I have been wanting to try a tutorial from the U-handblog for quite some time now – just had to work up the nerve… She has lots of great tutorials there, but the one I had my mind set on was the oilcloth backpack. I have been preparing for it for a while (you guessed it, this is the project for Ronja I have been mentioning) – purchasing stuff, drawing the simple patterns, and cutting the oilcloth and lining. I ordered the sew-in interfacing from the U-handbag shop, because I couldn’t find it in the local shops here – I didn’t want to risk replacing it with something that wasn’t good enough. It arrived in the mail Monday, and yesterday evening I started sewing – so this is the final product.
Actually, I still need to do one thing. The backpack is for Ronja, and she doesn’t yet know how to tie a bow. Therefore, I want to add a cord stopper, so that she will be able to open and close the bag herself.
The bag did present a few challenges. First of all because sewing oilcloth just isn’t terribly easy. The tutorial recommends that you use a non-stick foot for your sewing machine, but I didn’t have one, and I decided to go ahead and give it a try without it. After making the bag, I would say that it isn’t necessary, but I do see why it would be nice to have. And I didn’t even use the really shiny kind of oilcloth – that would probably make it even more useful.
One of the difficult things about sewing with oilcloth is that you are very limited when it comes to pinning, so you really have to keep an overview while sewing, because the fabric doesn’t always move the way you want it to. It worked out fine, though. The backpack isn’t easy peasy, but it’s not terribly difficult either – it just takes a bit of preparation, and a bit of patience, when doing the tricky parts. To tell you the truth, I was surprised at how quickly it all went, once I started sewing – the tutorial is awesome and very well illustrated.
I didn’t really alter anything – except that I chose to make the pocket 4 cm narrower, and I chose to use purchased cord instead of making a tie – naturally because it has to work with a cord stopper.
Ronja loves her new backpack – and that’s enough to make me happy. As a bonus, I’m really satisfied with the result myself – and I highly recommend this tutorial!
Sorry, I left out an important detail. The oilcloth I used for the bag is from Stof og Stil, a Danish fabric store, and for the lining and the straps I used Farmers Market from Sandi Henderson.