Wow, blogging two days in a row!? Pretty unheard of for me, especially during these days of sloooow blogging. But honestly, I’m pretty psyched about this project and I just couldn’t wait to share it!
So yesterday I posted a pair of Umbrella dresses that I made as part of the It’s a Small World (blog tour), After All to promote Rae Hoekstra’s new fabric line for Cloud9. Well when I originally saw the fabrics I had such a hard time deciding and a few ideas pop into my head that I asked for 2 fabrics for 2 projects! Clearly I was feeling a bit ambitious and itching to get back to sewing after a pretty long break.
For my second project I picked the Small World print, which is what you might call the ‘title track’ of this fabric line. It has all of the main elements from the other prints put together in this fun collage of playful images. When I see it, I just think “KID!” I imagine a toddler who is just learning how to talk pointing to familiar objects and making vaguely recognizable sounds. Basically I was imagining my own toddler.
With very little time, I considered making a much simpler drawstring knapsack, which I’m sure would have also been cute, but I worried it wouldn’t be as practical. I want to make something that I know will get a lot of use, not just be cute for a blog post and then sit in the closet somewhere. So I decided to invest the time and effort into a “real” backpack and I’m so glad that I did!
The pattern is Rae’s Toddler Backpack and I love it! Everything came together pretty smoothly, though I will say, there are a lot of steps involved. It’s definitely not a quick project, but if you give yourself a few days (or a week), you can totally get it done. And the end result is a legit backpack! I’m hoping this will last us a long time and that Kaya will be able to use it for daycare or preschool when she is 2 or 3.
From my experience, Rae’s patterns are absolutely solid. I could tell this pattern was back from her earlier pattern making days, but her directions are very clear and easy to follow as always. She walks you through each step and you know you’re going to end up with a high quality product. She even has instructions for sizing the backpack up for school aged children, so I’m thinking of making my older daughter a new backpack before she starts school next year!
I made two modifications to the pattern, adding a pocket to the front panel and a drink pocket on one of the sides. The pattern doesn’t include them, but they were easy enough to add before assembling the backpack pieces together. The fabric I used for the side pocket and the straps is something I had in my stash – it’s called Ruta from Lotta Jansdotter’s Bella collection. It’s an old one, but I love it! Not 100% sure that I made the right choice pairing these two fabrics, but I think it works.
Oh, the other thing I highly suggest is INTERFACING! The pattern suggests using medium to heavy weight fabric, but even then, I had heard that adding interfacing will help prevent your backpack from being floppy. The Small World baby wale corduroy I used as the main fabric is pretty lightweight so I attached a layer of lightweight fusible interfacing to each of the main pieces, but even then it still seemed too thin. I found some stiff stabilizer in my stash and I think it’s the heavy duty sew-in stabilizer (Peltex #70) that I used for this mini suitcase. I basted that to each of my main fabric pieces and it really helped give the backpack enough structure. I also lined the backpack with quilting cotton and fused interfacing to all of those pieces as well. It definitely started to get thick at the end, layering all those fabrics, interfacing, stabilizer, piping, etc. I used a walking foot at the end when I was assembling all the pieces together at the end and I think that helped.
I won’t get into too many details about the fabric, since I gushed about it already yesterday. But all you really need to know is that this Cloud9 organic baby wale corduroy is lightweight, soft, comfortable, amazing to work with and has great vibrant colors. Are you sold?
Kaya was pretty excited to get a new backpack. She can’t carry very much in there by herself since the backpack is practically the same size as her and she’d totally tip over if it was too heavy. But she does like carrying it around and feeling like a big kid!
That’s it! I love this fabric and this pattern! And I appreciate you stopping by to check it out. Please be sure to head on over to all the other stops on the Small World (After All) blog tour!
And have a great Friday!!