My son started attending a Steiner preschool this year. My daughter, who attended that same preschool last year, has moved up to their “Little Kindy” classroom. So to celebrate this milestone of both my kids going to the same “big school,” I promised them each a new backpack.
Until now I had been packing the kids’ school and daycare stuff in large nappy-bag style bags I made. But when my kids see all the other children going to school wearing (mostly bright-colored plastic) backpacks, they naturally wanted backpacks just like them. Yes, peer pressure.
Well, I really dislike the look and feel of plastic backpacks, but I didn’t want my kids to feel left out at school. So I wanted to make nice fabric backpacks that still resemble the shape of plastic ones. Here’s what I came up with for Mr. A. He chose this fabric himself.
The pattern is my own, but let me tell you, there were some struggles along the way. The first version came out terribly (I’m embarrassed to even tell you why), and the second version came out way too big. After going back to the drawing board, the third version was just right. Well, it still looks pretty big on Mr. A., but you know, he’s barely three, and will soon grow into the backpack size – I hope.
Here are more photos of the backpack details. It has a flap pocket in the middle, side patch pockets, and little tabs on both sides to make it easier to open and close the zipper. The strap is padded and adjustable.
Here’s what the inside looks like.
I used a heavy-duty cotton canvas for the lining, to give the backpack a good structure and shape, like those plastic ones. I bound the raw seams with orange bias binding, just because a bit of color is fun.
A few days later, and after much nagging by Miss M., I finished her new backpack. Of course it’s pink – but I love that my kids chose the matching print. How cute!
I have to admit this one came out nicer than my son’s. I made small improvements, like using larger tabs on the side, and using sliders for for adjusting the straps (for the black one, I used double D rings, which didn’t work too well).
I hope my kids will be happy to wear them to school, and not feel too envious of other plastic backpacks out there….