming back up as close as possible. You can do this through your pattern as well as your fabric. Coming from the same direction, bring your needle through the same points to create a loop .As you pull the thread taught, make sure that you keep a loop of thread that’s about a finger in size. When you have made all your marking, gently pull the pattern off the fabric them carefully pull the layers of the fabric apart……and snip the tailor’s tacks.

Starting with the back, transfer the marking carefully onto the RS of your fabric.

Follow the pattern starting with A, pin A to the middle of the bag with the strap facing towards the curved edge.

Pin B on either side with the handle facing the curved hem.

Pin C on each end with the length of the strap facing the straight hem.

Please note: the straps are pinned just inside the chalk line.

Stitch across the straps just under the top chalk line with sewing machine foot to the edge of the bottom row of the straps.

Using the notches and the chalk lines as a guide place D over the straps as shown and machine stitch two rows of stitching to hold D in place, one at the top of the strap and one at the bottom of the strap.

Insert the 2 x D rings into E as shown, pin onto the lower section of the bag between the notches, letting some of the strap hang over the edge of the bag, trim as shown, tack or stitch (foot to the edge of fabric, this row of stitching must not show when the bag is finished) into place.

With RS facing pin the lower back section of the bag to main back section of the bag and using a 1cm seam allowance stitch together. Leave to one side.

Insert the remaining D ring into F, fold in half and stitch under the D ring as shown.

Place F on the front of the bag RS of fabric facing up and pin into place as shown.

Stitch up one side of the strap across the section you have already sewn, and down the opposite side of the strap.

With the RS facing pin the lower front section onto the main front section and using a 1cm seam allowance stitch into place.

Slip C the shoulder strap into the D rings as shown. Insert the slider (if using instead or the D rings) into the shoulder strap OR slip the strap into the back one 1 D ring as shown, fold under a 1cm seam and pin. (Do not stitch into place yet)

Slide the front fastening onto the front strap and fold under 1cm as shown, machine stitch into place, I did two rows of stitching to make it extra secure.

Pin the strap to the front of the bag as show. Starting near the handle, machine stitch down for 10cm, leave your needle in the sewing, turn the sewing around and stitch across the strap and back up the opposite side.

With right sides together pin the front to the back matching the seams, stitch the 3 long sides; do not sew the 5cm x5cm corners yet.

Joining the corners. Join the edge of the bottom seam to the edge of the side seam; matching the seams, this will create the correct shape, as shown. Repeat on the remaining side. Machine stitch across taking a 1cm seam allowance.

Turn the back to the right side. Try the bag on and adjust the D ring to fit, machine across the pinned section.

The lining.

Using Chalk or tailors tacks mark the position of the pockets on the lining.

Make the pockets for the lining.

Turn one of the short seams over to the wrong side as shown for 1cm press, turn again for 1cm and machine stitch into place. Repeat on the remaining pocket.

Turn the remaining 3 raw edges under for 1cm as shown, press.Repeat on the remaining pocket.

Using your tailor’s tacks as a guide pin the pockets onto the lining as shown.

Machine stitch the pocket onto the lining. Repeat on the remaining side.

Join the lower half of the front lining to the front lining, stitch into place using a 1 cm seam allowance. Repeat on the back.

With the right sides facing pin the lining together leaving a gap as shown in the side seam. Machine the lining together apart from the gap, the curved top and the corners. Press your seams open. Make the corners. Join the edge of the bottom seam to the edge of the side seam; matching the seams, this will create the correct shape, as shown. Repeat on the remaining side. Machine stitch across taking a 1cm seam allowance.

Put the RS of the bag into the RS of the lining and matching the side seams pin the lining and the bag together. Using a 1cm seam allowance stitch the top of the bag. Clip around the seam you have just sewn so the lining can lie flat.

Using the gap in the lining turn the bag to the RS. Under stitch the seam.

How to under stitch - Push all the seams to the lining, on the RS of the fabric, on the lining only stitch close to the bag BUT not catching the bag as shown above stitch all around the curved opening.

Close the side seam on the lining.

Stitch in the ditch or sink stitch as shown - to hold the lining in place. Pin the side seams together and sewing on the RS of the bag in the seam stitch 6 to 7 stitches to hold the lining in place.

Using a cloth carefully press the bag on a low heat.


Please share images of your Bonnie Backpacks on my Facebook page

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