Friday, February 24, 2017

...Because I definitely needed another backpack?

Hello everyone,
So I've spent last month stressing and procrastinating and stressing and then actually doing some studying... But I haven't gotten much sewing done because of all the stressing and other stuff.

I'd had this idea lurking in the back of my mind, though, and since I managed to turn in an essay 4 days before the deadline I decided to reward myself by finally making the idea into reality.


I bought this skirt and this wool jacket secondhand for 7 euros, and the bag I got for free (it was broken in various ways and left in the lobby of our apartment building, in the corner where people in this building leave stuff that's not exactly trash but they want to get rid of).

The skirt I bought simply for materials' sake, because it was too small for me. The jacket I could put on but it didn't really flatter me in any way - but I loved the hand-sewn details and patterns. The label said the jacket was 100% wool and made in Guatemala, so it was probably someone's vacation purchase that they discarded into the secondhand shop. I wanted to give that Guatemalan jacket a new life as a backpack.

I drafted a rough pattern of a backpack but I won't include it here because I ended up doing something completely different than I had planned. :D

I'd thought about making the straps and the back + bottom pieces of the backpack from the skirt, and I had all kinds of other fancy plans as well. In the end, I only used the skirt for the bottom of the backpack and one handle from the broken purse, the rest is pretty much all from the jacket. I used some zippers recycled from an earlier project and some secondhand fabric for the zippered pockets, and parts of the straps were from an old laptop bag (the strap had a broken clasp but otherwise it was usable).

So I cut up the jacket and got to it.

I ended up swapping two of the zippers to ones with black teeth, but otherwise these were the materials used. The backpack is fully lined; the lining pieces are beneath the actual pieces. Here I'd already sewn the front of the jacket into straps and sewn the back piece together (it's made of three pieces).

I started by sewing the top and the sides. And yes, the zipper is asymmetrical, meaning it starts from one corner at the top but then continues down the other side of the backpack. It also has two zipper pulls, one on each end, for easy access.

I made a zippered pocket on the front piece and on the back lining piece.

I basted the handle and the straps onto the back piece.

I sewed the top/side piece and the bottom into a loop.

The lining pieces in the loop are only sewn around the zipper, otherwise they're not attached to the main fabric.

I attached the back and front pieces right sides together into the loop, leaving the zipper open for when the backpack would be turned inside out at the end.

I attached the front and back lining pieces right sides together with the lining loop, leaving a gap in the bottom for turning the whole thing inside out. The lining is a bit tricky to sew, because the lining is already attached to the zipper, but it's not impossible.

Then I just turned the backpack inside out through the gap in the lining bottom and sewed the gap shut from the right side of the lining. Then it was just a matter of flipping the main fabric to the outside through the open zipper, and the backpack was done.



I am rather please with how this turned out. I'm glad I could give a new life to the jacket and make it into something awesome.

What do you think of this refash project? :)

Satu / Sew Scoundrel