bag | bag sewing | cotton | patternmaking | sewing

Drawstring Backpack

February 8, 2018
Whenever my niece visits me, no matter how many gifts I buy for her, everything feels a bit incomplete without a handmade gift. This time, I made this drawstring backpack with a casing on the outside, gusset, a flap that has a Velcro closure and a pocket on one side. 
I used a heavy weight cotton for this. The casing for the drawstring is made of polyester fabric. If I had used the cotton it wouldn’t  have been easy for the child to pull the drawstring. Fortunately, I found the fabric that was the exact same colour as the pink used for the gusset, flap and pocket. Since the main fabric itself is a bit heavy no interfacing was needed. The lining has two layers of muslin which I treated as a single layer while sewing. 
While planning the pattern I started with Debbie Shore’s fantastic duffle bag tutorial and made my own changes from there.



Pattern pieces
2 pieces of main fabric – 14 inches x 15 inches 
– Rounded off the bottom edge while drafting the pattern
Lining – as above 
Straps 6 inches x 44 inches 
Flap 6 inches x 7 inches
Side Pocket 10 inches x 7 inches
Side Panel 43 inches x 3 /12inches. The length depends on the round edge at the bottom of the bag. All the above measurements include a SA of 1/2 “. 
Attach gusset to the main fabric pieces. Do the same for the lining piece leaving a 3″ gap in the gusset. Flap – with right sides together sew 3 sides with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Turn right side out and press. Sew on casing to the main fabric. Sandwich the flap between the lining and main, body pieces and sew around. Turn the backpack to the right side through the gap that we had left at the side of the gusset . Sew on the casing. The casing on this bag starts and ends on the gusset with a 1 inch gap between the front and back casing strips. The casing strips are made by cutting fabric on the bias.
Make straps by enclosing all raw edges and sewing all around. Sew the straps onto the backpack leaving a loop of about 5-6″ at the top. Finally sew in the Velcro closure. Finally I just think a pocket on the other side would make the backpack look more balanced. 
Meera loved her new backpack. It holds her favourite dog softies Shongu and Shonguli and her water bottle.  

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