Hi my sewing friends!!!
If you follow me, you may have noticed that I am turning my sewing attention towards making bags and backpacks in the recent times. It is something I really enjoy, and a great opportunity to use those smaller fabric pieces.
Today I want to show you this very cute backpack that I’ve sewn last week. It is called a Batala backpack and it is by Pink Pony Design. This is my first time making a pattern by this designer, but Maria’s instruction is super easy to follow so there was no surprises on the way.
The Backpack design is very unique, because it resembles a full circle, so it gives this somehow small backpack a lot of storage space. It has a front flap with a magnetic closure and adjustable straps connected to a massive D-ring. A great feature in my opinion, and it replaces the need of a handle.
The backpack comes with a inner patch pocket and two zipper pockets, one of which is located on the external back panel, so you can store all your smaller items securely.
To complete this backpack you do not need a lot of fabric and I mostly used a leftovers from other projects. The pattern recommends to use a Faux leather for the sides, but I wanted to mix it up a little and used it for the main panel instead.
- 1/2 meter of Faux leather.
- 65 x 100 cm Suede fabric for the sides – leftover from my camera bag project. Cannot remember where I got it from because it was a long time ago.
- 1 meter of green lining fabric- leftover from my Alex shirt-dress.
- 2 meters ready to sew piping.
- 7 ” Zipper
- 1 meter of Leather cord.
- Rivets from J.T. Batchelor
- x 2 Rectangular rings
- x 20 5mm Eyelets
- x 2 Rectangle bag sliders
- x 2 Magnetic snap (from my local shop)
- x 2 Metal cord ends
- x 1 2″ D-Ring
- 1/2 meter Fusible fleece
- 1.2 meter Woven interfacing
I also had to buy a Teflon foot, because my regular sewing foot was sticking too much to the Faux leather. I did try using my walking foot later and it worked fine too, so I guess a Teflon foot was not that essential.
I had omitted making the inner zipper pocket because I did not have another zipper on hand and for some silly reason I didn’t notice the pattern uses a double cord lock, so for the time being I will just tie the leather cord instead. Without the cord lock the backpack opens up too much and there is a risk of the items falling out.
Sewing the pattern
The pattern instruction provides a measurements for some of the pattern pieces, so I’ve spend my first hour drafting the pieces. I like to have it ready in case I want to make it again and I’m not fun of drawing and cutting straight from the fabric. Cutting the fabric took around 20 minutes. Next, was my least favorite part of any project…cutting and fusing the interfacing. Will never get back those 90 minutes of my life….time well spend hahahahha
After all that preparation, it took me about 5 hours to sew the entire backpack, including installing rivets and eyelets. Not bad, considering that I had the biggest issue sewing the back zipper pocket. I tried sewing it before I got the Teflon foot and my machine kept skipping the stitch. So frustrating. It looks horrible, but lucky no-one will ever see it. This is what I get for being impatient.
Other then this horrible pocket, everything else went smoothly (once I got the Teflon foot).
I had to change how I attach the strap connectors, because my machine would not sew through all that layers of Faux leather. Instead I opted to attach it with rivets, and I love the result!
The Batala backpack has such an eye catching design, which for sure will make some heads turn! There is nothing that I dislike about this pattern and if you are in need of a stylish, yet practical backpack do not look any further! I love the piping detail, but you have an option of skipping it all together in case it is not your taste. This pattern has so much potential, and it allows you to get very creative with a fabric choice and color blocking.
I would love to make one with a waterproof fabric in bright colors next! But how many backpacks is too many backpacks??? I guess one more won’t make a difference 🙂
What do you think about the Batala backpack? Do you like it? Do you hate it? Let me know!
I’m getting ready to start another project! Stay tuned.