18 May 2015

first backpack

Toddler Backpack, front view
Toddler Backpack, back view

I finished E.'s backpack this morning. It turned out well, and she was very excited about having a new bag to hide things in. It was a good project for me to do, since I've never made anything like this before.

The pattern is Made by Rae's Toddler Backpack. The pattern itself is great; the instructions were clear and they come with directions for enlarging the pattern and for adding a lining. I kept it the toddler size, since E.'s on the small side anyway. I may need to shorten the nylon straps a bit more; otherwise she'll be dragging the ends of them on the floor.

I used a flowered canvas that got passed on to me when a friend was de-stashing. I'd originally though to use it as a child-size tablecloth for E. when she was older, but decided it would work well for this. Most of the lining fabric, the base, and the shoulder straps were made of a green fabric that also came from someone else. I think it's mostly cotton. The base for the lining, since I was out of green fabric by then, was made of a yellow cotton.

I chose to go with a lining rather than using bias binding on the inside seams. I didn't feel like doing bias binding, and wanted the added stability of a lining. I think it probably took just as much time as it would have to do all the bias binding.

Toddler Backpack, inside view
I used a yellow-green piping for most of the trim, and yellow nylon straps for the adjustable straps. I also used a light purple piping to trim the front pocket (because I only bought one packet of yellow-green piping and then didn't have enough for the pocket. The purple piping was leftover from another project), which was my own addition. I cut out an additional piece of canvas using the front pattern piece as a guide, just folded over so the pocket would be the height I wanted. I added the piping to the pocket, topstitched it, then layered it on top of the front and added the edge piping and proceeded as the pattern instructed.

Toddler Backpack, side view
The zipper is a white plastic one with a metal toggle that will be easy for E. to pull. I had to shorten it, but that's not really a difficult modification to make. Sewing the lining to the zipper panel was a little messy. I didn't quite manage to line it up with the stitching from earlier, so it doesn't look perfect, but the lining won't come out easily, which is the important thing.

If I do another one of these, I'll probably do the front pocket again, and maybe add some inside pockets to lining as well. I'm considering getting a piping foot. I ended up using my zipper foot to apply the piping and while it worked, it was hard to get it close enough to the cording. I used a denim (heavy-weight) needle, and one backpack plus a lot of piping was enough for the tip to start getting dull by the end.

The next sewing project is a t-shirt for me. Pictures to come!

15 May 2015

book titles, sewing, and knitting

Summer shorts for the tiny one
I keep reminding myself to write a blog post, and then I forget. Sorry. I also forget about Twitter most of the time, too. I've been spending more time reading than writing lately, and I need to flip that around for a bit. There's a short story I need to finish and submit by the end of the month, and the planned release date for book 2, now tentatively called Ley Lines, is October 31, 2015. A couple of book blogger reviews for Comrades We are on their way, but I have been told that they have backlogs to get through first, so I don`t yet have specifics as to when the reviews will be available. When they are, I will link them.

I've made some time for sewing lately, the result being the picture above. There's a pair of green ones in the same pattern that are mostly done (hemming and elastic and possible applique are the only bits left). The other in-progress sewing project is a backpack for E. from Made by Rae's pattern. There'll be a full post for that one when it's finished. After that, I have a t-shirt for me that needs to be cut out and sewn up.

And I have a shawl-in-progress that`s nearly finished. It`s very pretty, and I want to complete it so I can finally give it to its intended recipient. Also so I can take pictures. It doesn`t exactly look like much on the needles. Then it will be time to cast on some socks. The many pairs I knit a few years back are starting to wear out, so the sock drawer needs replenishing. The sock yarn stash needs to decrease, too, because it composes most of my stash right now. It might be nice to use some of it up.

So, that`s all for now. My next post will probably be about E.`s new backpack.