Making a Back Pack Part 3; Let’s get this done!

There are a few more things we need to do to get our main ingredients ready so we can bust this thing out.
One of them is the main zipper. You’ll need 2 strips a bit longer tha your zipper of choice (Mine was 18″) Once the zipper is in this bit will need to be the same width as the piece your using for the bottom and sides. I started with a strip of that same width and just cut it in half.
Press in 1/4 inch on each piece.

Top stitch as close as you can get to the zipper. Employ the same method for getting around the pull as we did for the pocket’s zipper.

Note, I am not using a zipper foot. I love my zipper foot, I used it for the piping, but when I’m doing a top stitched zipper like this, I like a normal foot. It helps hold everything in place, and it’s nice not to bother with changing.
Top stitch the other side too.

I ran another line of stitching 1/4 inch from the first. This was done in the name of banishing raw edges. That edge I pressed under to start out with is now safely secured under the edge of my zipper.

A few more things to get the front and back pieces ready. Put the piping around the front piece.

Then, position the pocket so it makes you happy, (I bound the lose edge of the pocket while you weren’t looking. I used single fold bias for that since there was only one layer of fabric that needed binding here)

and trace around it with a marking device that you’re sure will wash out. This is your stitching line.

Fold the edge of your pocket under and top stitch, following your stitching line.

When It’s done it will look like this.

Now the front piece is ready.

To get the back ready, we need to position our straps and sew them down

After I decided on placement for my straps I cut off the excess. I also opened the top of the strap and trimmed out the padding above the stitch line. There’s enough thickness to sew through around the edge without padding in the seam.

After your straps (top and bottom pieces) are sewn in place, put on the piping.
Oh, tack that handle on beside the zipper too. Make sure it’s centered.

Here’s my stack of pieces finally ready to be assembled.

Find what’s left of your piping. Take out a few stitches at the end.

Fold the bias back,

and snip off the exposed cord.

If we were going to join this with another piece, we’d fold under that edge, but this time we’re just getting rid of the extra bulk because this is going inside the seams that hold our pack together.
Take the strip that makes up the sides and bottom and stitch that piping on. (You’ll want to have snipped out the cord from both edges)

Then place your zippered piece on top, right sides together, and your lining piece on top of that. To review, the side piece is on bottom with the zippered piece facing it and the lining on top making a nice little sandwich. Stitch across the top of that (1/4″ seam to accommodate your piping) and it should look something like this.

We’re getting down to business now. Match up the center of your zipper with the top center of your front piece.

Work your way around, matching the two pieces as you go until you reach the end of your zipper.

Start sewing the sides to the front about an inch from the end of the zippered piece.

Continue sewing until you nearly reach the beginning. If your side piece is longer than need be, as mine was, trim it off leaving only the necessary seam allowance for joining the beginning and end of the piece.

Prepare another piece of piping and stitch it in place. Leave the lining hanging free for now.

Sew the two ends together, still ignoring the lining.

Now, bring the lining up to meet that seam, fold the allowance under and top stitch just below the piping.

Let’s pause for a minute to note that one end of the zipper has a line of top stitching below the piping,

While the other does not. If this bothers you, go ahead and top stitch the other side. I wasn’t in the kind of mood that cares today so I left mine as it was.

Now we’ve got a situation that looks like this. Go ahead and close up that hole. Just turn those right sides together again and stitch up the gap.

Almost there!

We just need to attach the back and we’re home free.
Tuck all the straps inside, match up the bottom corners and start stitching around.

Once you complete that circuit, Bind up those edges and that’s it! I recommend using a wider double fold than I did. This is really thick where the straps join. Hiding on the opposite side out of the photo is a portion where this tape just wasn’t wide enough to do the job. I had to bind that bit with an unsightly patch of wider tape.

By the way, when you tack the handle on, make sure you put it on the right side. It’s down right discouraging to unzip and turn your back right side out thinking you’re all done and then discover that you have to pick off the handle loop and sew it back on the right way. Just trust me on this.

Now, Finally, here it is!

I’m going to write one more post where I’ll go back and cover the process of patterning this monster, but I may not be able to get to it until next week sometime. In the mean time we’ll returned to our regularly scheduled random blogging.
Fare thee well.

6 Responses to Making a Back Pack Part 3; Let’s get this done!

  1. How utterly adorable!! And you make it seem so EASY….just zip, zip, zip..and we're done!! Love it, I might have to put this in my archives until I can put my big girl pants on and try it!!! 🙂

  2. Stefanie, Thanks, I'm glad you like it.
    I don't have the discipline for an etsy shop. I like to make what I want to make when I want to make it and I can only take so much repetition, so for now I sew for myself with the occasional custom order thrown in for good measure.

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