Slouchy Back Pack

This roomy and fun day bag is perfect for all your adventures!

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The Slouchy Back Pack has adjustable straps, a handy grab handle at the top of the bag and two open side pockets. The pattern has the option of either a buckle or magnetic snap fastening for the flap closure. The bag also has a drawstring closure for added security, keeping all your belongings safe.

Shopping List –

  • 2yds of laminated cotton, oilcloth or upholstery weight fabric. This will be used for both the outer and lining. If you want to use a different fabric for the lining you will need 1yd of outer and 1yd of lining. These measurements are based on fabric with a width of 52”.
  • 3yds of 1 ½“ wide heavy duty webbing/braiding.
  • 1.5yds of ¼“ diameter cord.
  • ½yd of heavy sew-in interlining.
  • 1 x sew-in buckle/magnetic fastening.
  • 2 x 1 ½“ flat rectangle rings.
  • 2 x 1 ½“ three bar sliders.
  • Coordinating thread.

 

Pattern Notes –

*Seam allowances are ¼“ unless otherwise stated. All pattern pieces include ¼“ seam allowance.*

If you choose to use laminated cotton or oilcloth here are a few handy tips.

  • A Teflon foot will make sewing much easier, however if you don’t have one you can always cover the bottom of your standard foot with masking tape and this will help the fabric move smoothly under the foot.
  • When pinning only pin in the seam allowance as the pins will leave holes in the fabric. Another option is to use clips, which is the method shown in the pattern images (cheap hair clips work well).
  • As the fabrics cannot be ironed, firmly finger press seams.

 

The Practical Part –

1. Cut out the following pattern pieces.

Piece A = 15” x 12”
Piece B = 15” x 9”
Piece C = 12” x 9 “ (round off all four corners)
Piece D = 17” x 9”
Piece E = 10” x 10” (round off bottom two corners)
Piece F = 10 ½” x 8 ½” (round off all four corners)

From outer fabric –
2 x Piece A
2 x Piece B
1 x Piece C
2 x Piece D
2 x Piece E
1 x 1 ½” x 40” for drawstring casing

From lining fabric –
2 x Piece A
2 x Piece B
1 x Piece C

From heavy sew-in interlining –
1 x Piece F

 

2. Cut the webbing as follows.
1 x 9” for top handle
2 x 34” for top section of straps
2 x 9” for bottom section of straps

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3. Make Bag Flap.
Fold one Piece E in half side to side to find the centre. Measure 1 ½” from the bottom of the right side of the flap and attach the non-magnetic (thinner) part of your magnetic fastening using the manufacturer’s instructions. Or sew on the strap part of your buckle.

 

4. Lay both Piece E’s together right sides facing and sew together, leaving the top (straight edge) open. Clip curves as shown below, being careful not to clip the stitches and turn right sides out.

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5. Top stitch around the flap ¼” from edge on 3 sides, leaving the top (straight edge open). Set aside to use later.

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6. Attach interlining to base.
Pin Piece F to the wrong side of outer Piece C, ensuring that you can see ¼“ of Piece C all the way round.

 

7. Sew around all sides Piece F ¼” from its edge.

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8. Attach bottom section of straps.
Take your 2 flat rectangle rings and slide one on to each of your bottom strap sections. Fold each bottom strap section in half.

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9. Take Piece C right side up and baste the bottom strap sections to it 1 ½” from sides, as shown below. Set aside to use later.

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10. Make Pockets.
Fold one Piece D in half wrong sides together and top stitch ¼” from the fold. Repeat with the second Piece D.

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11. Take both outer Piece B right side up and pin 1 pocket to each piece, making sure that the bottom of the pocket and Piece B line up.

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12. Make main outer body.
Take one outer Piece A and one outer Piece B, with right sides facing, sew together. Make sure that the pocket piece is sewn in too.

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13. Now attach the second outer Piece B as explained in Step 12.

 

14. Take the second outer Piece A and attach to both outer Piece B’s as explained in Step 12.

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You should have an outer fabric tube; this is your main outer body.

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15. The last step for the outer section of the bag is to attach the outer base, Piece C that you put aside earlier, to your main outer body. With right sides facing, line up the bottom of your main outer body with the base and carefully pin in place. When you reach a corner you need to line up the seam with the point of the base and gently ease the main outer body around the base, making sure you secure with plenty of pins. This can be a little fiddly so make sure to take your time. You will find it easier if you press the main outer body seams open as you go.

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16. When you are happy with the corner positioning it’s time to stitch. Before you start ensure that the bottom strap sections are completely tucked out of the way so that you don’t accidently stitch through them. Slowly stitch around all four sides of the base. As you reach a corner carefully turn the fabric to create a curve. Make sure you stitch very slowly and guide the fabric round, you may find it easier to turn your needle by hand for this.

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Trim corners like below to reduce bulk.

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17. Attach top section of straps.
Take one top section of strap. Fold over the end ¼” twice, finger press and sew in place with a rectangle close to each edge(see below). Repeat with second top section of strap.

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18. Take one top section of strap and one 3 bar slider. Feed the strap through the slider and sew in place with two rows of stitching as shown below. Keep the end of the strap as close to the 3 bar slider as possible while still leaving yourself enough space to feed the strap under your sewing machine foot. You may prefer to use your zipper foot for this step.

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Now repeat for the second strap.

 

19. Feed the raw edge of one of the straps through one of the rectangle rings as shown below.

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Now repeat for second strap.

 

20. For each strap, feed the raw edge through the 3 bar slider as shown below.

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21. The last step for the straps is to baste them to the main outer body. Find the top centre of the back Piece A by folding in half and marking. Place the straps at a slight angle (like in the photo below) for comfort when wearing. Pin the straps either side of the centre mark and baste.

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22. Attach Top Handle.
Take top handle, pin either side of top strap sections and baste.

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23. Attach Flap to main outer body.
Take the flap you made earlier, pin to main outer body, over straps and baste. If you are using a magnetic fastening make sure that you place the flap with the fastening facing up, away from the main outer body, as shown below. However if you are using a buckle ensure that the leather strap is facing down, towards the main outer body (the opposite to the photo below).

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Set aside main outer body to use later.

 

24. Make main lining body.
Using lining Pieces A and B follow Steps 11 – 14 inclusive. Follow Step 15 to finish the main lining body but make sure you leave a section (4”-5”) unsewn so that you can turn the bag right side out later. If you don’t leave this open you will not be able to finish your bag!!

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Set aside main lining body to use later.

 

25. Make drawstring casing.
Take the drawstring casing, fold over each short end twice and stitch to secure.

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26. Fold casing in half lengthways with wrong sides facing.

 

27. Find the top centre of the front Piece A and mark. Pin the raw edges of the casing to the top of the main outer body so that there is a ½” gap at the mark you just made. Make sure the main body seams are pressed open.

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28. Baste casing to main outer body.

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29. Attach fastening to main body outer.
Line up the front and back Piece A’s and fold the flap over. Mark where the fastening on the flap touches the main outer body.

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30. Attach the second piece of the magnetic fastening to the main outer body on the mark you just made, again following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you are using a buckle then sew the buckle to the main body outer, on the mark.

 

31. Attach lining to outer.
Put the main outer body into the main lining body, right sides facing. Ensure that all seams line up. Pressing seams open as you go, pin the top edges together. REMEMBER – keep the flap and straps all tucked in, away from where you are stitching.

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32. Now sew the tops together. Around the flap you will be sewing through several layers so a walking foot is recommended. If you don’t have a walking foot it’s not a problem just work slowly and for the thickest sections it may be best to hand turn the needle.

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33. Turn your bag right side out through the gap you left in the lining. Close up the gap by folding in the seam allowance and either machine or hand stitch the gap closed.

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34. Top stitch around the top of the bag ¼” from the edge. Make sure you keep the straps, handle and flap out of the way while stitching. Again a walking foot may be best for this.

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35. All you need to do now is thread your cord through the casing. Use as safety pin on the end of the cord to stop it getting lost half way round. Once the cord is through knot each end.

Your Slouchy Back Pack is complete!

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Copyright Notes: You are welcome to hand make items from my tutorials for non-commercial use only, any commercial use of this tutorial (or realizations derived from it) is prohibited. I respectfully ask you to not pass off my tutorials as your own design and to not reproduce any part of this tutorial anywhere. Thank you for your understanding.

One Response to “Slouchy Back Pack”

  • Julie Rowe:

    Yay…….. looking forward to giving this a go.
    your instructions look very informative and I love the amount of photos.

    Wish me luck!!!!!!

    X

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