Sewing

Bunny backpack

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Summer break is over. Some parents are celebrating, I would make the summertime with my children longer if I could. I chose this project for the end of the vacation, although my younger one is not starting preschool yet. She liked her bunny backpack anyway and my older daughter was so excited about the bunny ears and tail that she asked for a matching handbag.

This tutorial is for a toddler backpack.

If you prefer a usual non-animal themed backpack, just follow this tutorial and skip the steps to make the ears and tail.

The bunny backpack is not my original idea, I’ve seen a few online, including some tutorials. However, I wrote my tutorial so that it suits my possibilities.

You will need (The fabric sizes are approximate):

  • 1 m of baby pram/backpack fabric or other heavy non-elastic fabric, the fabric I used can be found in the Czech shops as “kočárkovina” or similar “batohovina” (main fabric)
  • 0,5 m of lining such as cotton canvas
  • 20 x 40 cm of plush or other furry fabric
  • 1 m of fusible fleece
  • 38 cm non-separating zipper
  • 2 sets of 3,8 cm strap adjusters (1 set = 1 adjuster + 1 ring)
  • some polyester stuffing, for example pillow stuffing
  • thread – if your machine can handle the jeans thread, you can use this one to sew the outside fabric

First cut all the pieces as follows. I recommend you to number them so you know which main fabric piece belongs to which fusible fleece cutout and which lining:

From main fabric:

  • front and back of the backpack, both rectangles with round corners – 25 x 20,5 cm
  • 2 straps – 61 x 15,5 cm
  • 2 strap loops – 15 x 12,5 cm
  • handle – 15 x 7,5 cm
  • 2 zipper gussets – 38 x 6 cm
  • side gusset – 51 x 11,5 cm
  • 2 ears – desired size, mine are about 18 cm long and 7 cm wide (widest part)

From lining:

  • front and back of the backpack, both rectangles with round corners – 25 x 20,5 cm
  • 2 zipper gussets – 38 x 6 cm
  • side gusset – 51 x 11,5 cm

From plush/fur:

  • 2 ears – desired size, mine are about 18 cm long and 7 cm wide (widest part)
  • tail – circle with circumference of 10 cm

From fusible fleece:

  • front and back of the backpack, both rectangles with round corners – 24 x 19,5 cm
  • 2 straps – 58 x 3,5 cm
  • 2 strap loops – 13 x 3,5 cm
  • handle – 13 x 2 cm
  • 2 zipper gussets – 35,5 x 4 cm
  • side gusset – 48 x 9 cm
  • 2 ears – 1 cm narrower and shorter than the ears you cut from main fabric and plush

Seam allowance is 0,5 cm.

Start with attaching the fusible fleece to the following main fabric pieces: front and back of the backpack, ears, zipper gusset and side gusset. The fleece should be centered.

To attach the fusible fleece to the straps, strap loops and handle follow these steps:

Fold the fabric in half and open. Press short ends 0,5 cm to wrong side. Then you will fold the narrower side of the straps and strap loops but the wider side of the handle.

Place the fusible fleece piece on fold, iron in and press the shorter side on it.

Fold the longer side to the center and then everything in half.

Stitch. As you can see I stitched only one side but I recommend to actually stitch both. Stitch also short edges of the straps and strap loops.

Put each strap loop through a ring and fold in half.

First sew one short edge about 0,5 cm from the lower edge of the back (of the backpack), then sew the other short edge just under the first one aligned with the edge of the back. Repeat with the other strap loop and make sure they’re both placed in the same distance from the edge of the back piece.

Place the adjuster right side up and put the strap through it as you see in the photos. Stitch.

Pass the other end first through the ring and then back through the adjuster.

Pass through one side of the adjuster…

…and then the other.

Sew this edge to the upper side of the back piece. Repeat steps with the other strap. Also make sure the straps are placed in the same distance from the side of the back piece and also over the strap loops.

Stitch the handle to the upper edge of the back piece just between the straps.

Assembling the ears. Place the main fabric (with the fusible fleece attached) and the plush right sides together and stitch the sides, leave the bottom open.

Turn the ears right side up and iron flat.

Stitch the ears to the upper edge of the backpack front – again watch the distances.

Tail. Stitch 1 cm from the edge around the whole circumference using the basting stitch. Leave some cm of the thread at the beginning and end.

Pull the ends of the thread to gather the fabric.

Fill the tail with stuffing, pull the thread to close the tail and stitch it.

Handstitch the tail to the bottom of the back piece.

Place the right side of the zipper on the right side of one zipper gusset and stitch it. Use the zipper foot or finish the stitching – like me – in hand.

This is what you get when you turn it over.

 

Now place the right side of the zipper on the right side of the other gusset, again align the edges and stitch.

Now you should have this.

Place the side gusset right side on the zipper and pin one short end.

Stitch.

Repeat on the other side with the short ends. Now you’ve joined the zipper + zipper gussets with the side gusset.

Follow attaching the back piece. Work with the wrong side, attach the back piece to the side and zipper. First pin the long edges, then the short edges and leave the corners as last. Cut notches in the corners to be able to pin them regularly, but first make sure the sides are pinned regularly. Re-pin as many times as needed.

This is what it looked liked before I re-pinned.

Notches.

 

Stitch.

Open the zipper, pin the remaining piece (the front) and stitch. Now you have the outside part of the backpack done and can continue with the lining.

Fold one long side of each zipper gusset 0,5 cm to wrong side and iron flat.

Now stitch the short ends of the zipper gusset to one short end of the side gusset. The folded long sides of the zipper gussets are facing up and aligned as in the photo.

Stitch the other short ends of the zipper gussets to the other short end of the side gusset.

Same as with the main fabric, now pin carefully and stitch the back piece.

Then pin and stitch the front piece. This is what the result should look like. It’s turned wrong side up, don’t turn it.

Turn the outside part of the backpack (main fabric) right side up. Place the lining inside and align the zipper gusset of the lining piece with the zipper and pin in place.

  

Handstitch the zipper gusset, then stitch it with your machine. Pull the handmade stitches out.

Your backpack is done!

 

 

 

 

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