That’s right people. I went there. There being an awesome mini backpack for the bambino. Decked out in faux suede. And bears. Because, well, bears.
I wanted to make Aurelio something to keep his treasures in – something he can use for a few years and that we can lug around on our various adventures and travels. Something sweet but not too childish.
And, heck, let’s be honest, I’m probably going to be the one carrying this, like 99% of the time.
I wanted something I could carry that said ‘yeah I’m a mamma. But I know my way around faux suede, so you better bring it’.
Plus he’s shown about 0 interest in the last two presents I made for him – a bow tie and a teepee – so I wanted to make something I know would be used a lot.
I first spotted this pattern on the Indiesew website and had a feeling it was going to be a winner – especially after seeing Allie’s awesome version.
The London backpack is a shrunken backpack perfect for the mini people in your life – or you if you’re feeling the 90s small backpack revival (right on). It has two pockets (one inner, one outer), a magnetic clasp closure on the main flap, and rivets and drawstring to close the main compartment.
I was really keen to find something fun for the main fabric. Fun, but not too childish. I wanted to avoid anything too bright or cartoony. This fabric with its sweet bears and wigwams had me at hello.
To break up all that cotton I opted for this faux suede I had in my stash (also used for another LGB Studio make – the leather accent clutch) for the flap and bottom.
The faux suede actually comes from a second hand coat. True story. I had been looking for faux suede from fabric stores for ages and couldn’t find anything I liked. And then I saw this g-i-a-n-t faux suede coat in a charity shop.
Cheap, plentiful source of perfect mid-brown faux suede goodness? Yes please!
The other fabrics also came from my stash – the grey lining (100% quilting cotton bought from John Lewis ages ago) and the canvas interlining (from IKEA – also used in Aurelio’s teepee).
I went with plain silver hardware for the straps and (soon to be added) rivets. I then went all in with jazzy orange zippers because I thought the backpack needed a bit of zing. I’m hoping to make some matching orange zipper tassels to add a bit more colour.
And also because zipper tassels are awesome.
The supply list (rivets, magnetic clasps, buckles, canvas for interlining) can seem a little intimidating – especially if you’re anything like me and easily intimidated. But I managed to find everything easily.
I was also a little daunted by the interlining – adding a canvas layer to add structure to the fabric – but it actually it just boils down to cutting a few extra bits of fabric and then doing some basting.
A bit time consuming, but nothing terribly complicated. And the nice weight it gives the bag is totally worth it.
And so, the construction. I’m not going to lie. It felt like there were a bazillion pieces, not just for the main fabric, but for all the lining, interfacing, pockets and canvas interlining.
The pieces aren’t big, and they were super quick to cut out, but all those lining and main fabric pieces had to be stabilised either by fusing the interfering, or basting the canvas interlining. It was a lot of work even before getting to the construction stage.
But, once all the prep was done it did all come together really quickly and easily – which I totally wasn’t expecting given how fiddly all the pieces seemed. A few afternoons of light sewing. I think it boils down to the really clear instructions which were excellent.
Another nice thing about this pdf pattern is that you can tape it together really quickly – very few pieces run over more than one page. Which is great because taping patterns together is literally the most tedious thing.
So, all in all a winner. Definitely something I’d consider making again. I’m now on the hunt for a birthday present to sew for the little dude. Have you had much experience sewing for mini people? Any ideas for what might make a nice present?
I only ever share products and people I think you’ll like as much as I do (because sharing is caring). The pattern for this make was kindly provided by Indiesew (they’re nice like that). All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
LBG STUDIO LONDON BACKPACK
Pattern: London Backpack by LBG Studio c/o Indiesew
WHAT CHANGES DID YOU MAKE TO THE PATTERN OR CONSTRUCTION?
I pretty much followed everything to the letter. With this many pieces and all the steps, I didn’t feel confident in free-wheeling it. I’m glad I didn’t because it came out pretty perfectly – even with my awfully imprecise sewing.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN?
That interlining isn’t as complicated as it sounds and inserting a magnetic clasp is easy. Basically, I shouldn’t let myself be put off projects because the supplies list seems a bit long/intimidating.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
I made a pretty decent, fully-functioning backpack. And…. The bambino likes it!! He wears it all around the house and stores importent thing like blocks, socks and crackers in there. Good lad.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME?
It’s funny. This took me ages to make – I started in November and only finished mid March. But I really enjoyed changing tack – making something with a few more steps and with a bit more precision than my usual sews.
I may even be tempted to make a slightly bigger version for myself (using this handy looking tutorial). Something in ikat and leather. Mmm… Ikat + leather.