Monday, April 18, 2011

Blanket to Backpack Tutorial - Part 1

It's a Blanket...

...that folds into a Backpack! 

 

As promised ages ago...
Here is the tutorial for my Blanket to Backpack!


Supplies Needed:
-  Flannel: 4 prints, about 2 yards of each
-  Cotton Quilt Batting (I like Warm & Natural)
-  Heat & Bond, 7" and 9" square
-  Thread
-  Zipper, 7"



Step 1
Cut the fabric...
-  Cut 96, 10" squares from your flannel (24 squares of each)
-  Cut 2, 5" x 22" strips for the backpack straps (I chose the orange flannel)
-  Cut an 18" x 34" rectangle for the backpack pocket (I chose the polka dot)
-  Cut 2, 9" squares for your backpack pocket (I chose the monster flannel for the outside, and the stripped for the inside)
-  Cut a 7" square for your letter appliqué (I chose the orange flannel for my appliqué)
-  Cut a 7" and a 9" square of the Heat & Bond

Step 2
Create the pocket...
Iron your Heat & Bond to your appliqué fabric square.
Draw the letter or shape you would like to create onto your fabric.  Cut it out, and pin it to the center of your pocket fabric square.

I can't say I really know how to appliqué.  In order to appliqué mine, I first stitched my "W" with a straight stitch close to the edge all along the perimeter.

Next, I switched over to a tight zig-zag stitch, and went over my original stitching, making sure to conceal the edges of my "W".

And this is what it looked like when finished.

Then I realized my pocket fabric needed some reinforcement after my appliqué stitching.  Yikes!
My fix was to cover the pocket with Heat & Bond.  Maybe I should have done this before appliquéing it?

Next, lay your second pocket fabric square over your appliquéd piece, right-sides together.

Stitch around the four sides, leaving a small opening at the bottom to turn the pocket right-side out.  I used about a 3/8" seam here, but it doesn't really matter.

Trim the corners close to the seam on all four sides.

Turn your pocket right-side out.  Do your best to pull the corners into nice points.

Add your zipper to the top of your pocket.
I pinned mine in place, then sewed a stitch along the top edge of my pocket to secure it.

Note:  Of course... after doing this, I wondered WHY I didn't choose to add the zipper between my layers of my pocket fabric so to conceal the edge.  Hmmm... Oh well.  I will do so on the next one.

Next, take your backpack pocket fabric (the polka dot here) and lay it folded in half, with the fold sitting at the top (as shown here).  Decided where you would like your pocket (we just added the zipper to in the step above) to rest.  I centered mine and placed it about 3" down from the fold.

Flip the pocket over, as you see in the photo above, so you can pin the zipper in place, being careful not to pin it through both layers of the backpack pocket fabric below.

Unfold the backpack pocket fabric (the polka dot) and stitch the zipper of the pocket in place.
You can faintly see my stitch near the bottom edge of the zipper in the photo above.  I left about 1/2" on each end of the zipper un-sewn so I could fold them down and hide them in the next step.

Now flip your pocket down into place, and pin it.  Remember that opening you left in the bottom to turn your pocket right-side out?  Fold those edges in and press them flat.
Tuck the ends of your zipper down and out of sight, and pin them too.
Now sew along the sides and bottom edge of your pocket to secure it in place.

Your pocket is finished!

Step 3
Make some straps...
Take your backpack strap strips (say that 10 times) and stitch right-sides together with a 3/8" to a 1/2" seam.

Turn your straps right-side out.
I do this by attaching a large safety pin to the open end, poking it inside, and working the fabric through until it is turned out.

And there it is!  Turn your seam to one side, and press your straps flat.

Find Part 2 of this tutorial HERE


Happy Sewing!

9 comments:

  1. Lovely idea and great tutorial (part 1 of course!) cant wait for part 2!

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  2. Great tutorial! My son LOVES backpacks... I guess cause I'm always carrying around a diaper bag : )

    Would love for you to link up at my party

    http://www.cherishedbliss.com/2011/04/craft-and-tell-tuesdays-1.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this idea! I'm just learning to sew...HA! Can you believe that..ROFL!

    I'm your newest follower over from the link party at Under The Table and Dreaming.

    Hope you can stop by sometime.

    Have a great Easter!

    Cindy

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  4. Rachel - this turned out so adorable. I love the fun colors and monogram! Thanks so much for linking to the Sunday Showcase - I greatly appreciate it. I have featured this today! Hope you have a fabulous week ~ Stephanie Lynn

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  5. Good morning!! You were featured today! Come by and grab a button! xoxo!!

    Marni @ Sassy Sites!

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  6. Great. Just love this project and will make it. Just love and keep it coming xxxxx.

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  7. Hi! I'm in love with this tutorial but I'm only a basic sewer. Over done a few rag quilts- so I get how those are done- but my main question I guess is- did you somehow work the cutting of the squares and pockets all out of just two yards of each fabric? Or does that just cover the blanket portion and you buy extra for the backpack pouch and pocket? I find the cutting to be the hardest part! Thanks for your help!

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